Monday, 28 February 2011

February can be fun!

Back to school and it's daylight going in and coming out again! I feel less like a miner!

I had a slow start to the week which gave me chance to recover from a week off with the kids! The house also had to recover. The carpet had to breathe without biscuit crumbs and the beds without sweat. What is it about a teenage boy's room after a week off? How can a room smell that bad? Is it the amount of time that body is in the bed for? Up to 20 hours a day, weather permitting.

The other smell has resurfaced since then. Wet dog! I do not have any pets, I might add. This is footballer induced wet dog. Half the field comes into the porch and down the plughole in the bath!

Thank God they are back in school and I am out there again on supply! Last week I was in a leafy suburb in Cheshire, a bit of a contrast to the previous week! An entirely different mindset is required. These children are not grateful for a smile, chuffed to bits with a bit of praise. These children are spoiled and hard to impress.They have had a week of skiing or Tenerife. The odd one slummed it in Paris! I resorted to tales of my year in France! Still unimpressed! I tried to make them laugh about my dad being James Bond. ( He actually is James Bond, as was my grandad). Not a flicker! As there was no work set I decided to launch into my vaudeville act and we finally got somewhere. "Talent Show planned for the end of the day if you work hard!" (This was a ploy on my part because it involves no marking!)

They were talentless but that is never an issue! Look at Britain's Got Talent and X Factor. I was the impartial judge. How come the Irish dancer won then, you may ask?

2 days in Y5 and I'm laughing! They loosened up and we had a better second day. I discovered their inability to draw and correctly label graphs. They can do it now! Success criteria achieved. Learning Objective achieved. Books full of marked work. Home to the zoo!

Friday, 11 February 2011

On The Road

Hey! My friend Helen suggested I do a blog and here goes nothing!

I am a daily supply teacher in primary in the north west and I have been at it since September. (October really as September is dead.) I have really enjoyed it so far and I have met some real characters on the way!

My main sources of entertainment come from schools in South Liverpool. Like Gervaise Phinn, the author and  school inspector, I am telling tales outside the classroom but keeping it all non-specific for safe-guarding purposes. All names are changed and schools remain a secret to me only!

Being a Man U fan always stirs up a bit of controversy day one! I always like to wake them up with that one! Prayers can be really important or totally banned. It really depends on the school. I always have a whistle and some trainers in case it's P.E. Woe betide a supply teacher who deprives the class of P.E. on their designated day!

Then we enter into the work set by the teacher which can be none existent! I like it like that because I get my creative juices flowing! I always do some drama and French. They are from my degree over 20 years ago! Then I try a little practical maths! I like area and perimeter and do my carpet tiles lesson with paper towels!We use the paper towel as a template for a carpet tile and double it.  We cover the tables with paper towels and then work out how many carpet tiles we would need to re-carpet the classroom. If it is a nice day we work our how much astro turf we would need to do the field! That could take us a couple of hours! In one school in Huyton I did this in class. The children were gutted when I did not return after lunch with the said new carpet tiles in the chosen colour! (It reminds me of a supply teacher we had at Cuthies 30 years ago. He used to teach us how to work out a bet for the Grand National. I was well-versed in accumulators and yankies by the time I was 14!)

Last week I was a little further towards Speke. I did two days with no work set. I did drama and we needed a dead elephant for the story. One boy we will call Wayne (not his real name) wore a grey hoodie whether you liked it or not. He was a real scally and drama was not cool! He was only 9 years old and already tough as old boots! I decided we needed a bit of peace so I cast him as the dead elephant. He promptly slept in the corner for 20 minutes!

Yesterday I was on a split day in 2 year 6 classes in the Speke area. Year 6 is top juniors and they are 10 and 11 years old. I was on yard duty and I was chatting with a little boy about football. Then out of the sky came a heavy full size basketball which whacked me on the back of my head. I was seeing stars for a bit and the little boy took me in for First Aid. I had a drink of water and carried on with my day. I suppose I was lucky not to have been hit by a low flying plane as we were on the runway to John Lennon Airport!

Coming home to my tea cooked by my grown-up son was just what the doctor ordered. I was even too tired to open a bottle of wine! I just fell into the bath and bed and slept until the clock went off at 6.50 a.m. I am off today as it's the last day before the break. If a teacher is sick on the last day they just stick 2 classes together and watch DVD's. (P.G.'s and U's only of course!) I remember watching Big Daddy on the T.V. one evening and thinking it was a P.G. only to discover that when I took the D.V.D. into my year 5 class it had swearing in it! I was reprimanded for it but seeing as all the kids had it at home anyway I got away with a slight telling off. I realise now that the T.V. version was cut down for family viewing. This is a mistake I will not make again! Sometime we watch clips form films for literacy but not the whole thing! I remember watching clips from Gladiator and Pirates of the Caribbean.

When I go to schools in Warrington I always let the kids know I am from St. Helens. That usually causes a little discussion on Rugby League. Hopefully we will win our first home match against The Wire at our temporary residence in Widnes. I am familiar with Widnes having taught there in secondary for 11 years. Teaching languages is a real challenge as Runcorn is a foreign country to some of them!

I am amazed by the cultural and language differences between us all in this part of the world.I haven't even mentioned Wigan where I started my teaching career! I once said to a child about "siding the table" after a meal. If you recognise this term let me know!!! I know it and I thought it was a common enough expression but obviously not in Wigan!

Time to get some housework done!

I enjoyed writing this post. I hope I get chance to do it again after my break from school!