Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Year 8

I don't have a lot to do with the younger kids in school. I just have this one Year 8 class once a fortnight. They crease me up and I get a glimpse of what it must be like to teach in primary education.

They are at the bottom end of the mixed ability spectrum and if they are all in school - rare - there are about fifteen of them.

Today we started the life of Gautama the Buddha. It was a bit like carpet-time: I read them the story and then they had to sequence slips of card with the story on in the right order. The mistake I made was in giving all the pairs green card rather than a different colour per pair.

"Tim, why have you got 27 slips? You should have 10."

"Casey: don't put them in your ear, O.K? ...... No, it's not nice."

We then set out to draw the story in eight pictures.

"Right Ashton, too much noise from you. I'm putting the three minute timer on for your silence. We need respite and I don't want to go home having killed another pupil."

"Sir, can I draw sponge-Bob Square-Pants?"

"No. Why?"

"You said Gautama met a Holy man."

"No...still not getting it."

"Well, Sponge-Bob is full of holes."

"O God."

"Ashton: well done. A whole three minutes. Why didn't you do any work during that time? What....? What do you mean you can't multi-task? No. Being quiet and not working is not multi-tasking."

"Jonny: why have you drawn Shrek?"

"I haven't. You said Gautama met a sick man. I've drawn him green because he was sick."

"Sir, Sir, I didn't understand that bit. I've drawn someone being sick."

"Oh yes. So you have Zoe."

"I have too. I used that lady off Little Britain as my model."

"Yes, O.K. Perhaps when I said sick I should have said ill."

"Vikki why have you drawn a stick man?"

"It says so on the board."

"Read it to me."

"Gautama met a stick man."

"And again."

"Gautama met a sick man. Oh."

"Got it."

A year 11 boy called Dean arrives in my doorway in disgrace from another colleague.

"Got some work to do? Good. Sit there and get on with it."

"Jessica: Why have you drawn Gautama as pregnant in every picture? No don't tell me. Let me guess. Because you can only draw stick men and then you got to the bit where he wasted away from fasting and you couldn't tell the difference between that picture and the others so you put a belly on him. Am I right? Thought so."

"Sam: Why is that lady carrying a skateboard? Oh...Right. That's the baby Gautama. O.K."

"Tim. Don't do that."

"Sir: this crayon box has got blood on it."

"Ah, Jess, you found me out. I used that tupperware box to kill the last pupil who got on my nerves."


"No. I think you'll find it's ink."

"No Dean. You can't come back next lesson. I don't care if it's more fun in here. Turn round Casey. He's too old for you."