The Blackboard Jungle

days spent beating back the seeds of doubt

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Monday was a bank holiday, here, with no school. It also rained for six hours solid, hard, cold, fast and grey. Thanks to global warming, the April showers come a little late this year.

I dread to think what temerity would have been needed to teach a day under such conditions. Wet bags, dripping coats, teachers radiating steam and frazzled nerves from covering break duties inside one large hall where 1700 adolescents who need to exercise their jumpy beans have been corralled.

Tomorrow the SAT exams start. While the gardens need the rain to mitigate a fine, too warm spring, and August will see us grateful for the growth, what of the kids who've spent all day harried into darkened corridors, denied even the limits of the main hall during a wet break? Where can they direct the natural energy that rips books, shreds pens, throws dictionaries, pulls hair, and tips ink over another kid's white shirt? Where does that downpour find it's outlet? Bouncing off the walls of my lesson, I suspect.

Are teachers the only grown adults who find themselves praying to an outdated rain god?