Saturday 16 September 2017

Scenes from the Classroom #32

We've been back two weeks, and I can see from Twitter that a lot of teachers are remembering why they love their jobs. The initial shock to the system (what? I can't sleep right at this moment? I can't eat right at this moment? I can't pee right at this moment?) has ebbed, we've all realised that we do remember how to plan a lesson, most of our classes have been met, and perhaps they are still in the phase where they want to impress us because it's a new year.

On Thursday I had a year 10 class with a pupil in it I was not looking forward to teaching last year, T. She was hands down my most problematic last year. She barely ever wrote anything in her book and quite often stormed out or was sent out. It was painful. I tried to schedule her for another staff member this year, but it didn't work out. I was dreading it a bit: it's all very well to chuck it away in year 9, but this is a bit more important.

Happily, she has had a strong start. No argument about the seating plan, where she sits next to my desk. Not a peep about how the book should be laid out; copying down everything from the board even when I haven't asked the class to (this is common to some of our more conscientious students). Thursday was the best though, because I gave them an activity I first used with a class as an NQT and she showed me a way of doing it BETTER. I still can't get over it. Fifteen years and she hacked it in about two minutes. I had to resist the urge to jump up and down squealing at this, because she is suspicious of excessive praise, as many difficult students seem to be; but I did ring home on Friday night and leave a nice message about her.

It may not last, so I wanted to record it while it was good. Those teacher training adverts are all over the place again, thanks to the latest iteration of Educating... and even though I really love what I do, they make me roll my eyes. 'The kids teach you to be a better teacher' - ergh gag. Then I get moments like this one and I think, yeah, I could be on one of those adverts, making people want to throw things.

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