what a week.
actually it went a lot better than i expected. i did come back on friday feeling a little disconnected from the school but i’ll get into that later.
by wednesday i had sorted out most things and we’d had a staff lunch at pizza express in which i dominated. having worked there i was able to recommend wine and order the fiorentina “with a soft boiled egg”. one of the new staff found a hair in her food and when the bill came her pizza was still on it, so i wowed (well, made them take note at least) as i called over the manager and swiftly had it removed. but this created a problem because we had all put in £10 for lunch and the bill was just over £90 – i was happy that a satisfactory tip was going to be left. when the adjustment was made, it came to just under £90. someone removed a tenner then announced it would go toward the xmas kitty. this actually annoyed me a bit because the service was fine (a firm 10% after the hair at least) and we ended up leaving just over £3. i had no extra cash and didn’t want to make a scene but i remember the feeling of “bastards” after a large party left no tip (there were 10 of us).
we all went back after lunch (i just did it because everyone else seemed to be) and hung around for a while thinking of things to do.
thursday morning rolled around and it took a while to get out of bed at 6am but i made it to school by about 7:20 and started sorting out the day. at 8:40 the kids came in and we spent a nice morning plotting where they had been on holiday in google earth (i nailed it) – although one girl had only been to her friends house down the street.
by the afternoon they were pretty tired and it was easy to get them to do stuff. i laid down some rules, gave some looks, put down some bad behaviour and tried to smile and make jokes as often as i could. we all had a good first day and i still had some energy left, although my throat was a bit sore from trying to get their attention (my own fault, should have gotten an instrument like most other people use).
friday was a bit different. we spent a lot of time doing maths and after a warning i had given on thursday about letting some things slide because it was their first day back, i had to come down hard to show i would if they were naughty etc. it’s all about routine and doing what you say you will – good or bad. if you say you’ll do x and then don’t, they learn to do it again without fear of punishment.
so i made a girl cry and through the tears she said something like “but….my….mum….will…smack….me”. i told her to get a tissue because i couldn’t hear her and made her repeat it. she explained that her mum would smack her if she got into trouble at school. later that day i was telling her mum how bad she’d been when- i didn’t really. i did make her cry and told her to get a tissue (it’s a good tactic, gives them a chance to settle down) but didn’t tell her mum. i told her to be good for the rest of the day and i wouldn’t.
it all started when we were told we were having the first whole school assembly of term. i was expecting this and knew we’d all be introduced to the school etc. before we went in, i explained to them very clearly that if any of them were disruptive or i had to come over to them, we’d all be staying at lunchtime to discuss the best way to behave in assemblies. it went like this – i pointed out a naughty kid to another teacher and in the back of my mind thought “ha! at least mine are alright”. i then noticed that early on two of the quiet girls in my class were whispering to each other and i was across the hall with no way to stop them without disrupting the whole assembly. at one point the head teacher had to stop, made a point of saying their names and asked if they “had finished”. my heart dropped. no other fucking kid in the whole school had been mentioned, yet two of mine – and girls too (those two are shy and aren’t any trouble) were made the centre of attention. the worst thing is i probably could have stopped it with a look. i was smiling so much because of the novelty of my first assembly that on the ocassions that they did look in my direction instead of giving them a hard stare and a head shake, i was beaming like a fuckwit. one saving grace was that a child near my feet was fidgeting a lot and after probably too much time, i leant over and said in a commanding voice “sit. still.” bingo.
when we got back to class i shut the door and proceeded to bollock them in front of everyone, made a point of saying how embarrassed i was and kept them in at break time. while doing this i was praising the other children for being so good and gave them all smiles and told them to enjoy the sunshine. the head teacher came in, i made them apologise to him. i made them apologise to me. it was at this point i said i was going to talk to parents and the crying began. when the class came back from lunch, i made them apologise to the whole class.
it’s all in the game yo.
on a worryinger note, i gave the class times table tests and another mental maths test. jesus christ there are some idiots in my class. one of the questions, how many months in a year, only half of them got it right. the rest of the answers ranged from 4 months to 15. a few left it blank. about 5 children can’t do their 2x table. most are just getting onto 5’s and the best two are on their 8x.
there is some real ability in my class, but also some real stupidity. i’m looking forward to making the stupid ones better.
back to friday afternoon. i got a weird vibe from the other y4 teacher and i’m not sure what it was. i think it’s because i’ve been quite relaxed on the first couple of days in terms of paperwork but i did notice i was one of the only ones who hadn’t made a display in the first two days. i felt like i interrupted a conversation about me between the other teacher and the deputy but now i’m not so sure. when i got back i made an effort to do some work and get ahead and i’ll carry that on tomorrow.
today was about sleeping and shooting nazis in the throat in wolfenstein.
while i still can.