As I alluded in my last post, the culture in Ireland (overall, but the classroom being no exception) is much more slow-paced and relaxed than in America. This is perhaps best visible in the area of classroom management.
There were a few major differences, and it will be hard to explain without misrepresenting the students and my CT at Scoile Bhride, but I will do my best!
First, the overall atmosphere of the classroom was different; students moved more or less freely about, and I saw more than one wrestling match. There was some choice language as well, and some witty backtalk, but here is where I need my readers to take a step back from what I am sure was your immediate reaction (e.g. "oh jeeze..." "EXCUSE me??") and consider this: rarely were these words ever directed to hurt. I suppose that playful is the word I'm looking for--the atmosphere was more playful. Naturally there were some unfortunate instances, and when they were my CT snapped into action so fast it would give you whiplash. She had a teacher stare so scary that kids in the next room would go silent. But unlike most of the American classrooms I've been in, it was not used freely, it was not even used every day.
As I'm sure many of you would agree, this is a far cry from a normal American classroom, but this fact has its advantages and its disadvantages.
I should mention that my classroom had but 13 students.