The Blackboard Jungle

days spent beating back the seeds of doubt

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I smiled so much my face hurt. You’d think that it’d just be primary nativities that would get you all emotional but this was just great. It was so nice to see the kids in a different light – not that the really truly awful ones were there anyway, but it was great to see the child that doesn’t really excel in your class standing up on stage doing a beautiful solo performance was wonderful, or the girl who can barely add and spends the whole class fidgeting and interrupting and disrupting patiently counting the beats until her turn in the orchestra. The odd boy in Y10 who proudly showed me his shaven legs and announced how he was dressing in his (girl) mates clothes to go clubbing Monday…he sang angelically (and manfully…).

I was the kid that was rubbish at music at school – rubbish at music and PE - so didn’t get this chance to perform and have a crowded hall all stand and cheer – but then again, I didn’t have the daily grind of being mediocre at academic subjects.

At the beginning the head master asked the parents and teachers to get their waving over with at the start and I waved at my Y7 kids and they waved back – they know me!!! They don’t hate me, it feels like a miracle.

I was looking up at a stage full of children and thinking how much I would love to stay with the school and see the little Y7’s grow up and develop and be with them during that.

The rest of school this week has been ordinary, nothing bad, nothing good – the usual people failing to turn up to detention, calls to parents, marking books at the end of term (boy!, do you feel grubby after you’ve handled a class full of books!) – but you know what, I LIKE getting up in the morning and doing this job!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Last week was been all highs and lows.

The week started with a mother who accused me of “grabbing” the arm of her year seven daughter and of “picking on her”; the staff all told me not to worry, that the family have history, but of course one does. Whilst I could see the source of the “picking on” accusation – she is a persistently disruptive, disobedient back-chatty little girl – I was very afraid of the arm grabbing accusation and could see no basis for such. Witness statements were taken and despite the reassurances of my colleagues I was very afraid that my barely born career was about to end on the false accusations of a naughty child. Anyway, the mother came in and chats were had with the head and the whole thing is now blown over. I still have to deal with the daily contact with said child and the inability to remonstrate with her poor behaviour for fear of parental accusations.

In the middle of the week we had the first of our formal assessments of our lessons and progress from college – an ordinary lesson which becomes in your mind the make or break of a yet barely born career. I’d only met the class twice so was rather nervous – but of course it went fine – the kids were attentive and chatty and I had chance to show planning, improvisation and a developing relationship.

My year 10 classes are getting wearing – they are all large and lively. Individually good kids but on mass hard to handle. I’d love to be that approachable respected teacher but am having to err on the side of disciplinarian

We’ve a week and a bit to go until Christmas. End of term tests for all years and GCSE mocks for Y11 to mark. Then another school – it’s taken this long to get confident and aware in this school – I so don’t want to go somewhere else!