Archive for the ‘Teaching’ Category

Free, free as a bird, soaring on high, soaring through sky!

Friday, March 9th, 2007

The time has finally come – I am no longer a full time teacher, no rx (God willing)! I left today, read happy but a bit stunned, approved laden with lots of cards, pressies, chocolates and fruit from teachers and kids. And pretty tired.

The next time I go back will be with a baby!


1. Reading. I am part way through ‘A Suitable Boy’, and have spent my booktoken from Kerry on ‘The Sea’ by John Banville and ‘The Book of Fathers’ by Miklos Vamos. (I also have a Russian one but its downstairs and I can’t move.)

2. Sewing. Curtains, Moses basket sheets, decorative items. I’ve spent the fortune, now I really need to steward it!
3. Collage, cards and other mixed media stuff. As above, although less of a fortune was spent.

4. Painting walls and getting the house sorted.

I’m going to need to write myself a new timetable, aren’t I?

I did say I would put my feet up and I will. I promised. Baby still wriggling away!


Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

Well, migraine I like this play. Teaching it is like getting into some comfy slippers – I’ve done it almost each year since I was a student. I like the fact that it is based on history from where I grew up. I like that it treats good and evil in a poetic justice type of way. The witches are definitely not the cute boarding school type of characters. The language is pretty good too.

On another matter entirely, the cat gets neutered tomorrow.

Who said school was boring?

Saturday, November 5th, 2005

The solo talk is an assessment dreaded by the majority of pupils and often causes them to say and do things they really shouldn’t. One got up and said “I am going to be disgusting…” instead of discussing. One boy did a talk on an evil asassain and he was asked the question, approved “So do you see many similarities between the character and yourself?”

My all time favourite has to be a second year pupil on the topic of penguins. I had thought my instructions were sufficiently clear, patient but the boy, a new pupil to the school, turned up with a foil parcel and requested a tape player. The bit he had obviously really taken to heart was about the visual/auditory aids. I was intrigued. As yet I didn’t know much about him and he was quietly mysterious. Following the exemplary five minute expositions on healthy eating and artificial intelligence was always going to be hard.

We had thirty seconds that went something like this:

“I’m going to talk to you today about penguins. I’d like to start by playing you the Pingu theme tune…oh the tape seems to be broken… anyway, penguins eat fish, so I’m going to pass this fish round for you all to look at. (Unwraps foil parcel and hands to squeamish pupils.) Penguins live near the Antarctic. Are there any questions?”

The class were tickled by this subversion of the genre and the fact that the new boy had a gift for quirky humour. I was laughing so hard I was practically bent double with my head on the desk unable to speak. There have been very few stand up comedians that I have enjoyed more, so that’s what I marked him on.

I really want to know what he said to his mother about why he needed a whole salmon for school that day…its not like we taught Home Economics in that school.

Do any of you have public speaking stories to share?

Its been a while…

Friday, October 14th, 2005

…since I posted. Life has pretty much been work and cat for a while. Work has been slighty amusing today what with a course coming up called “Interesting Boys”. You’ll have to wait until November to find out just what THAT means. Also one of the other teachers nearly told a boy who was being excluded to “think about euthanasia”. She meant to research it.

So now I am on holiday! Hooray! I will be decorating, capsule tidying and sewing.

Jane Austen Jitters

Monday, September 5th, 2005

I was slightly astounded when my 4th years, ampoule including all the boys, medicine suggested a trip to see the new ‘Pride and Prejudice’ film, page until one of the boys muttered something about Kate Winslet. I think he meant Keira Knightley and thus the basis of the film’s attraction becomes clear! Still, I never expected to hear the words, “Why aren’t we doing ‘Pride and Prejudice’?” out of a boy’s mouth before, rather plaintively too.

Pizza Punctuation

Saturday, September 3rd, 2005

I have been inspired by our friends Gordie and Homer to educate the world on advanced punctuation using the glorious pizza as my ilustration. You see the pizza base. You spread it with your tomato concoction. You add the cheese. But to stop there would make your meal dull and monotonous. You want to break up the taste with a scattering of other ingredients, page and this is what punctuation is for.

So I am now going to attempt to explain the various forms of punctuation through pizza toppings. Firstly, pauses in descending order of length!
Full stop. Large black olive
Colon: Two black olives
Semi colon; black olive and tiny curved piece of onion
Comma, tiny curved piece of onion

Extra pauses to have fun with in a Bridget Jones type of fashion:
Dashes – anchovies. Not everyone knows what to do with them.
Brackets (red pepper slices)
Elipsis … sweetcorn which always lasts longer than you think

If anyone makes the punctuation pizza I’d be very interested to know! Isn’t it interesting that it’s mostly vegetarian?

I hereby dedicate this pizza to Kerry and Kim.

And don’t get me started on apostrophes. It’s really not worth it.

Distinctly Non-Tropical and Very Smelly Island

Saturday, September 3rd, 2005

So last year, purchase on my first day at my new school my class room flooded from both sides and the corridor too. So my second year class had to decant to the assembly hall – the lesson I had decided to start Treasure Island with them. Their fictional responses had a startling air of reality…

And my classroom really smelled for the next week. Like Long John Silver’s bandana I imagine.

At work today….

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

A girl fainted in my class again. Last week a boy threw up. I’m beginning to wonder exactly what kind of ethos my teaching is subliminally promoting and how to stop it. However my classroom has not literally turned into an island this year, sickness so so far I’m one up this time round!
My fourth year boys did a rather excellent presentation on women’s rights in the 19th century using (oh the irony) Betty Boop (mispelled as Betty Boob) as their powerpoint graphic. Here it is! It is hilarious.

Women in the 19th C