Thursday 22 November 2018

Scenes from the Classroom #37

There's a lot of chat at the moment about how strict teachers should be with students.

My general rule of thumb is, strict. I like my own way. My classroom is my kingdom. Lessons are short and should be all about learning. I also like to think I can spot a fake illness at 40 paces, with 95% accuracy. They usually occur when a challenging task has been set or when there is a bigger issue going on outside of the lesson.

This week with Y7...

A: *high pitched mumble*
Me: Pardon?
A: *squeak squeak* really sick *squeak* [pained expression]
Me: Sorry, what?
A: I feel really sick can I go
Me: Oh, I'm sorry you feel sick. Have you got a drink in your bag?
A: Yes but I feel really sick
Me: OK, well, just sit back down and have a drink, and lay your head on your arms and have a rest and we'll see how you feel in a bit
[Long pause, during which nothing happens]
A: But I feel really sick. Can I go to First Aid?
(Note: if they really feel sick, they always ask to go to the toilets)
Me: The nurse isn't in until period 2
A: But they will let me sit in First Aid
Me: First Aid is for emergencies in lesson time. I'm sorry, but we were reminded about this in our staff briefing this week so I can't let you go. Why don't you try having drinks?
A: I feel sick though
Me: Yes, I know, try having a drink and just resting for a bit. I won't make you do any work...
A: Mrs F said I could go to her in the library if I ever feel bad can I go to the library? (spoken like this, with no apparent punctuation)
Me: I'm afraid not, because Mrs F isn't in until period 2 either
A: [stares, with tears creeping out of her eyes]
Me: Just try sitting down for a bit quietly with your drink
A: [stares some more]
Me: A, just pop yourself down and get your drink out and we'll see how you feel in 5 minutes
A: But...
[Another long pause]
Me: Just settle yourself down on that chair, A
A: But....I don't want to

THERE it is.

And then when I followed up later in the day, it turns out she's having some issues with her friendship group.

I feel the need to justify myself now: don't think me heartless. There's just a lot of time wasting that could go on in schools if you let it.

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