Diary of a First Year Teacher - Episode 9

Dear Diary,

Will the surprises never stop coming? On Monday I received a new student from overseas. His name is Oliver and his parents have just migrated from Sweden for work. He’s a great, friendly kid but it’s tough on anyone to start a new school so late in the year so I was keeping a close eye on him.

Or so I thought.

On Wednesday we were doing numeracy and Sonia was revising subtraction from the number 10 with some of the kids who are struggling a bit. She modelled and asked the group of five kids to hold up ten fingers and take away three.

Oliver puts his hand up and says, ‘I can’t do it.’ This is common with kids who are shy or have additional needs, and so Sonia demonstrated again how she held up ten and took away three and asked him to try.

His response: ‘No, I can’t. I don’t have ten fingers!’

Sonia and I both looked down at our student, and then at each other in horror. By this time his 23 classmates were staring at him with wide eyes. He had nine fingers.

How had we not noticed for 3 whole days?!

         -   Sam

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