The Blackboard Jungle

days spent beating back the seeds of doubt

Thursday, June 09, 2005

I thought I would write about Jason at thirteen, hitting the peer group wall of puberty with a smack so hard you can almost see his teeth rattle.

I thought I would write about the jadedness of the colleague who sees only the barbed wire barriers she wants to see (and on the morning after I've slept four hours after a family party) comments - mistakenly - that since I've resigned I look "ten years younger."

I thought I would write about touring all the sixteen year old's english classes, noting a binary division between teachers who focus placidly on the work, the children, the task at hand; versus those who suck all the limelight out of the ether, who - by dint of larger-than-life grandstanding - force their students into dependency upon teacher.
And how I shamefacedly recognised my own teaching style in the latter group. Too late.

I thought I would write about the stubborn, dogged loyalty of thirteen year old Rebecca staunchly defending my mistakes to Blair, based only on the fact that sometime last year she dubbed me her favourite teacher, despite thirty two weeks of nitpicking and railing against her mistakes ever since.

I thought I would write about the difficulties our eleven year olds, products of the english 'literacy hour', had with tasks that demand anything of their imagination.
"How will I know what my character's name is, though?"
"Sweetheart, you have to make it up."
However one of the children has donated to me a dreadful throat infection, so you must just flesh all those tales out in your own minds, own hearts, own classrooms.

Welcome to The Blackboard Jungle: where one needs no comment box to be truly interactive.
Back when I've recovered.