Monday, 26 September 2011

Not your typical Science Teacher... or am I?

This post is for The Hasidic Plumber, as requested...

I am NOT your typical science teacher. I am an exception to the rule...for the following reasons...
  • I do not wear a lab coat. (Although I do have one, and occassionally wear it when I don't want crap all over my clothes.)
  • I do not wear glasses. (Although I do have contact lenses and I do wear my glasses at home sometimes.)
  • I do not look like a geek. (Define geek... and I am very ditsy.)
  • I do not have strange crazy hair. (I have dark brown hair, but am now a fake blonde... with straight hair. Not for long though... going back to dark brown.) 
  • I do not act like a 'Mad Scientist'. (I am mad, and I am a scientist, but I am not a mad scientist.)
  • I do not carry test tubes and chemicals around with me. (I did once take home a newton meter and some 10g weights by mistake. Oh, and iodine.)
  • I do not like dissecting frogs. (I do not like dissecting anything, but I do it for the children, to make their future brighter. It was sheep eyeballs last week.)
  • I am not eccentric. (I really am not eccentric in any way, shape or form.)

I often look through microscopes in this position....
'Now, students, you have to get into this position to be able to see properly'

I am here to help you work through those stereotypical views you have of teacher's. And to help you understand that these stereotypes are there for a reason. My research was carried out in the pub on Friday after work. My colleagues, of varying disciplines across the school, came up with their own stereotypes... please remember that when reading. And I won't go through EVERY subject, I will bore you if I did.

The Female PE teacher
  • Lesbian. If not actually a lesbian, then looking like one... whatever that means. Short hair, small boobs, no make up, short nails, HAIRY LEGS! Erggghhh.
  • Big ass. Considering PE teachers should be pretty physically fit, they all seem to have large asses. I don't know how that happens. Maybe if they did their fucking job properly, they would have such a large behind.
  • Stroppy. They never have a smile on their face. I don't know why. It's not like they have to mark any work or plan any lessons!

PE teacher from the TV series
Waterloo Road.
The Male PE teacher
2008 Big Brother contestant
trainee PE teacher.

  • Very good looking. I don't think I have ever come across an ugly male PE teacher. 
  • Fit. Always so very physically fit. They play football, rugby, tennis, hockey. Cycle to work. It's never ending. It's beautiful!
  • Popular. They are loved by all students in school, boys and girls. Not to mention the staff. Mothered by the older female members of staff, oggled by the younger female staff. When they wander in to the staffroom wearing their little shorts, it just makes your day.

The History & Geography Teachers
  • Patches on their elbows. I think this is compulsory. They must do a lot of resting of the head in hands with elbows on desk.
  •  Well equipped. They always carry coloured pencils around with them. I have no idea why. Perhaps to colour in maps and stuff.
  • Very messy. They have the messiest classrooms and offices. They have everything in them you could ever want. 'Have you got a pink inflatable crocodile?' 'I think I do, let me check!' 'WHAT??!!'
  • Bad handwriting. You just cannot make out what they have written on the board, or in the kids books. Maybe that's why the kids have no idea that Africa is NOT Canada. And that Hitler was a bad bad man.

The Drama, Music & Art Teachers

  • Weird. They are very odd. Keep themselves to themselves over in the 'expressive arts' department. Which is a bloody good job really. Don't bring your 'oddness' over into the rest of the school please.
  • Dramatic. Which I suppose is expected, particularly of the drama teachers, but they really do talk out of the arses sometimes. Actually, a lot of the time. Blow things out of all proportion. I caught a fish THIS big. WHATEVER!
  • Strangely dressed. Where did they get their clothes? And footwear is even stranger. And please please don't accessorise with that crap. It looks like a 5 year old dressed you.

The Math Teacher
  • Short. Both male and female math teachers are all very short. Maybe 'short person syndrome' manifests itself in people destined to become math teachers. This might explain why they are all so 'shouty'.
  • OCD. They are very particular over small details. If you haven't lined up a sum properly in your exercise book you've had it.
  • Highly strung. Don't push them, or you'll lose them! They'll end up in a corner crying.
  • Struggle with classroom management. But, I have to say, teaching math to teenagers is bloody difficult stuff.  

