Such is life

drink and pearls

Today, I had to ask Minerva to keep sharp implements away from me, as I just wanted to drive something, anything, into more than one of my students. It was the first time I actually admitted to anyone that a person has to be insane to be an educator. The year eights were just feral; as were the year 12s.

I suppose this is the fifth week of term, and the newness has worn off and they are no longer scared witless and so they have reverted to type, and type for most of them is feral horror. I blasted one class for their bad behaviour and put them on notice, sent another student to the Responsible Thinking Room, and had to walk away from another couple students before I really did do them harm.

The noise was also incredible. They just seemed to wrench it up about nine decibels, until I just wanted to walk straight out the gate and to my car. Does no one teach their children how to act in a library. We don’t expect them to be silent or to whisper, but do they really need to yell across the library, or yell out the window to a friend playing in the playground?

It actually drove me to drink. As soon as I got home I poured myself a scotch and coke. It was either that or I was going to carve up someone near and dear, or Mr FD.

Things to be grateful for? Well, the year8s are going to be on a one day camp tomorrow, so I don’t have to teach them. I got authorisation to attend a three day conference where Sir Ken Robinson, Prof. Sugtra Mitra and Joyce Valenza will be speaking in June – no small feat in these times of budget cutting. It’s in Brisbane, so no staying in nice hotels. I will probably be staying in Daughter’s spare room to save the drive into the city every day. Exciting though.

Interesting fact? I found out today the one of my home class students, one of my favourite students, is related to the bushranger Thunderbolt. I was so excited, though I know one shouldn’t glorify bushrangers, and I do detest the hero worship of Ned Kelly, that when another teacher walked into the room, I said “Guess who XXXXX is related to?” When I announced Thunderbolt, the teacher just looked at me with a blank stare. Yeah, he learnt his Australian history really well.

I am so looking forward to this weekend, though I will be at school late into the evening on Friday as we are running an arts festival, and over the weekend I have to finish putting together a presentation I am to give on Monday at a teacher librarian’s workshop. Still, a couple of days of lovely country paradise.

Note to self: Marry rich in the next life.

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5 thoughts on “Such is life

  1. I just had to look up bushrangers, Ned kelly and Captain Thunderbolt. . They were criminals or “outlaws”, sort of like our Billy the Kid or Jesse James and his gang and later, Bonnie and Clyde, etc. Now I know something else about Australia. Thank you. And stay away from sharp instruments. Lucy

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  2. Is it me or does it seem as if the students nowadays are noisier and more rude? When I was in elementary school (don’t I sound old saying this?), we became silent as soon as we entered the classroom. Now the students never EVER shut up. It’s just a constant stream of chatter, giggling and sometimes outright bellowing and screaming. I asked the teacher I’m working with if it didn’t bother her, and she said the children are much noisier than when she first began teaching, but if she can at least be heard over the din, she’s happy. So have standards fallen? Is it the end of civilization, and teachers are the last bastion before the ultimate collapse?

    I do hope you enjoy your weekend, and the conference ahead. As soon as I finish this comment, I am headed for the wine bottle. I am amazed that teachers aren’t all alcoholics, or at least pouring themselves a drink every afternoon after they come home from school.

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    • Standards have fallen. Many children don’t respect their parents, so how are they going to respect teachers or anyone else? We overheard two girls speaking to the Deputy Princ. and they were so rude we couldn’t believe it. Minerva said she would have wet herself if the DP called her over when she was a student and then added she probably still would if he called her to his office. I am not advocating going back to the way I was schooled when we were beaten into submission but this lack of respect is actually interfering with their education. We can’t enforce it, if it doesn’t come from the home.

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      • At the school I worked at yesterday, a fourth-grade boy was pulled off of the playground after he stole a ball from a group of younger children. When the playground supervisor took him to his teacher and told her what had happened, he called the supervisor a liar and ridiculed the man’s accent (the supervisor is a Sikh, a retired Indian Army officer). The teacher and I were both shocked. It’s one thing to make fun of a school employee behind his back, but to say such things to his face was infuriating. The student was written up in a notice to his parents, but later we commented on how some of the students act as if they had no training in social skills. I wouldn’t want to return to the days where it wasn’t uncommon for a child to be whipped by a belt either: but I wonder how long it will be before the schools give up on this boy as a lost cause. His teacher is already at the end of her rope with him, and he isn’t even in middle school yet.

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