Friday 25 November 2016

Scenes from the Classroom #26

I'm teaching the new GCSE. It's an old topic, that I used to teach when I was a newbie. It involves a look at the work of Koch, who is always good value because his name sounds like cock. My old colleague used to say it "cotch" but I don't see the point in playing it that way. Usually the first time I exaggerate the ccchhhh ending, but then afterwards revert. In my first year, I had students make posters to support his successes over those of his rivals, and one particularly memorable lad came up with the slogan, "Vote Koch - he won't flop". Bet he remembered it in the exam.

On a tangent, my art teacher friend used to have her classes do a drawing project on cockerels. Then she'd put them up on the wall and invite her other classes, with an absolutely straight face, to view her wall of cocks. She is my hero.

Anyway, it's been probably a decade since I had to teach this, so when I first brought it up I looked around expectantly. Not a whisper. Not a ripple. Not even so much as an eyebrow twitch. I moved on, incredulous. Further mentions occurred: still nothing.

This week, the back row asked me to confirm how the word was pronounced.
Me: No, not cotch - cock. You'll remember it because it sounds a bit rude.
C: You know Miss, I never even thought of that until you just said it.
M: But wait, Miss...I don't...
C: Sssshhh it's OK...
M: No, Miss - I don't get it. Why is it a bit rude?

I genuinely thought she was trolling me. I went all in.

Me: Well, cock is a slang word for penis.
M: *looks confused* Oh...right...
C: *whispering* I would have told you! I knew what it was!

Not trolling me, then.

I might be the least mature person in that classroom. As a post script, I explained to my year 8s what a codpiece was this afternoon (it was in context) and we all chuckled wildly about it for a minute or so. They are probably closer to my level.

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