The English Teacher
  • Popular. Just like male PE teachers, English teachers are well liked among students and staff.
  • Calm. Oh so very very calm. That is possibly why they have very well behaved classes. They send their students into a trance.
  • Awesome vocabulary. Well, they wouldn't be very good at their job if they didn't. They use long words that only English teachers understand. It's like they talk in code sometimes.      
  • Questionable dress sense. Not as questionable as the 'expressive arts' department, but English teachers make some bizzare choices sometimes. I think they do it on purpose, to confuse you. Keep you guessing. Try to solve the riddle.

What were your teacher's like at school? Did any of them fit these descriptions?

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Let's take a look through the square window....

I had a look around my office yesterday. It is already a mess after only 3 weeks. I have many items lurking in the depths of paper work that do not belong to me.

I have that power that all teachers LOVE!! The power to CONFISCATE! Of course, if one was to do this outside of the school environment it would amount to extortion.

'Give me your hoodie young man or I will exclude you' in a school corridor

amounts to...

'give me your money biAtch or I'm gonna bang you up' on the High Street on a Friday night.

Clearly the latter is a little more threatening and violent than the first and could end up with jail time, but the intention of aquiring an item that does not belong to you by using threats, is the same.... isn't it? Hmmm...?

Anyway, let me show you a few items that I seem to have AQUIRED over the last year.

1. Pink Fake UGG boots.... in less than perfect condition. They are MINGING!!! (Not sure that is actually a word). Such trash!

2. BB GUNS... three of... confiscated from three male students of different ages. I often wish I could whip one of these out, point it at the biggest idiot in the class and then tell them to write.

3. Half a bottle of vodka. And YES, the other half had been consumed by one particular young lady. NOT ME! Although there has been many a day when I have been sorely tempted to have a swig. In fact, I think I may well have done..... once. Shhhhhhhhhhhhh...

4. A baseball cap. Clearly not part of school uniform, but a really cool cap. I love Batman. I might keep this if it weren't for the fact it had been on some scummy kids head, who has probably had head lice.

5. Several hooded tops. I have no idea who they belong to. I confiscate from random students all over the school, indiscriminately. THEY SMELL!

6. A piece of wood, used for poking others... I think in jail they call this a shank. Which is probably where this kid is going to end up anyway, so he's obviously getting in the practise before such a time. I am considering turning it into a boat and putting it inside that bottle of vodka when I've finished it.

7. A laser. I HATE these. Don't shine it in my eye while I'm trying to teach you, you idiot! That's gonna REALLY fuck me off!

8. A ring. This is just awful. Who wears a piece of crap like this?! Huh?!

9. A half inflated (or half deflated... optimistic or pessimistic?) yellow football. I LOVE confiscating footballs from kids.... I like the complete control I then have over at least 40 kids who want it back! I think this may stem from my love of controlling other spherical objects belonging to men (not boys, men). The power just goes to my head.

10. A broken mobile phone. Haven't got a clue who this belongs to. I may send this off to one of those companies that give you money for old phones. I reckon I could get £2 for it.

11. A bottle of Rose wine. This was not confiscated. This was a gift from a student. Awwww... how lovely. I keep it in my office in case of..... ermmm.... emergencies?

So, anyway, if these items aren't claimed by Christmas, my family and friends will be recieving them as gifts.
I would be quite chuffed if I got a half drunk bottle of vodka.
Even if it was only £5. Would be better it was full, but beggers can't be chosers. And perhaps vanilla or raspberry in flavour.
You know what? I wouldn't be chuffed with a £5 half drunk bottle of vodka at all.....

I would be pretty happy with a laser though.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

What really goes on in school's

Ok, this is as real as it gets... and this is just the advert for the series.

Welcome to my life!!

