Saturday, 21 January 2012


Striking while the iron is hot is the name of the game. Ride that wave. Go for the burn. Push the envelope. Write two blog posts in a year.

My year seven classes have been weird in my new school. My previous experience of this age group (new to secondary, age 11 or 12) has been of either really cute, easy to manage and highly enjoyable classes where you get to try and teach in the completely correct textbook way or on the flipside completely needy, childish groups of annoyance.

My new groups this year are really small with around 14-16 kids in each one. This is amazing as a teacher. A real luxury and one where you can concentrate on kids who need extra help. The thing that is weird is that they all seem to be really inappropriately sexualised. They are right filthy minded little buggers.

My demonstrations on using Coping saws or files or any other woodwork tools suddenly has become, in their eyes laced with innuendo. It's pretty shocking to be honest. I will be sawing a piece of wood with a Tenon saw and no word of a lie they will start to make sexual noises to each movement of the saw.

It really puts me off my stroke.

I'm not sure if this is an issue that is so much worse in modern times and whether or not they are exposed to pornography on the internet rather than finding a jazz mag in a bush as it was when I were a lad. Or whether or not my peers were like that when I was 12. I am keen however to avoid notions that the world is going to hell in a handbasket or handcart or any kind of hand held device. Stuff moves on, things change, humans cope and adapt, we always think things were better when we were young and each generation will do the same.... repeat to fade.

It doesn't change the fact that it's inappropriate for the technology classroom and I am at pains to remind my students of this.

Now I am going to relate an anecdote but first you must watch a video and perhaps read some lyrics. It's by LMFAO and it's called "I'm sexy and I know it". It's been all over the radio for a good while in case you don't keep up with such things.

Anyway I have one boy who I will call Alfie. He is very small even for a year seven and he's a really nice little lad but he can't really control his actions very well. He is ADHD and prone to shouting out or getting in a massive strop and having to take a time out to calm himself down. He's got lots of support in the school and is taken care of but it's pretty disruptive in the class a lot of the time.

Just before Christmas I was teaching his class and they were making mobile phone holders from pine. Towards the end of a practical project it can be pretty hectic if people are at different stages. Hard to manage as a teacher. So this day some students were using the bandfacer, some were using handsaws, some were using sandpaper, some were painting, everyone was moving around the room and I was moving around helping people. If you can imagine helping someone cut a piece of wood and explaining the technique while 14 kids all crowd round you saying  "sir sir sir sir sir sir sir sir sir sir sir" and some are tugging at your coat then you begin to get the picture. You need a hatful of patience to deal with it. A big hat.

You have to tune some of it out too or your head would explode. You keep telling the kids that they shouldn't be rude and wait for their turn and that pulling your coat just isn't cool but they still do it to a certain extent. They are excited and want to do their work. That's brilliant as far as I'm concerned.

So I'm helping Amir fixing his piece of pine into a vice and showing him how to file it and I start to become aware through the melee of a constant and loud and insistent shouting out:


I look up and it's Alfie.

Alfie there are lots of people in front of you looking for help and can't you see that right now I'm helping Amir. Wait your turn.


So I start to think that maybe it's something more serious and I stop what I'm doing and go over. What is it Alfie?

Alfie get's this massive cheeky grin on his face and with everyone watching starts thrusting his hips wildly, while swinging his arms backwards and forwards and making what i can only describe as a sex face shouts out:



Beleaguered Squirrel said...

Gah, bloody Blogger just ate my comment. Not sure I can be arsed to type the whole thing out again.


1. I love your blog.

2. You write really well about teaching.

3. You're obviously a really good teacher.

4. The original LMFAO vid is v funny and cool.

5. There's a great Sesame St parody.

6. Great post. And funny. Although also sad.

7. I had a similar Y7 class: 17 kids, several with ADHD, several highly sexualised and clearly v fucked up. Memorable moment: Worst offender, standing up, making sure had the full class's attention, then fondling himself blatantly and visibly, whilst making v lewd comments.

Kotdb said...

Thanks so much Squirrel. Lovely comments. Much appreciated.

I hate when long comments get swallowed.

LOL at that Elmo vid. V good.

I'm glad its not just my classes being inappropriate then!