Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Alright so I'm going to try this again.

Have been all over the place over the last year and really haven't felt like doing this.....however I'm giving it a go. Why? Don't know. Sort of want to see where it goes really. I get excited by what people put up on their blogs. I like the videos, the ideas, the wishes, the tenderness, the heartbreak.

One thing though. This time I make it about me.

So here goes......hurrah!

Monday, 3 September 2007

Back to School

Here it is again then. Another summer over and a new term about to begin. Normlly at this point i'm dreading the return. This year though i cant wait. I've had enough of summer sitting around doing not much. Always great to spend time with my daughter but i miss the job. Somehow it forms part of my identity and makes me what i am. The banter in the lessons, the general piss taking with the staff and the sense of doing something for someone gives me a sense of place in society. Without i feel completely lost.

So roll on Wednesday and me being found again. Mind you only two days teaching til the weekend - hurray!

Thursday, 21 June 2007

How old do I feel?

OK, so I'm not that young anymore. And granted I've got to a point when I would rather not add another +1 to my age every year but I still feel young. Then I get a message on Facebook from an ex-student saying 'Oh my god, my old teacher'. Fine but he is 26 with a wife and three kids. I'll be getting out my tweeds soon and sowing on the patches. Bollocks.

A week at a new school

I am not going to go into it but you would not believe the week i am having, and I have finally started a job at my new school. What a difference it makes to finally belong somewhere, have your own classroom and just start being me for a change.

The kids are suitably challenging but also a bit taken aback i think. 'Who the hell is this?' i hear them cry as they walk in. Little do they know whats in store for them.........

Loads of things I've noticed though about going back into a permenant job. The planning now has to be done; i can't just sit back and wait for the next day to come. Something i was looking forward to but then we all like our evenings without stressing about the next day lessons. Bu then I love the freedom it gives you. I can think up any way I want to teach these kids a topic, no matter how random it gets and believe me it gets random. I sit sometimes and just think about some different, more interesting way to show ideas. what other props can I use, what other activities haven't I tried. Sometimes it works, sometimes it's useless but I try. And it's not all for them, it's for me too. Makes it more interesting somehow.

Staff are great so far but again I don't think they know what's in store for them. I did try and tell them at interview I wasn't your normal teacher, a maverick my reference said. Well, I'm in now and they can't chuck me out.

Got to love it!

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Trust me I'm a Teacher

Why is it I can't help telling stories to the kids I teach. Normally in life someone who has to lie about their life lacks conficence in who they really are (have done but trying to stop it and be honest about myself, trying mind). But this is different. I have an idea for a lesson, i want to get their interest so a make up a story.

I'm teaching adaptation and I tell them about the rat people in Prague who live in the sewers. They went down there during the war to escape the Nazis and never came out. Now they look like rats with large eyes, sensitive noses and even whiskers. I told them I would bag one and bring it home.(I'm sure some of this is true)

I'm telling them about genetic engineering and go off on a story about how KFC have produced chickens shaped like balls with no necks for extra efficiency. there is also a version with extra legs for the KFC bucket! (got into trouble with that one, they have to tell their parents don't they.)

And did you know trachea comes from the roman word for tractor - nor did I until it came out one day.

Today I told them how I worked for the police as a blood splatter expert and went into gruesome detail about splatter patterns when you hit someone with an axe. That crime apparently I managed to solve almost single handedly.

Thing is kids are fantastically gullible and I can't help it. So the next time you meet someone and they give you an outrageuos 'fact' they 'learnt' at school don't put them right, leave them. It makes for a much more interesting world.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Kid stuff

What do you call a monkey in a minefield?


Can't teach Charisma

Trainee teachers are great to take on and train. I will always welcome another person who shares a passion for working in the classroom. They can be filled with fresh ideas, a refreshingly idealistic notion of what teaching should be like and an enthusiasm in the classroom that becomes infectious. Or they can leave you scratching your head wondering why they ever thought of going into the profession. However, the most challenging type to train are those that lack that vital ingredient in the classroom, charisma.

I sat in on an observation this week of a trainee. He knew about structure of lessons, his subject knowledge was passable but he was a million miles away from relating to the students and he was so boring. Now how do you feed back on that.

"That was great, you had clear structure and good planning. However, you do need to develop some kind of personality to stop the kids hating you."

There was one who used to hold a small finger bell in class and shake it to get the kids quiet. Needless to say they erupted in laughter and barraged her with paper and abuse. Another used to think he was in Hortwogs by saying "Too much Pottering!" when the kids were talking. Again the kids pissed themselves.

I'm not judging, it just makes me laugh. Let's face it, plenty of teachers with strange habits have worked successfully for years.