PS. This blonde girl is bloody hilarious!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

What teachers REALLY want to say to their students

I taught the MOST annoying student today. AND, the most SMELLY student. They were not the same person. If it had been just one student suffering from extreme body odour and being very annoying I could have dealt with it by sending them out of the room. BUT, I found it challenging to come up with a reason to justify sending the smelly kid out. There wasn't one. So I had to endure the delightful stench of this child for an hour.... ERGGHHHH....
I, of course, went straight to my colleagues, after the lesson, to moan about basic hygiene in teenagers. We got talking about what we really wanted to be able to say to the students we teach, but clearly COULDN'T and WOULDN'T (if we still wanted to be in a job afterwards).
WE came up with these...

3. How fucking stupid are you?

1. Can you please just shut the fuck up!
2. You stink, have a shower and wear deodrant.

5. You'll never make it any further
than the dole queue.

4. Did you steal those new trainer's or pay for them?



6. Use a condom, she's been round the block a few times.

7. I am not your mother. If I was,
 I would have shot you and myself by now.

8. What is the fucking point of you even
coming to school? I wouldn't bother.
9. I didn't mark your books because
 I was drinking all weekend.
10. You're right, I don't like you,
never have, never will. Suck it up!
11. Your dad is hot,
is he free tonight?
12. I really want to punch
you in the face right now.

13. Have you got a spare cigarette?

I, of course, am a true professional and would never dream of saying any of these to my students. EVERY CHILD MATTERS (*cough) and we are here to make sure each child is healthy, stays safe, enjoys & achieves, makes a positive contribution and achieves economic well-being.... blah blah blah...

Not completely sure what the pictures add to this post, but I like them. Particularly the hot father.

And as I am still at work at the moment, waiting for Primary Parents Open Evening to start (45 mins), I should really go and tidy up my lab instead of writing this. I am hoping of course that the fairies may have already cleaned and tidied.

I am not looking forward to making small talk with a load of parents.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Thank God that's over!

BLOODY HELL! This week was most certainly worse than the first week!

I did think the first week back was bad enough, but nothing, NOTHING can beat this week. No way. The ASSHOLES that are otherwise known as OFSTED decided to pay us a visit. What on earth are they thinking? We had been back 5 days when that dreaded phone call came on Monday morning... 48 hours notice before they descended on us.

Get through that hoop Miss Teacher!
Certainly Sir, how many times?
If you are a teacher, you will know that this word puts the fear of God into you. You lose all touch with the outside world, your nearest and dearest are blurs that place food in front of you and tell you that you need to eat and sleep. You spend every moment possible at work, then spend every moment possible when you get home, going through spreadhseets and analyses. When the coffee, red bull and adrenaline becomes no match for sleep, you start seeing spreadsheets whirling around when you close your eyes.

I am a bloody good teacher! I know I am. My results show I am. My students tell me I am. My leadership team tell me I am. I don't need people who clearly aren't good enough to teach anymore telling me any of this!

There are several things you MUST do when OFSTED turn up...

1. Mark your books.
There is a two week marking policy. We hadn't even been back at school for two weeks, but we had to mark all our books. Now, normally one would stagger the marking so you don't have  to mark 120 + books in two nights! That's just bloody ridiculous! BUT.... we all did it.

This is REAL!
This was one, JUST ONE, class set of books to mark!

2. Have an up to date OFSTED evidence file.
If you are a middle manager with responsibility you should have one of these. And, to be fair, I did have a few things. They needed printing out. They needed updating. But I had them SOMEWHERE. But, I did not have it all. Niether did any other middle manager.

OFSTED file on Wednesday morning...
OFSTED file on Monday morning...

3. Have an ultra detailed lesson plan for every lesson.
That was 9 lessons in two days for me. Do they EVEN know how long that takes?! I normally plan my lessons, scribble in my planner what I'm doing and order the equipment for any practicals. I DO NOT spend an hour, writing down every thing I am going to do and say, with timings. I do not write a list of resources I am using. I do not write what diffentiation is taking place. I do not write down the needs of every child in my class. I ALREADY KNOW THIS. It is in my planner if I need to refer to it. It is pointless. But, again it got done.

