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Friday, 18 January 2013

Reasons for going 'la la la la' in school corridors and putting your fingers in your ears

We got sent home early today from school because of snow.  I passed one boy in the corridor who's in my English class and he said to me, 'Hey, I suppose that means we don't get to have our English lesson.'



Can you tell from the way I've written it what tone he said this in?  Just in case you can't guess, here's a picture of the kind of facial expression we're talking about here.







Ouch!

I said to him, 'Er, let's just run through that again, shall we?' and made him repeat it after me, word by word, in a sombre, mournful tone, wearing this kind of facial expression instead.







Luckily, he played along.  He was probably thinking, 'I know she's crazy already.  I won't risk upsetting her.'  I nearly gave him three merits and a chocolate bar for doing so, but I think that would have laid bare my deep need for approval and affirmation just a little too clearly.  One so hates to look needy.

The longer I'm in teaching, the more I'm convinced that, apart from the really, really keen, of whom there are one or two in each class, the rest are there because they have to be.  My job - and the job of most teachers -  is just to make being in lessons as little like being excoriated daily with a cheese grater as possible.

You need go nowhere else for profound educational philosophies, see?



 




34 comments:

  1. Thanks for the educational philosophy. Finally someone being honest.

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    1. It's a kind of realism edged with despair.

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  2. Is there any chance you could have read him wrongly and he is one of the 'one or two in every class'?...guess not eh?

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    1. Er, no. His face told me everything I needed to know.

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  3. But are those exceptions really keen, or have they got wind of a possible three merits and a chocolate bar? On second thoughts, the prospects of you handing over a chocolate bar are probably very slim.

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  4. Youngest was devastated to hear we'd had an e-mail announcing that school was closed yesterday. She put her nose in a book - much better than Maths apparently.

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    1. Apparently? Apparently? Of COURSE!

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  5. You made a child lie with their face? That's terrible! Is this what education is coming to?!

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    1. There's worse. Much, much worse.

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  6. Wonderful story, Fran! I sincerely wish my boys had you as a teacher:)I am sure you make it as fun and as enjoyable as possible and I think that's a very big part of wanting to learn. My second son is at present beside himself that he is studying Romeo and Juliet again - they seem to study it well in advance of GSCE now. By the time he takes the exam next year he'll probably be so bored he won't care whether he fails or not. It's a pity he doesn't have you to inject some humour into it!

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    1. Ah, the problem with injecting humour into things is that I'm always having to say, 'But don't write that in the exam!' As in when I tell them, 'I don't like the name Juliet. Let's call her Norman. Right, when Norman comes out on the balcony .... but DON'T WRITE THAT IN THE EXAM.'

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  7. Well , at least your charges are older than mine were . I'd often have to carry one of mine , wailing and sobbing , up and down the corridor for a while till I could convince him/her that Yes , Mummy was coming back ....

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    1. Funny, isn't it? By the time I get them, all they do is complain about Mummy being there too much!

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  8. iam elated to have stumbled into your posts coz they are an interesting read. you are witty and funny and interesting. i will be an avid follower.

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    1. Thanks, Odette. Glad you like the posts. I don't know if I can manage 'witty' and 'funny' and 'interesting' all at once in most of them, but that's my goal.

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  9. I'd have given him the merits & eaten the chocolate bar ( winter fuel ) My son lives for the words " school's closed " !

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    1. 'Winter fuel'! I'm going to use that one ...

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  10. My kids' teachers frequently tell us they're there to make school as palatable as possible. You lot must have skin like rhinos, ;-)

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    1. I do my best with moisturiser, but, hey.

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  11. Yes, quite. The trouble is that education is actually quite good for one, even though one may not like it at the time. I'm glad that I know about algebra and Latin and the geography of France and the German for eels (Ahlen, I think), even though I was bored out of my skull at the time.

    I too did the DON'T WRITE THIS IN THE EXAM bit when I was a teacher in order to inject a bit of levity. My teachers, now, never never never did.

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    1. I think I must have missed out on that 'German names for pond life' module ... I feel like only half a person now.

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  12. Having recently been told of the basic literacy levels of kids coming into FE colleges (i.e. perhaps the ones who've not got the 5 GCSEs required for sixth form), I've become slightly more alarmed about our dear old UK education system.

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    1. Hm, yes. You have a point. Once they stop messing about with our curriculum, such as taking up 5 teaching weeks a year with 'controlled assessments' which have to be done in the classroom, and are basically their way of getting us to do the marking, not the exam boards, we might have a bit more time for the basics. It's becoming a jocke. Joak. Joke, I mean.

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  13. Love it Fran - but you didn't mention what expression was on your face when you realised you were going home early.

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    1. How can you doubt me? Terrible disappointment, of course!

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  14. Hi Fran. I'm going to enjoy your blog...I've just read out loud your alternative 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' verses to my husband (he can read I hasten to add) We loved them! Best wishes, Claire

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    1. Take a merit, because you reminded me that I needed to print off the Mary verses. I think they might go down well at an upcoming gig .... Welcome to the blog, and thank you so much for signing up to receive the drivel regularly.

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  15. When Favorite Young Man got married, he sent an invitation to his high school English teacher. The next time I saw the man, he said, "I didn't think Favorite Young Man liked me!" I assured him that FYM liked him very much indeed. Some students might surprise you.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I'd love to think so. For now, though, they surprise me in lots of other ways, such as not bringing a pen to an English lesson and looking as though they thought that was just normal behaviour. Thanks for the thought, though. I'll hang onto it ...

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  16. Loved this post Fran. My husband is a teacher and when snow is forecast on a weekday he can be found the night before kneeling by the bed in his pj's praying hard for a blizzard so school will closed. It's not just the kids......

    Anna May x

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    1. I'm the same. Bad, really. If I were a parent of young kids still, I would be incensed that teachers were praying for snow days. To be honest, usually it's a case of 'then I could get my marking done' and not 'then I can go out in the snow and do the snow angel thing'.

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  17. My knuckles have been excoriated with a cheese grater, not the sort of thing I'd fancy on a daily basis.

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    1. River, I once marked a GCSE English exam paper in my role as an external examiner in which the student had written 'I would rather have a cheese grater dragged down my face than be made to read Of Mice and Men a second time.' I thought that a little harsh on Steinbeck. Maybe more of a comment on the teacher ...

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