The Blackboard Jungle

days spent beating back the seeds of doubt

Friday, October 14, 2005

Wow! I managed to tell a child off today! I did have to go and hide in the staff room afterwards though to recover and will not be able to carry out the promise to inform the form tutor of the miscreants flaws - what with being blank minded from power shock!

The week started with a flood of red jerseys - so many little people and so many who are actually bigger than me - and all of them know where they are going, where their form room is and what they are doing next period - and I don't!!

We have observed a range of ages and abilities across a variety of subjects and for the most part have been privileged to see some truely inspiring teaching. The ability of some teachers to control a class by creating interesting and engaging lessons has been awe inspiring. An outsider (oh yeah, that's me!) would be left with the impression that these are angelic, well fed children from good, caring and resourceful families - their behaviour being so entirely govered by the skills of their teachers. The reality is that the catchment is extremely varied and includes some areas of quite abject deprivation. I have ongoing and enormous self doubt that i will ever be as good at classroom management as these people. I suspect that it is in large part an act - giving the impression of self belief that you ARE the boss, that they WILL be quiet.

High points - one to one with a child who tells you he "can't DO them" and working with him to show him that sure he can. And him believing it.

Not spending as much time with each child as one does in primary means that it has been hard in just a week to form strong attachments to any individual child. Also, they seem to have more of a pack mentality than they do in primary - there are good ones and attentive ones and sullen ones but they seem to be more interested in each other and less interested in the teacher than they were as baby kids in juniors.

Anyway, next week my first lesson.