For blogs with less than 300 Followers

For blogs with less than 300 Followers
Thanks to Hestia's Larder for this delightful award.
(For Blogs with less than 300 Followers)

Tuesday, 15 March 2011


We survived, but it was a damn close-run thing.
For some reason known only to our Senior Leadership Team and the MOE (The Ministry, not the due to depart soon Man) there was a Provisionally Registered Teacher Training day yesterday.  This is where our newly qualified teachers, fresh out of teaching college, get some extra Professional Development, hopefully making them more effective practitioners of the pedagogical arts (it also decreases the chances of them running away screaming to somewhere quieter and safer, like Japan)


We have 6 newly qualified staff.
Plus we have 1 Deputy Principal recovering from surgery
1 vacancy in our permanent staff
2 off on dependency leave (close family very ill)
2 off with 'flu

This meant that I had to find enough relieving teachers to cover about 45 lessons in 1 day.


Thank goodness some of our permanent staff volunteered to do extra hours to cover some of the lessons, otherwise it would have meant chaos.  I even had to take ½ of a class myself (Thanks Nick, for helping)

Some of our kids think they are Hard.
 Most of them wouldn't last 5 minutes in Sauchihall Street on a Saturday Night

Even with over 12 years of teaching experience, I really struggled with the class I was taking.  There were 5 or 6 nice girls trying desperately to do some work at the back.  2 girls who wanted to do nothing but chat up some boys, 3 or 4 boys who are basically good, but who drift with the rest.  4 or 5 boys who need very tight control, and another group of 4-6 who just need some basic guidelines and restrictions.
There was no way I could rectify 5 weeks of neglect in ½ hour, but I did my best.  I even think I got about 5 minutes of work from some of them.
It's not really their teacher's fault.  He tries very hard, but he is not yet experienced enough to deal with all these difficult kids.

Any non-teachers reading this please note. 


Modern school children do not automatically respect their teachers, or their parents or their elders or anyone really.  If you doubt the skills needed to maintain interest, keep control, enthuse and capture the pupils' imagination in a modern school, then look at Dr. David Starkey's first class in Jamie Oliver's Dream School on UK Channel 4 or Youtube.
Here we have one of the world's leading historians trying to teach a smallish class.  He wasn't prepared, he talked down to the kids, and treated them with some contempt.  The kids reciprocated.  Chaos.
To be fair, he quickly realised his mistakes, took some expert advice of teacher educators, and greatly improved his teaching and control techniques.

I believe in sharing the pain
But, we should never have had so many staff off at once.  Everyone gets unsettled when we have a lot of relievers in school.  The kids suffer, and we suffer, and what's worse; I suffer.  It's got to stop.

Oh, while I remember, the next bloody so-called professional teacher who leaves me a lesson plan written on the back of an envelope and no bloody pupil roles or photos will discover that apart from finding and co-ordinating relief teachers I also put in the reasons for absence into our computerised pay system.  Ever heard of that delightful phrase "LEAVE WITHOUT PAY?" 
You have been warned.


  1. I used to help out at the local primary school a few years ago. With a Primary 4 class. I was appalled at the lack of respect and huge informality that existed between staff and pupils.

    The pupils weren't exactly cheeky, but they assumed a level of familiarity with even the senior staff that I thought was not appropriate. And the staff didn't seem bothered by it.

    How this helps with discipline I can't imagine.

    I think it sets up trouble for children in the future with regard to boundaries in the workplace, m'self.

    Just m'thoughts......

    Ali x

  2. Lime green backing? I hope this is just temporary.

  3. Ali x: Unfortunately, society has changed from the way we were brought up. Respect is no longer automatic, and in many cases the parents of the kids exhibit the same lack of respect, both up and down. We just have to live with it. Discipline is much more of a problem than it used to be, but there are methods. Some actualy legal.

    Richard[of RBB]: I'm not sure, I might keep it, I might not. I'll see what the others think.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Site Meter