Alexander Hall is the Literacy Trainer for SIS Switzerland and the Year 5/6 teacher at SIS Männedorf-Zürich. In the following article, he reports on his typical Monday, where he teaches in the morning and fulfils the role of SIS Literacy Trainer Switzerland in the afternoon.
5:30 a.m. I begin my day by catching the train from Waldshut, Germany, through Zürich and then on to Männedorf. This is my opportunity to catch up on emails or attempt to do my homework for my German course.
7:30 a.m. Once at school I prepare for my lessons: printing learning goals, collecting guided reading books and making sure the classroom is ready for the day.
8:20 a.m. The school day begins and my lovely Year 5 and 6 students arrive. We begin Monday mornings with a writing lesson. Every writing lesson begins with the children responding to their two stars and a wish. This is the perfect opportunity for children to go back and revise their work. With some next step marking, a student who was close to achieving the goal last week may be able to achieve it now within just a few short minutes.
"My favourite part of the job is having the opportunity to visit other schools and getting to work with different teams."
10:00 a.m. A quick coffee break and chance to gossip and chat with my colleagues in the staff room. Then it’s time to prepare for the next lesson, maths.
10:20 a.m. The children return and we begin our maths lesson. We usually begin a double maths session with our Quick Maths activity before beginning our new topic. We then look at our new topic for the day and begin a maths discussion. This is really helping the children to develop their reasoning skills.
11:50 a.m. With my teaching commitments fulfilled for the day, I use my afternoon in the role of SIS Literacy Trainer Switzerland. In this time, I visit schools to run workshops, stay in Männedorf to plan future workshops, or I meet with principals and team leaders to discuss areas for possible development. I also frequently meet with Janet Meister (Chief Quality Officer SIS Group) and Paul Browne (SIS Literacy Trainer Germany) to ensure consistency across all SIS schools.
My favourite part of the job is having the opportunity to visit other schools and getting to work with different teams. I think as teachers, it is easy for us to live within the bubble of our own classroom. It is refreshing and energising to be able to get into other schools and work with people with a variety of experience.
17:30 p.m. Wherever I end up at the end of the day, I then make my way back home on the train. This is another opportunity to catch up on emails or squeeze in a little nap!