Sunday, 17 February 2013

Pob Gove

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Pieces of flair

The blue coat the I use for practical lessons has had an overhaul. It's been pimped. It now includes pieces of flair. If you've ever seen the film  Office Space you'll know what I'm on about. If you haven't then you really should.

Anyway the textiles teachers were given a massive bucket full of buttons and we were looking through them and having a laugh about customising my jacket with them.

My bluff was called and I now have to walk around school looking like a cross between a clown and a rag and bone man.

Silicon Valley *Update*

Regular readers may remember one of the set homework questions that the students get in year eight. It's about silicon valley and its links to electronics.

I inherited this homework booklet and at first wasn't that bothered about it. As time has gone on though it's become a remarkable indicator of just how awful students are at sifting through information on the internet and using it to answer some simple questions.

Look back in this blog for some other glorious answers here and here.. I thought I had seen it all but they still manage to surprise me with their brilliant/appalling attempts.

Q: "Why is it called Silicon Valley?"

A: "Because it really is a very silly valley"


The kids love making things. They don't much like designing things. They HATE writing things. It's all about the making. Everything else is LONG.

In the DT department the kids swap between textiles, food, graphics and resistant materials (my specialism) every term. The kids move the teachers stay where they are. So the start of every rotation is hard work for everyone. Lots of writing and designing, no making and a hell of a lot of moaning.

From the first few lessons it's "sir are we doing practical today?" "Sir are we making things today?" ad nauseum.

I've got eleven key stage three classes a week so multiply that by twenty students and you can imagine the amount of times I get asked in the first four or so weeks of a rotation and then that every term.

So sometimes I answer correctly with explanation, sometimes I get a bit short, sometimes I get a bit cheeky or sometimes I get plain rude. Depends how my day/week is going. 

If they come into my room during the five mins I have at lunchtime to cram some food down my neck and ask me, then they ALWAYS get plain rude.

A simple "No" is one of my favourites.

Often they ask "Sir are we doing work today?" To this I always reply "Yes we ARE doing work today and we have been for the last two weeks."

That really annoys them.

My colleague (a Graphics teacher) gets the same thing but substitute 'making things' for 'going on the computers'. He writes on his whiteboard in big letters:

"Sir are we going on the computers today?"
"No we are not going on the computers today"

He then had to write a number of variations on the original question as they change the question.

I wonder what happens in maths?

Last week I got a new variation on the theme by a year seven class.

"Sir are we touching wood today?"

At first I thought they were on the wind up but no. They genuinely wanted to know if they could 'touch wood' that lesson.

I could watch it all day...


Actual excuse made by a year eight student:

"Sir my brother eat my homework"

Thursday, 31 January 2013

6:30 am

Start of the working day sharpening pencils DT style.


So since I started teaching some five years ago the language in the classroom has changed a great deal. Phrases come and go and some remain.

Currently the phrases I hear a lot are:

"Don' lie!"

"You are dumb!"

"Ya done know"

Words that are new:

"Jarrin"  Like jarring. "Oh your sister is in my form class. Do you get on with her?" "No way she's jarrin'"

"Peak"  This one confused me a bit at first. Peak can mean bad. Or it can mean really good. I guess it just means it's like the peak of excitement/nightmare/pain in the arse. Generally said in a very drawn out way.  "Did you see that fight last night?" "Yeh it was Peeeeeeeeak bruv"

"Wavy"  A good thing.

"Calm"  A good thing

"Bleedin" Not such a good thing. I think. It may also be a good thing.

"Zoot" A joint.

Words that remain



Loads of the kids are into saying YOLO (as in You Only Live Once). Now to me it's the lamest slang term of them all. It's jarrin'.


Today my year 8's cracked me up. Their lesson was about creating a moodboard for their night light project. The theme is space and they have to explore images and words to do with space lay them out in an attractive and eye catching way then present them to the class.

As an aside to this story one student had consumed an energy drink at lunchtime and was super hyper to the point where he was pretending to be a squirrel in class. He did this for the whole lesson. He genuinely looked like he was on drugs. It might seem a little unprofessional but it was really quite hilarious. I was struggling to keep a lid on my laughter.

So the presentation came round and this one lad who really makes me laugh took his turn. He truly is an individual. I wish you could all experience the joy of hearing him go off on one. It's hard to capture the full joy of his presentation.

He showed the class his moodboard and I asked him to tell the class about his work.

In big bubble letters he had written "YOLO ET" and below it he had a drawing of E.T. (coloured in blue). Behind ET was a red rocket blasting into space. He does his presentation with full body swagger and totally plays to the crowd:

"So liiike this is YOLO E.T. yeh. This is da rocket that's taking the man dem in space to see YOLO E.T innit. When they see E.T. he says "YOLO" (does E.T. voice).

Monday, 28 January 2013

Student request

"Sir where dem back ting what mek im stand now?"


My class was covered for a lesson and when I returned I found that a student had made this and left it in on the table. I love it's clean, elegant lines and finesse. Classic mobile game "Snake" comes pre-installed.

In showing some friends this picture I found out about the  Cargo Cult Which is fascinating and tickles my grey matter. This phone would fit right in with them.


'I didn't ask to be born. There was an opening and I just felled out'. Year 10 student insight on life.


A Key stage 4 3D Design class are around the whiteboard watching a presentation on famous designers. They are a good class and pretty on the ball generally.

A picture of James Dyson is on the screen.

"So who is this designer?"

Class have no idea.

"Ok he designed a number of famous household products and he's from the UK"

Still no idea.

"He designed a type of Vacuum cleaner"



"Sir, is it Henry?"

Overheard in the playground...

"I'm like the black Eminem"

Friday, 18 January 2013

Back for 2013

In addition to not drinking alcohol for the month of January I have resolved to post more stuff in this blog. I have a few tit bits and amusing anecdotes collected from the past few months. I have collected them by making little scribbled notes in my planner and as I scan over them now I can't really remember what some of them were about. Which is not massively helpful.

School tales are like dreams. At the time the moments are so vivid and intense you feel you could never forget them but they come thick and fast and if they aren't recorded on here they start to slip from between my fingers and fade away. A single word in a planner now means next to nothing where at the time I could never imagine forgetting it.

All the more reason to get writing.

So I will.