Janitor: [into the stethoscope] Is there anybody up there…up there…up there…up there….? I’m all alone down here…here…here…! It’s cold. I’m frightened!
Whew, that’s a lot of dust to blow off of this site. I guess I haven’t been posting in a while but as the quote above shows, I’m fully aware of my inability to blog. So a fair bit has happened since the days of regular ranting and crafty cookery posts. I’m back, for now at least and I come armed with a positively overflowing bag of blog topics to post about. So without further ado, let’s begin shall we?
Being a teacher is not all it’s cracked up to be.
There, I said it.
Yes in my absence I have undertaken a PGCE Teacher Training course and am about to enter the final half term of my first year as a fully qualified teacher. Time flies when you’re marking manically every night like a green ink obsessed baboon trying to get the best bit of mango thrown into your cage having fun.
I’ve learnt a lot this past year and have found myself growing as a person. If I may steal a quote from the inimitable John Dorian of Scrubs fame: “I’ve changed too. I have a beard now.” Yes in order to make myself look less like the fresh faced 22 year old that I actually am I have grown a beard and the fabulous fuzz of fur on my face makes me look like a grizzled veteran of this teaching malarkey rather than the fresh off the boat beginner that I really am. It’s all a bit of smoke and mirrors to fool the pupils into believing you’re old and in charge.
Sadly the beard comes with a price and this is how I learnt the first hard lesson of the year:
Children can be cruel when it comes to your age
Now I wouldn’t exactly say that I am particularly sensitive about my age or looks, (who are we kidding, I’m one of the most vain people I know) but it only takes a few weeks of all your pupils trying to guess your age and almost all of them coming up with numbers that are 32 or higher (The most popular being 37 years of age) before it starts to grate a bit (this fact has not been helped by the Microsoft How Old app going around – it did the same thing to me. Why do you hurt me Microsoft? I’ve been loyal to you for many years…).
Yes to sum it up children can be cruel, but that’s not the only way that I learned this lesson. And as a result of my next tale, the title will become much clearer…
Year 11 Students are the same as weeping angels from Doctor Who
For the past year I have been teaching a pretty challenging year 11 class. They can be the loveliest bunch in the world or they can drive you up the wall. It depends entirely on a range of factors such as what they had for breakfast, the current state of the weather and whether or not mercury is in retrograde (maybe not that last one, but honestly sometimes there’s no reason for what they do). Suffice to say, it’s at the hands of this class that learnt my hardest lesson so far as a teacher.
That’s right, don’t blink. Blink and you’re dead. I you take your eyes off your pupils for even a second mayhem will ensue. I guarantee it.
It just so happened that I made this fatal flaw back before Christmas when I turned my back for no longer than 30 second to put a laptop away when I heard an almighty cacophony akin to the Gods of Olympus having a wrestling match in a pit of cowbells erupt behind me.
I turned around to find one of my pupils masking taped to a chair.
Now when I say masking taped to a chair I don’t mean a little bit of tape around the middle. Oh no, I mean full on cocooned into the chair with masking tape. There was no way he was getting out of this and apparently nobody had seen anything happen (another lesson to learn is that kids will always stick together as if that will somehow let them escape punishment).
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at that point. I settled for my usual and became instantly incensed with anger before laughing into a tirade of clichéd teacher speeches that I swore I would never do and after about 5 minutes of sounding like the world’s most ineffectual supply teacher the children were dismissed and Chair Boy was set free from his tapey prison.
The funny thing is that my classroom doesn’t have masking tape. The little scoundrels had been planning this for a while.
As a result of that day I have now learnt to channel Alastor “Mad Eye” Moody from the Harry Potter novels and have adopted his own philosophy to suit my classroom.
My advice to you if you ever set foot in a classroom? CONSTANT VIGILANCE!
Always keep your eyes on them. Don’t let them out of your sight.
They [teenagers] are fast, faster than you can believe. Don’t turn your back and DON’T BLINK!
Oh and always hide the masking tape.