Category Archives: Teaching

143. The party of the first part…

Fancy being a fly in the playground at whichever poor school is coping with InvoiceGate! Are there factions of parents aligning themselves with each side, I wonder? Will they have badges – the Party Poppers and the Party Poopers? Sports’ day is going to be interesting.

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142. Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance? Edgar Bergen

“I’m disappointed with you, Taylor.  Mrs Twinkletoes tells me that you wouldn’t do your writing this morning,” says Mrs Karma.  Taylor looks at her blankly.  To be fair, looking blank is his specialism: he’s had seven years to perfect it.

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140. And freedom tastes of reality…

Way back when, I was sent on a Management course. Most of what we were told has long since been pushed out of my head by other stuff. But one of the activities has stuck with me: the Lego House competition.

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137. Another chance to read…

It’s a fair cop, guv.  It’s been a manic weekend trying to get Volume Two of the Jelly Chronicles edited before publication and I missed doing this week’s blog.

So, for your delectation and delight, below is another chance to read my favourite Christmas Blog in honour of this week’s Nativities.

More bloomin’ repeats…

The Stars in the Bright Sky

By the way, a Big Thank You for remembering to turn on the GiveAsYouLive when buying on-line this week.

136. To absent friends…

She walked into the Staffing Department, looking very tanned and very relaxed. A bit desiccated perhaps – sun and cigs, I’d guess – but definitely at ease. As she made her way over to my desk, it seemed that the whole office went quiet in her wake. Out the corner of my eye, I could see a little murmuring and some scribbling but when Mrs Marbella opened her mouth, it was obvious that the entire office had tuned in.

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135. A brief encore…

I’ve outlined the activities once, and then again. A child has successfully re-explained them to the seething masses and there does seem to be a more than equal chance that at least some of the class will know what to do. Though with Reception, of course, anything might happen in the next half-hour.

“Right,” I say. “Go back to your constituencies and prepare for government.” And up they get and off they toddle despite the fact that they have a fairly limited working knowledge of the 1981 Liberal Party Conference.

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134. Four legs bad…

“So your first task is to design a classroom – something you’ll be doing for real before you know it!”

We glance nervously at each other; the thought of actually having our own classrooms is both awe-inspiring and terrifying in equal measure. Us? Teachers? Cripes!

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132. More happy birfdy…

“It’s all right to listen, Miss Sugarsprinkles. It’s not at all rude.”
“Are you sure, Mrs Jellywoman?”
“Quite sure, Miss Sugarsprinkles. Please don’t worry.”
“I’ll just wash up the paint-pots, then.”
“Please do.” Continue reading →

131. Time to stare…

“However you organise the room to start with, you’ll want to change it the minute the kids arrive. At least, that’s how it was for me. It took me half a term before I had things organised the way I should have had them in September.”

I am still grateful to Simon. Unasked for, he helped me sort out my first‑ever classroom, including a lesson in the putting up of backing paper. I chose to cover all my boards in a ghastly, beige-y, custardy, blah sort of colour, I seem to remember. A good back-drop for all that free, independent writing my class would be itching to produce, was the theory. Titter ye not.

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128. Is this a wedding cake I see before me?

“He’s is going to be studying Macbeth for the literature exam,” Fred’s mum says, as I pack away my highlighters. I’ve started tutoring Fred, who is resitting his English GCSE next month. It’s a learning experience for us both.

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