4. Choose your outfit WISELY.
Now the likelihood that there will be a male OFSTED inspector is pretty high. Last time I encountered OFSTED I naively (I was an NQT) asked the male inspector that had observed my lesson if there was anything I could do to make him give me an 'Excellent' instead of 'very good'. (Not bad for an NQT that had been teaching for all of one term!) I'm pretty sure that if I had been wearing suitably persuasive clothing, I might have been in with a chance. Soooo.....this time, I was prepared!

Apparently (under the new OFSTED framework) I am 'Good' with 'Outstanding' features!
OH YES! That IS really what I got told!
Can't see it myself, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

5. Bribe your students.
Perhaps a little un-ethical for some of you, but a necessity for teachers. Without this technique there would be so many more 'unsatisfactory' schools, I'm sure of it. Chocolate works a treat. Hmmm... Healthy schools? Well, yes, we do have a 'healthy schools' award, but I am CHOOSING to teach my students that they all have a CHOICE. The choice is always chocolate!
Remember him?!

Anyway, we managed to get through those few days, and guess what? WE GOT CAKE AGAIN, on Friday. We also got wine and beer to go with the cake. I could SO get used to this cake thing. The Deputy Head even poured my glass of wine for me, which did make me think briefly, of my naked imaginary waiter.

I got to the cake slightly earlier than last time.

Basically, if you follow these five MUSTs when OFSTED come knocking, then you'll be laughing.
If not, then you'll be crying like the rest of us.

I don't think I am going to comment about next week. I'm too scared! The one thing I am looking forward to though, is the fire alarm. Monday at 10.30am apparently. A practice for the new little year 7's and a reminder for the rest of us. This is ALWAYS a day to look forward to. Those lovely fully equiped firemen turning up to school... Mmmm. And half a lesson less to teach! Fantastic.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Back to the madness

The first day back at school after the six week summer break is SOUL DESTROYING.
The first week back is tiring, stressful and frantic.

Yes, yes, we teachers are all so lucky to have so many holidays, we're all part-timers, blah blah blah... whatever you like to tell yourself, or us.  The truth is, that apart from the six weeks we have off in summer, there is rarely a break or an evening in which we don't sit at home marking, or go into school and do the things we haven't managed to complete when the kids are in.

Schools are amazing places with no children. You get SO much work done.

The first day was an INSET day (or training day) so the kids weren't actually in.
It consisted of a welcome speech from the Head Teacher to all staff in the hall. It was a welcome to the brand spanking new, all singing, all dancing, Academy. They had laid on breakfast in celebration of this new start. Bacon rolls, croissants, bucks fizz. All very suspicious.

During the Head's speech we were informed of the following...

1. There was a lovely new canteen. Oh, no, hang on, we're not allowed to refer to it as the canteen now, it is now 'The Restaurant'.
WTF! If it was a restaurant, where the fuck is my menu and my napkin? Where is my waiter? And most important... WHERE IS MY WINE?!!

Oh look.... there's my waiter, ooooh, and my wine! Mmmm...

2. We have an OUTSIDE GYM. What?! An outside gym? The inside gym (if one can call it that) is barely used. What made you think that an outside gym would be a good idea?
It cost £30,000! THAT IS FUCKING RIDICULOUS! I have never heard of such a waste of money. What makes it really difficult to comprehend, is the fact that it is LIME GREEN.
Why? Because it blends in with the lime green fucking surroundings? I don't bloody think so.
They could have spent that £30,000 on... well, just about anything other than that.
I give it six weeks before it is tagged, vandalised or stolen. (No Sir, thats not a lime green piece of outdoor gym equipment I have down my trousers, I'm just pleased to see you...)

£30,000...  on eight of these monstrosities.
Might as well have urinated the cash up the wall!

3. The dress code. For staff.
This we kinda knew about at the end of last term. I had to go shopping for a whole new work wardrobe. I don't know how they think we're going to get the year 11 boys to do any work if we can't wear low cut tops and skirts above the knee. What were they thinking? Their grades are going to fall this year. Mark my words. (Or my books if you could. It would really help. I would pay you!)

