Thursday, 26 April 2012


I'm having a terrible time with my year 10 class this year. Not sure how much of this I have mentioned so far in this blog but there is a critical mass of what I refer to as "arseholes" in the group.

It doesn't take many of these "aresholes" to tip the balance from a manageable and pleasant atmosphere to a decidedly unpleasant one. If I could wave a wand and remove four or five of them then I think it would be ok. The dynamic would change. But as it is I try something to improve the situation then I have another bad lesson or two. I try another technique and push hard to change things yet again and have it spat back in my face. It does feel like that too. Rudeness, aggression and minimal effort is the norm.

I think however that the complete lack of humour in the lessons is the hardest to take. I don't mind if they aren't all that smart (and lord know's they aren't) or even if they can't be arsed (they are teenagers at the end of the day) but the fact that each lesson is devoid of even the slightest amusement. They are all out to fuck each other (and me) over at any given opportunity.

Anyway today's incident doesn't really concern one of the five main aresholes but it does give a general feel of the kind of day to day, smash my head onto a desk in despair vibe of the class.

The class are doing some research into furniture designers. The key point of the lesson is to analyse famous designer's furniture then try to take inspiration from it and make some sketches of ideas they could incorporate into their own designs.

You join us oh I dunno...half an hour into an hour lesson?

I have explained the task at least five times so far and I'm circling the room repeating myself at each table as successive waves of them decide to finally engage with what the lesson is actually about and decide that they need a pencil or they haven't got the worksheet or sir I don't get this.

I repeat this is half way through the lesson.

Their worksheet has different boxed areas to try and make things simpler for them.

And so to the reason I have logged into this blog this evening...

I'm standing by a table of four boys.

Student: "Sir what are you meant to write in this box?

Me: " Well you need to analyse the designers work and try to decide what the key elements of their style are....."

As I have started to talk the student has stopped listening to me and turned to have a conversation with his friend beside him. He is simultaneously taking a Pritt Stick (which I just handed out) and is crushing it in an engineers vice attached to the workbench.

I catch the eye of the student who the boy has turned to talk to who gives me a weak smile (as if slightly embarrassed by his mate).

"Unbelievable" I say to the boy.

Student (snapping out of his conversation): "What sir?"

Me: "Did you even realise that you did that there?"

Student: "Did what sir?"

Me: "You asked me a question and as I started to answer you turned away and started a different conversation. "

Student: "I didn't even realise I did that sir. What did I ask you?"

Me: "You asked me what you had to write in that box."

Student: "Which box?"

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