15th June 2010
You know you're in Montreal when...the only place open at 6am on a Sunday is Tim Hortons.
Yesterday I woke up at 5am in order to catch the coach to Montebello. It would appear that my hotel didn't have a 24h reception so I couldn't check out, so I left my room keys in my room with a note. Then after a breakfast of doughnuts and orange juice at Tim Hortons - a Canadian institution. I then took the two and a half hour coach journey to Montebello followed by a taxi up to the school. As soon as I stepped out of the taxi I was greeted by the headmaster's wife and their dog with the 'hello/long time no see/what are you doing here?/nice to see you' greeting I was to get used to. Their dog (who was a puppy when I worked at the school 2 years ago) came bounding up to me: Is it possible for dogs to have 2 years memory?
Every student and teacher that had been there 2 years ago greeted me with pretty much the same response - pleasantly but also with some confusion. It was great to see familar faces and to hear of people's current life plans. One teacher is coming to do a Masters at the Insitute of Education, University of London and having just completed the SAS at the IOE I was able to give him a bit of an insight. I also had a really good chat with a student who has been a slightly annoying grade 9 two years ago and now is a strapping young man of a grade 9 and was delightful and charming and had a clear focus on how to obtain his dreams in life. It was so rewarding to see the progress some of the students had made. One of my biggest achivements while at the school was a (then) grade 8 student whose classI took for maths and also priavtely tutored him. Throughout the year I wourked relentlessly with this student to help him understand the maths and to raise his average and pass the end of year exam. Up until now the biggest reward has been as I circled the exam hall and saw what he wrote on his exam paper and saw that he had infact taken in everything I had taught him because he passed his exam and was able to progress to the next year - something that looked doubtful at the begining of the year. But going back I got another reward, this student came up to me and said 'Katie, I get really good grades in math now, 80s and 90s, so thank you'. I smiled and said 'you're welcome, it wasn't all down to me, it was down to your hard work, well done, that's fantastic new' but inside I was doing a little dance!