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!



  1. Hello, welcome to blogging world! So pleased I got a mention. Looking forward to future updates. Hx

  2. We side the table in our house, as well, Jane.