No, this has nothing to do with the general election that NZ has just finished, but it is about choice.
We (by this I mean the Principal) have decided to move to a different structure for our classes, and the senior pupils will now get 6 subjects for 4 periods per week. We run on a 5 period per day timetable, and I'm sure the attentive reader is already asking the question "4 X 6 = 24. 5 X 5 = 25. What the f*ck are they going to do with the extra period?"
Very attentive and intuitive, you should have been a teacher.
We (by this I mean everyone except the Principal) asked the same question.
He gave the answer earlier this month. We would give the kids a choice. They could choose to do what they wanted.
After the senior management had quelled the incipient riot from the teaching and support staff, he expanded on his theme.
The kids could choose from a list of options presented to them. The option list would be generated by the teaching staff, and virtually no limits were put upon us.
He also made it clear that there would be no opting-out from staff or from pupils .
Pupils who made no choice would automatically be directed to a Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) class for their hour (we're calling it the 25th Spell. Catchy.
Staff who made no effort to present an option to the pupils would be supervising the SSR classes.
Wonderful. The apathetic and clueless being supervised by the apathetic and cynical.
We were told that we could give our ideas to the Principal for his approval before it was offered to the pupils and so fat the list consists of:
- Robot Club (Approved)
- Chess Club (Approved)
- Magazine Club (Initial approval then rejection when he discovered the magazines started with FHM and then went completely tasteless)
- Gun Club (Rejected)
- Games Club (Provisionally Approved on the understanding that poker/chips/cash would not be part of the plan)
- Film Club (Approved. G and PG films ONLY. We don't want to go through another lengthy battle with irate parents, the Ministry and the courts again. I mean what on Earth was that teacher thinking? I wouldn't have wanted to watch that bloody film, and where did he get it? Sodomy, bestiality and mass murder is an unusual genre to say the least. I still say that we were really lucky it didn't hit the national press and that the teacher concerned didn't lose his registration.)
- Geometry and Calculus Club (Approved) It may be approved but how many kids do you think are going to choose it?
- Computer Club (Approved) My own little contribution.. Mind you the pupils are going to be very disappointed if they think they're going to be playing computer games or just surfing the net. All the computers will be isolated from the Internet, and just to be safe, they will also be switched off. The kids can clean the keyboards and polish the cases and the screens for the hour. Builds character and keeps my room nice and tidy.
- Science Club (Initially approved then rejected when he discovered that the teacher offering to run it was a known weed-head and had oft been suspected of partaking during school hours. The Principal wasn't going to be caught out again like the last great cover-up of the Great Methamphetamine Experiment and Explosion)
I have another list of possibles which I will be offering for sale to desparate teachers who can't think of soemthing for themselves and dread the prospect of another bloody year of SSR
- Snooze Club (Get some relaxation)
- Relaxation Club (If the first one doesn't get through)
- Meditation Club (Third time lucky)
- Storytelling Club (The kids sit and listen to an audio book while the teacher has a well earned nap)
- Bullying Club V(Where the poor kids who are being bullied in school can come for peace and security)
- Bullying Club B (Where the kids who are doing all the bullying get together to compare techniques and suitable victims names)
Well I must be off to NLHS, timetabling, reports and relief call.
P.S. If any kind reader wishes to give any of their own ideas for a suitable 25th Spell, please feel free to drop me a comment.