All entries for Thursday 23 June 2005
June 23, 2005
The main event today was helping out in an ICT room with some year tens using spreadheets to analyse their coursework with graphs and such gubbins. I did thiss for two lessons, the second class were what I'd come to expect from the kids at George Eliot; polite, friendly and generally pleasant. Unfortunately the first class were absolute horrors!
There was one kid who upon entering the classroom started jumping up and down. Clearly he was very enthusiastic about his coursework or has ADHD. I think he's in the habit of calling everyone cockers so decided that I should be renamed appropriately. His attempts to get my attention from then on consisted of shouting "cockers" across the room. My response was to ignore him until he called me "sir" or "Mr Walker". That might sound kind of arsey but it's no good the pupils thinking they can call me what they like. And you know what? It worked! He cracked and resorted to calling me sir, okay so he followed it up swiftly with "cockers" but I think that was a point to me.
To be fair to the guy he wasn't aggressive or nasty, he just had too much energy and in his own way was probably trying to be friendly. One of the other kids though was the nasty little sneery kind, you know the sort. He just asked rude (and rather stupid) questions to try and embarrass me ("Do you know what a heterosexual is?" "Do you like males or females" etc…). It didn't work. I just answered straightly (haha) as if he were asking what the weather was like. I guess the way to deal with it would be to shout "HOW DARE YOU ASK ME THAT YOU LITTLE SHIT!" (well maybe minus the "little shit" bit) but I'm not quite there yet in terms of volcanic-esque explosions, so managing to not let him get to me was probably a decent enough outcome for the time being.
The next thing I had to deal with was a load of trick questions from the first kid, for instance "how many months have 28 days", the obvious answer being one – February, but all the months have 28 days when you think about it. I managed to get the correct answer, I couldn't tell whether the kid was impressed that I was smart enoguh to figure it out (I knew doing stupid online quizzes would pay off one day!) or disappointed to not have had his pound of flesh.
Some of the other nonsense was the "guess his age game", someone suggested I might be twelve, I just sarcastically replied "Yeah I'm twelve", which in other circumstances would be a quite rude response because sarcasm implies the person asking the question is a bit dumb, but I think it worked as a get out because his mates laughed at him.
I suppose it's inevitable, some teenagers when they see a student teacher get blurred vision and confuse them for easy meat but I survived intact. Admittedly my responses weren't great as teacher responses but as a human being I think I did okay. The best piece of advice I've received since going into school is to not take anything a kid says to you personally. Remembering that today was a massive help otherwise I might have crumbled.
Waiting in reception for my taxi home a pupil started asking me if I were a student teacher (I say "yes" because to explain that I'm just on a scheme to get some experience before starting teacher training would be too complicated). The thing was that he was really polite and friendly but he was saying that he was to be excluded. Often these kids only get in trouble because of problems at home. It made me a little sad, because like I said he was really polite, yet gets the same treatment as the horrors I'd put up with in the morning.
After a rather less than happy day I had a real highlight still in reception. The fax machine sounded very much like the T.A.R.D.I.S. Superb! The Doctor saves the day again.