I guess this is no longer an option for me anymore...

There is always one thing that helps settle us back into the new term though, and that's CAKE!
Give them their due, the Senior Leadership Team now how to use bribery to get things done.

And I thought I was the first to get to the cake!
Clearly not.

I did discover that a terrible tragedy had occurred over the holiday. I walked into my lab only to find this...

This poor little lion has lost his home, 3 legs and his head. I was beside myself with grief.

The remains of a science project from last term. It's a good job the delightful young lady that made this has left and gone back to the USA. I am not sure how I would have explained this to her. As it happens, it's now in the bin. Oh, well. C'est la Vie.

To end this first week back, we had more staff training. We had a 45 minute INSET on Health & Safety. I think the powers that be, are actually trying to kill us through utter boredom. Seriously, last thing on a Friday after the first week back?! BIG MISTAKE.

Health & safety BINGO??! Purrrrleeease...

If we had paid more attention to what was being said rather than scribbling offensive
words everywhere,  I might have won that box of malteasers.

And then it all just fell to peices as soon as this powerpoint slide went up....

I doubt I need to explain this, but let's just say most
 staff found this to be greatly amusing.

And I forgot to mention. I had a lovely note left on my desk by a student in my year 11 class on Friday.

Say it out loud and it all makes sense. I found it most informative. It's always nice to know that teenagers these days have such high standards.

Here's to a second week of fun at THE ACADEMY. May it be as inspiring and stimulating as the first.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

I spoke far to soon....

For the love of cheese and all things pink... what was I thinking when I purchased a bicycle?!

I spoke far too soon about not falling off my bike.

I kept faithfully to my promises about cycling to work (in fact, I have cycled two days out of three) only to be repaid with, what can only be described as, a comical act of self harm, in public, at a pretty major road junction, during 'drive time' or 'rush hour' (whatever you want to call it). All I know is that there was lots of cars. And my brain did not engage as quickly as I would have liked. My brain certainly wasn't in communication with my feet or hands that's for sure.

It went something like this...

That car is stopping.... I should stop.
No, no, that car is going....I won't stop
Fuck, no, that car is definitely stopping.
I need to stop.
Ok, I don't seem to be stopping.
Why am I not stopping?
I need to use brakes.
Where are my feet???!!!
How are my feet still attached to my pedals?
Yep... I am now falling off my bike.
Brilliant... I look like a complete twat!
Now I have to get up and pretend everything is ok.
OH GOD... that man is getting out of his van.
He's talking to me! Bollocks. Oh, the shame.
Well of course I am fine, this happens ALL the time... I'm a professional don't you know?!
Oh no... he's waiting for me to get up and go.
I can't.
Just go you stupid man.
You are very kind to stop and check that I'm ok, but please, please please just go....
Nope, he is still there.
I need to get on my bike.
Why don't the pedals work?
Oh, come on now... why aren't you bloody working?
Ok, they're working.
Please God, let there be no more cars.
Right. There is cars. Lots of cars.
God didn't hear my plea.
Probably too busy laughing!
I just need to get home.
ERGHHH... my hand is bleeding.
Arggghhhh... I'm bleeding... I'm actually bleeding.

I then cycled into a bin. I have nothing more I want to say about that. I have no excuse and absolutely no idea how it happened. I tried to hide it. I don't want to talk about it.

I like to think I am now a fully paid up member of the cycling community after my epic fail at coming to a halt and sustaining further bike related injuries (in addtition to those I gained on Sunday). I have bruised the bruises on my leg from Sunday. I have given the other leg some brusing and cuts. I have grazed (deeply grazed) my knuckles. I have a small lump appearing on my elbow.

Doesnt look like much, but I'm sure it almost required stitches. 

And NO, it isn't just a little scrape. It bloody hurts!

I am having a bad day and that doesn't even include what happened in school. But that's a whole other story.

I'm going to eat some chocolate now. I deserve it, damn it! I'm injured!