All entries for March 2006

March 27, 2006

Cross Sexual Area

Due to a slight speech impediment I have a rather inconvenient inability to pronounce the words 'cross-sectional' without saying 'cross-sexshunal'. As a future teacher of mathematics I can see I slight problem forming here.

During a rather fraught year 8 lesson (more to follow) I found myself stood at the board trying my best to get the pronunciation right, but the more I thought about it the worse it became – like some kind of nightmarish self-fulfilling prophecy.

Curiously the speech-therapy I had a child never picked up on this and was more focused on my lack of aptitude with the word Skwoo-el (Squirrel) or my tendency to say dis and dat. How frustrating.

March 24, 2006


As a teacher you ask plenty of questions:

  • What is 7×8?
  • How do we work out the area of a triangle?
  • Is that gum?
  • Why are you swinging form the light fittings?

But the pupils ask plenty of questions too. If they ever say 'Can I ask a question – it's not about maths', then run away very fast (unless you're an English Teacher in which case you'd probably be wondering why they felt the need to offer clarification that their forthcoming line of enquiry doesn't involve any mathematics).

For instance:

  • What would you do if I punched you in the face? (Let's not try to find out)
  • Is there really such thing as an hermaphrodite? (Yes, there is)
  • How old are you? You look about twelve. (I'm older than you)
  • Can I tell you a joke? (No!)
  • Are you a proper teacher? (Are you a proper pupil?)
  • Do you love me? (Stop asking silly questions and get on with your work)

March 11, 2006

Taking over

'Teaching is more than just a job – it's a way of life.'

I scoffed when I first heard these words, but after completing six months of a PGCE I think my cynicism may have been premature. I now finding myself wanting to shush people talking too loudly in pubs, asking my friends if they have any questions when we arrange to meet up, and last night at a gig I was sorely tempted to tell the bassist of the support act to spit out the gum he was chewing. If only there'd been a bin handy.

There's no escaping it, I'm becoming a teacher. All that's left is to start moaning about marking and calling children 'oiks'.

March 07, 2006

The Perfect Class

After trying to teach a class of year sevens about the joys of algebra, co-ordinates and such forth at my previous placement with about as much success as the British Winter Olympics team going skiing with both legs tied together, I have now found the perfect class.

My current bunch of year sevens seem unusual in the sense that they want to learn. You put work on the board… and they do it. Very quickly. You turn round for a second and they've finished everything instead of making a paper aeroplane/running around the room/killing each other (delete as applicable).

Today was a typical example of their perfectness. After struggling to figure out where I as supposed to be teaching them (it isn't as simple as looking at the timetable, no really) I turned up several minutes late expecting a riot. However with this class there was no problem and they just got on with everything. Astonishing.

Either they really are perfect or the pressure is getting to me and I'm hallucinating.

March 06, 2006

The story so far…

After graduating from Warwick last summer I started out on a foray into the world of teaching. Boldly going where so many have gone before (but not so many that they don't pay you £7000 just to train), meeting friends and oiks, driving away from school bashing my head against the steering wheel after hearing the words 'I don't get it sir' for the hundredth time inside five minutes.

My first placement was filled with adventure: students turning up drunk, telling me to 'Just Leave!', alliterating my surname with another word with which it shares five letters (not walked), blowing kisses at me, pretending to have Tourette's Syndrome, feigning punches and generally being little sxxxts.

Now, however I find myself at a successful Catholic School. After not having been to church since longer than, oh being at school, prayers have become part of the routine, the mundane, not something crazy people do on Sundays. And even though they're that bit politer the kids are still kids.

And so the adventures continue.

March 2006

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