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Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Teaching Kids

I've been teaching now for over 14 years, and still enjoy it immensly.

I met my new classes last week, and we are in the "developing a relationship"stage which is curiously nerve-wracking to all parties concerned.

I still get "butterflies in my stomach" the first time I meet a new class, and I suppose most of my colleagues feel similar; there's an atmosphere of restrained excitement/apprehension in the staffroom on the first few days.

My generation

Getting to know the pupils is an essential component of teaching in the 21st century.  No longer can we rely on the automatic respect and discipline which was evident in schools in the 50s, 60s and 70s.  Today's kids have a completely different attitude to the kids of my generation. We were forced into a mould of semi-military compliance, supposedly to prepare us for life in the military (National Service had just ended) or factories (mostly a job for life), andanyone who expressed an opnion different from the norm was quickly crushed.

Today's kids are lively (sometimes too lively) but can be great fun to teach.

Today's classes (in music and some maths classes, NOT my ICT classes.)

Establishing a firm classroom presence, interlaced with optimism, good-humour (it's magic; I've got a captive audience of 30, and they've got to laugh!)and a planned logical approach can make for a stimulating learning environment, but it's hard work, enjoyable even though the end result may be.

Off to school now, to set the relief for the absent staff. Can you believe it, first real week of school, and I've got relief to arrange for 6 teachers.

What happened to the days of teachers coming in while coughing up blood and leaking mucus nd other bodily fluids from various orrifices?

The current generation are a bunch of wimps.

A gun for wimps

Not a gun (or a lady) for wimps  (I use the word lady advisedly, as her's is bigger than mine) (All three of them)


  1. My Mrs tried to convince me to go into teaching when I was made redundant a couple of years back... of course one minor little problem I don't have a degree so I thought do I go back to uni for 3 years to prove I can learn something only then to find I hate teaching it?

    Not only that I'd probably end up swinging one of the little darlings from a convenient hook on the ceiling - I always fancied applying to replace Snape at Hogworts :-)

  2. I liked *teaching*, I just didn't like the way it bled into your free time. I want a job with a sharp demarcation line between "work" and "home".

    You have an inordinate amount of absences! I'd put the ill ones onto self-emplyed contracts. No show, no pay, unless you can produce a photograph attested by two doctors, of blood coming out of the trademen's entrance.

  3. I thought about going teaching once in the 70s. I didn't know much about it and, oh, here I am!

  4. Furtheron: Funnily enough it was a string of redundancies that made me consider teaching. I suppose I'm lucky, because i really enjoy it, and when I did my course, the government actually paid for the whole thing AND gave me a £3500 grant to keep me going.

    looby:Free time? What f*cking free time?
    You are correct, the line of demarcation is extremely fuzzy. As is the f*cking rule that says you give up your lunch break and tea break to do "duty" supervising our little darlings at their leisure.

    Totally agree about the absences. Actually for one of them, I got a medical certificate stating exactly that. Except the Doc. didn't actually call it the tradesman's entrance.

    Richard:Amazing, isn't it? Have you ever tried clicking the heels of your Ruby Slippers together to see what happens?

  5. In the 70's I actually applied for Teacher's Training College in Christchurch. A girl I fancied had qualified and Richard and Tony had already gone there (Christchurch not the girl!).
    At the interview board when asked what was the major attraction to me for teaching. I said the holidays trying to put a bit of levity into the process. The miserable bastards, unsmiling said that they would let me know. I am still waiting.

  6. I feel that I should bring this to your attention. Apologies if it's old hat:

    What are you doing to the milk in the staffroom fridge to make so many people ill?

  7. TC: Generations of kids are now profoundly greatful for missing the experience of being taught by you. Well done Christchurch Teacher's Training College.

    Shackleford_Hurtmore: Thanks for the link, but yes, I have seen it before. We wanted to use it (or a similar version)on our phone system, but the Principal said no.

  8. Six absences in the first week is a lot. It must have been hard to find replacements.


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