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)

Thursday, 8 December 2011


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?"

Well done.

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.
Babe Club?


  1. You ain't right, but I like your spirit. Richard from My Old Historic House.

  2. Comedy club- you're a natural!

  3. Richard Cottrel: Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. I like my spirit too, preferably Scotch. I beg to differ about being "ain't right" If you mean Politically Incorrect, yep, and proud of it.

    Austan: Nice to hear from you again.
    Comedy? What comedy?
    You should sign up for one of my computer classes, and then you would see comedy as 1 ageing teacher tries to juggle 28½ hyperactive teenagers (I know it's unusual to have ½ a kid, but we don't talk about William very much)

  4. Your Principal is not very original. We had this TT situation at the big HS over the hill I worked at prior to NLHS. We called it the "25th Hour". Sounds dooming. Anyway I seem to recall as a Y11 Form Teacher I had my students for this and we did for one term a special course with Plunket called "Tots and Toddlers" where they earned credits and got to learn about the responibilities of raising babies and toddlers. They had to even bath live babies for one assessment. It was good and I think intended to put them off having their own babies too soon. Other sessions I had to do career planning and go over study techniques. ALl good stuff. No bloody clubs! At the main school I have worked at this year we just call it "Study Period". The supervising teacher can do what they wish, and the students within legal limits. I never saw any study gong on though. Most played poker, listened to their Ipods (with earphones in), read or just chatted. The art students went over to the art studio to catchup on their practical. Mostly it was a waste of time for students, but good for teachers to catch up on paper work and marking.

  5. SSR sounds like a punishment, and I like to read! What about a cooking class? It's ridiculous how many people reach adulthood with no idea how to cook.

  6. Car club - where pupils learn to properly clean cars supplied by teaching staff.

    Golf club - where pupils learn the art of caddying.

    Art club - where pupils learn appreciation of the human form; live instead of from magazines and internet.

    drama club - where pupils learn the performing art by pretending to be quiet and well behaved for an hour.

    Problem solving - where pupils learn problem solving through practical application by creating next years timetable - assessment by Ringo.

    PC club - where pupils learn to be politically correct

    Debate club - where pupils debate topics like 'God - benevolent creator or imaginary friend?'

  7. Go (Baduk) is probably the hardest game in the world to play well and is an excellent developer of spatial reasoning and strategy. Thus I would form a Go Club. Additionally a debating society is probably useful as rhetorical skills are sometimes very useful in people's later career.

    One thing that my secondary school had which I liked a was mock trial team, in which we prepared trials from different sides which I thought was fun at the time.

  8. VG: We actually had a 25 hour at NLHS when I first arrived 8 years ago, but it was used for "Modules" which were complete crap. I hope we're allowed to try different, more entertaining options this time.

    Patience_Crabstick: I agree that SSR does sound like some horrible punishment, and some of my colleagues certainly found it so, but I quite enjoyed it. The SSR lasted for 40 minutes, and for the kids who liked reading it was bliss. Sitting in a nice warm room, no distractions, no noise (apart from the occasional looney running about outside and banging on doors). For those kids that really didn't like reading books, I brought in piles of magazines and old reader's digests, and I used bribery. A lolly each at the start, and another at the end IF they were on time and IF they kept quiet. Whatever works.

    Alistair: I think you may have a rather more optimistic view of NLHS than I do.

    Car Club: Where the pupils learn how to strip acar down to its saleable parts in under 8 minutes.

    Golf Club: Same as above, but specialising in Volkswagons.

    Art Club: They do that already on the Auditorium stairs

    Drama Club: Good idea. Doomed to failure.

    Mind you your ideas do have some merit, I'd give it A for effort, B- for practicality. Have you ever thought about becoming a teacher?

    Laoch of Chicago: I've played GO (badly) and I understand how difficult it is, but I'm not sure anyone on the staff knows enough about the game to help the kids develop their strategic sense.

    Good idea about the debating society, I'll mention it to my colleagues in the English department.

    I don't think we'll need the mock tril, quite a few of our kids have been in court as either witnesses, victims or defendants, and probably know more about the legal system than do we. They certainly insist on "My Rights" at every damned opportunity.

  9. Suppose 1 hr a week doesn't give much time to achieve anything much

    What about something like Theatre Sports, Zumba or Yoga or Dancing, Indoor Netball, Indoor Cricket, or even Knitting or Scrapbooking?

    Something that is a bit of fun and can improve health, confidence and fitness and well being.

    Half the problem is that today's kids have too many choices and either can't decide, or if they do decide, can't stick at anything for long.


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