Friday, 11 September 2009

B and H

So a new school year has started. I've been back for just under two weeks now but it feels like a month.

It's been incredibly intense. I was promoted at the tail end of last year so I have extra duties and other teachers to look after and I am no longer cushioned as an NQT so my week is rammed full of lessons with not many breaks. My evenings are consequently rammed full of admin and planning. Late to bed early to rise and that includes this morning... which is a Saturday.

I'm not up early today to work but I simply couldn't sleep any later than 6am. Really annoying.

I'm pretty pleased with my classroom performance so far though I have to admit. I feel very confident standing up there now and apart from one year nine class who are clearly trying to break some sort of world record for annoyance (paging Norris Mcwhirter), my classes are well behaved and doing what I want them to.

I've got over my initial lack of confidence with discipline. Last year I struggled to set a firm baseline of what was allowed in my classroom. Mostly because I didn't really give a toss if students were eating gum in my lesson or other low level stuff. However you eventually realise that these things all add up in the students mind to a situation where they just take the piss. Give an inch and so on.

This year I have found that with a fresh start, new classrooms, new students or at least combinations of students, I don't let them away with much. I have finally felt in control of my space and what happens in it. Innit.

I'm going to need to come up with some tactics for that year nine class though. Yesterday I allowed the kids I felt had behaved ok in the class to leave at the end and kept the rest of those ruler tapping, pencil snapping, gesture making, gum chewing, juice swigging, noise making little bastards there for a pep talk.

I had fifteen left.

You simply can't teach in a classroom where more than half of the students are hell bent on making noise. The problem is where do you send them? How do you move people around if the place they are going to sit is potentially even worse!?!

The new term has brought with it great amusement for me which had all but dried up by the end of last year. My food class are a lovely bunch. Some genuinely smart, interesting, funny and polite young people. You know the type you read about in the papers all the time.

My opening task for them to do was to name 40 pieces of kitchen equipment. I thought they might struggle but they breezed it. Some getting 60 or 70.

However reading through the answers some had gone slightly astray. One lad had written "pestling water" on his list beside the usual knife and fork and lemon squeezer.

"Whats this one James?" I asked him.

"Oh sir, it's that fingy that you use to like... grind herbs and stuff"

"A Pestle and Mortar?"

"Oh! Yeh! yeh that's it!"


His friend had also written down "Distractor fan" which I took great pleasure in extracting the mick about.

Here is an extract (ahem) from one of the girls lists. She is a salt of the earth, east London through and through type.

Rolling pin
pack of fags
draining spoon
baking tray
wooden spoon"

When challenged about the necessity for the pack of fags she was absolutely adamant that they were essential to the running of a successful kitchen. I'm not so sure how good they would be at stirring a pot of soup or dicing some veg mind...


the svelte one said...

Lovely to have you back!

Amerella said...

'pack of fags' made me do a lol :D