Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Consider the house for a moment

A long day today with the loss of a free period and therefore having to stay with the same class for two hours, the last hour of which was the last hour of the day. O Joy!

Our school day is extra long so that you have at least one free period every day. This is, of course, a sly redefinition of ‘free’: if you make the normal day extra long then of course you can appear to be generous with the free periods. I am not fooled by such obvious subterfuge but, as I still need to have a permanent contract I say nothing. Well, little. Well, little for me anyway.

I am having serious doubts about the whole nature of ‘education’ in the school. The courses that we teach as so test and text book led that application of knowledge in any meaningful way is limited to put it mildly. However, even for the distressingly small amount of money that this rich, rich school pays, it appears that I can be bought.

To be fair to the school they sort of look to me to provide a slightly different approach and be more literature based. But any deviation from the Sacred Texts of the deadly dull course books that we have is greeted with little less than panic by the kids. They talk to each other and any deviation from the path of text and test is grasped and used as an accusation. Any individual teacher led innovation which might lead to a perceived advantage for any class is used as the basis for an extended moan.

It is at this point that the excellent and level headed Head of English is invaluable. With her extensive experience she knows just how fleeting is the attention span of perceived injustice on the part of the students. There is, as she often points out, always something new to capture their attention! I truly think that her sensible approach is going to be the way that I survive in the place!

The fact that we had asparagus for lunch today in school should not be enough to dull my belief that I am not really ‘teaching’ in the way that I understand the word. I suppose that this high sounding qualification is somewhat lessened by the fact that I take the money at the end of the month – and will continue to do so, in spite of the horror that sometimes strikes me when I look at the grammar that I am supposed to be explaining to students who, I am sure, care and understand the concepts involved with much more sincerity and passion than I do!

Tomorrow the examinations in school begin in earnest and the deluge of marking starts. To counterbalance this horror there is the ever present delight of window shopping for the necessities of the empty house which is getting daily closer!

Never let it be said that I am not in touch with the important things of life!

And just how many exclamation marks have I used in this writing!
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