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The season is here and school has started once more. In Barchester, the kids gather to get started on their homework and classes.
Juno Wester has been hired as a temp while she finishes her education at the Teacher’s college and this semester she will be teaching the youngest students.
It’s not something she initially had felt entirely comfortable doing since she lacks experience but she really wants to work and isn’t going to protest whatever work that comes her way, so she gladly accepts the position. Even if she wants to work as a high school or college teacher in the future, she realises everyone has to start somewhere and while she finishes her studies she can’t be picky.
And the classes are small and it will be a great opportunity to learn the ropes.
Juno quickly finds her bearings in the classroom and it’s nearly impossible not to be charmed by the kids and their enthusiasm for everything she suggests.
They have a book club this month and everyone has been tasked to read – or have a book read to them – a book of their own choice and then tell the class about it. It opens for a lot of discussion and long stories about monsters and fairies and animals and Juno has to keep watching the clock to manage the time, splitting it between them.
Some kids, like Zoey Smith, could talk for hours. Others are more careful.
Juno is also trying to be aware of the friendships these kids have outside of the classroom. For example – Ruby Hiller and Zoey are best friends, so Juno doesn’t let them sit together in class. Mostly because she wants to increase the chance of them interacting with others, but also because having best friends side by side can lead to immense noise.
She takes turns in sitting at the tables in the classroom herself, finding it a good method when it comes to getting to know her students and making sure everyone’s getting enough attention.
For the youngest students, the time between the classes are almost more important than what happens in the classroom and all of them long for the breaks.
Two weeks in and Mary Gavigan has her first test for the semester. Science and she knows some of the students will try to escape even getting inside the classroom. It’s always like that.
Others are seated already, waiting for the test to begin. Mary assumes all of them have studied – they usually do, they’re too young to realize there are other options – but tests can be difficult either way. Not that she’d call it a test in the more serious meaning of the word, and the kids know that, too. It’s just a way to check how much they’ve learned from the past two weeks’ excursions into the woods and down at the beach.
Ella Hiller tries to get out of the test by claiming she’s got a “super sore throat, actually”, but she’s not excused from class.
A few of the kids are missing, though, which prompts Mary to look outside the classroom for them.
“You two, come on, get inside!”
Rhys Hiller giggles under his breath. “You said butts.”
Mary sighs. “There’s a test, starting now. Inside, both of you.”
When everyone’s finally sauntered to their places, Mary can begin the test and of course, once they sit down and read the questions, the kids realise that they can answer most of them. Ordeal over!
They wrap up the day with P.E, which most of them really enjoy.
For the high school students the topic of the day is the upcoming Career Month where they’ll spend a week doing orientation by following a parent or another relative to work. Imogen Cousland has decided to come with her step-dad to his work as a game developer down in Barchester City and can’t wait to tell everyone else about it.
Jonathan Ceder will end up doing his orientation at the hospital, though he can’t say he’s thrilled about it yet. But he supposes it could be a lot worse.
Kirsten Cousland considers going with her cousin Imogen to the gaming industry so she can escape her mother’s job – there’s just nothing exciting or sexy about marine biology, she’s decided. And she has no idea what her mother really does, but she’s sure it’s something slimy or smelly.
For Janessa Cox the whole discussion feels awkward seeing her parents have such low-status jobs and she doesn’t look forward to the whole career event at all. There’s a quiet shame in it, in being different, and at the same time there’s also shame in feeling ashamed. She’s told Jean about the dilemma and Jean has promised to ask her ex-boyfriend August if Janessa can maybe spend a week in his shop instead. At least that way she’d be around cool stuff and have stories to tell afterwards.
* I’ve actually built the school from scratch this time around. Barchester 1.0 had a great downloaded school but in this rebuilt hood I wanted to challenge myself and my mediocre building skills, heh. It’s very much a WIP and I keep decorating spaces as I use them, which suits me fine.
* So, we’ve got this PRAO/TET (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TET) a couple of times in school, usually between the ages of 13-15. Don’t know if it’s common practice in the rest of the world or what it’s called. 🙂 I remember being “teacher” and “engineer” during two of mine.