Thursday, May 17, 2007

Last three things

Apathy Jack writes:

Glancing into a Maths class as I wander the school during my free period, and I see one of mine surreptitiously texting beneath her desk. As I continue walking, I pull out my phone and send her:
“Don’t text in class!”
A reply beeps almost immediately: “Such a hypocrit”
“If you paid more attention in class, you probably wouldn’t misspell words like hypocrite...”
“Lol well i am in maths i just lost half my brain”

The next period I assigned my Year 9s a barely-educational “make a movie poster” activity (it’s in the curriculum, shut up) and spent the period idling around the room (there are thirty-one students in the class and only thirty chairs, so one of them sits at my desk and I pace) playing twenty questions, trying to figure out the identity of another student who texted me “guess who” from their new number.

Hypocrisy really is the greatest luxury. By God it’s going to be hard having to follow the rules for a change...


Chatting to one of the first year teachers – we have a higher than average proportion due to the fact that no experienced teacher will come within a mile of us – and the consensus is that something is awry at my little school. Huddled together as the bigger teachers lumber past them, they speak in their crazy first year teacher language, which I can’t really understand. However, one of them translated: They are none of them sure what’s going on, but they know that a normal school isn’t supposed to have so many unhappy teachers in it, and that more than a fortnight should go by without hearing news of the latest resignation. They’ve all agreed to serve this year and next to get their registration, but have already decided against getting too attached.

On a related note: In a true sign that I really am very, very old, one of the first year teachers is a good mate of an ex-student of mine. A former Deputy Head Boy, Peer Supporter, Sports Councellor, and, for a time, employee of the school, he has fond memories of the place. He told the then-trainee that she shouldn’t bother applying anywhere except Hoodrat. He even visited me late last year to ask into which ears he should whisper good words.

They were chatting a few weeks back, and she informed him of my resignation, and that of the Art teacher who left at the end of term one.
“Get out,” said my ex-student immediately. “Start looking for jobs now.”
“Why?” She asked.
“Because if those two are leaving; there’s something really badly wrong happening there.”
“Like what?”
“I don’t know. But if those two are going, something is up. Get out now.”


Ducking out of school early one day last week, and one of the local primary school kids walking home asks me if I teach at Hoodrat.
“I do,” I tell him, as mother profusely apologises in broken English for him bothering me.
“Are you...” and he correctly names me.
I ask him how he knows me, and he launches into a convoluted tale about his brother being a student of mine and recognising me from the stories he’s heard, before his embarrassed mother shuffles him away.

My reputation precedes me like a beam of pure Awesome, scattering and brutalising all of the unbelievers.

I’m just sayin’, is all...

1 comment:

T-Bird said...

God. Hoodrat makes my particular temple of pedagogy feel like a dinky little play with the gnomes in the fairy ring down by the Faraway Tree.

And that's saying something. Exactly what, I am not sure. But certainly something.