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.
IT ISN'T THE SAME AS WHEN YOU WERE AT SCHOOL.
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|
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.