Thursday, June 12, 2008

Am I bored?

Children of all ages, I have finally got to the point where I can say that the article I was writing has a body. Now all that needs doing is lots of chopping and changing, because in my opinion, staying awake till 2am to complete it wasn't very good for it.

That is all. There is nothing else interesting to report regarding my placement at this school.

OK fine, I jest (you can stop giving me that look now!) The student I was meant to be shadowing got into a fight yesterday, but still I was surprised when I realised that I would be shadowing someone else. In the morning I was given the new table and Student A was pointed out to me. After a deep sigh I headed to the students first class, and that got my day of to a bad start indeed. Now I think, since I am not mentioning the schools name or staff, I can be rather more "brutally honest". Not mean, but not wish washy too.

The teacher is quite cool, and I get along with her just fine in the staff room. She did the SAS, is newly qualified too and we both have the common interest of sports. In this lesson there were two teachers present because there was meant to be a "field visit"; this got cancelled so the students were then asked to draw a poster. (Internally all I did was curse upon hearing this...) Fair enough, I had a 25 page document to read from one of the meetings that I attend and I got to work on it. Student A seemed to be quiet and I didn't have to observe her for long.

It seemed that the two teachers introduced me in their conversation, and the one who has done the SAS started explaining what it was--the whole class her audience. "I got paid £400 for it, but beans is getting paid more." Why did this annoy me, well it gave the "evil students" more ammunition-- especially student B. However forget my little tantrum, both teachers had a very nice conversation during the lesson, so the students did the same. I watched a brilliantly constructed advert on smoking the other day, and it showed children imitating what their adults/parents did because that's what you do. How many times did you wear your dad's big shoes, and walk about the house? Nevertheless, the new teachers don't appreciate their roles as role models for students. Obviously I'm generalising, but this only applies within the school.

Both teachers are great to talk to in the staff room, but the one who was in charge should not have given the kids a free lesson. They are my worst enemy--free lessons. For Pete's sake, do all teachers lose the will to teach at this stage of the year? I'm not taking anything away from the teachers efforts up till this point. I know how much work there is to a seemingly simple job. The politics of a place also make life much harder, but all I seem to be wanting to say to some teachers is: keep going please(!) you only have four or five weeks left. Inspire these students.

Some teachers have a formula and it works, so they stick to it. They do the same thing day in and out, and that's great. However, as an observer, this formula doesn't always work. The students have sat their exams and don't want to learn. You have to change your formula to motivate them again. Sigh. I know I'm all talk, but students don't seem to be challenged any more.

The Geography lesson which was next was better, and it was then that I decided to observe two students: A and B. They both seemed to have a similar timetable and this would make my day more interesting.

During break time I had a hurried cup of tea, because I had semi-skipped breakfast. It was the third lesson (RE) which revealed the nature of student B. (To make it a fair test it had to be a she!) Student B was disruptive, attention seeking and generally would not shut up and work. Now notice that the lesson was being covered by another member of staff, but still Student B showed no respect for fellow students or teacher. B was sat with her crowd. There were about four of them, and they were pretty damn mean to some students. (I can only ever observe silently, and never tell them to stop swearing for example.) She gave me a headache!

On the other hand, student A was sat on the other side of the class with a quiet friend. She was very well behaved and got on with it. The student also saved me embarrassment, as I was about to park myself on a broken chair before I was warned!

After RS, it was maths. Student B wasn't in this class, but student A changed completely! She became annoying too, and it so happened that she had a disruptive and lazy student sat next to her. (The student who kept on asking "why should I do it" a million times.) Student A did 10% of the work required (was only on question two!) whereas other students were finishing the questions. Student A also became rude-ish to me, and the little git next to her made it very difficult for me to actually help. (I got sick of trying to speak over "why do I have to"). Hence why I moved away and positioned myself on the other side of the room, and left them to the teacher.

This behavior of student A continued in her form lesson after lunch. Student B was in the same form too, but student B sat on her own next to me, whereas A was with a friend. Student A blimmin' started egging student B on, like she ever needed the encouragement. This was a weird transformation in A, for she became exactly like B had been in their RS lesson--unbearable, sarcastic and rude. I sighed inwardly, as I observed A feel more like herself because she felt more comfortable in her form teachers class, or perhaps knew she could be more loose.

The lesson ended with student B "secretly communicating" to her cronies at the front, about myself and then pretending not to laugh. Ha--I was with them next lesson too, which served them right! (They were sick of seeing me as I was of seeing them for the whole day).

After lunch it was Biology and shock horror, Student A sat with a quiet group and behaved brilliantly throughout the whole lesson. She put her hand up and got on with her work, which was a big contrast. However, student B, although not with her friends still happened to distract the people on her table (to a smaller degree though). Both students got on with their work which is great to see, and full credit goes to the teacher for her lesson was quite cool. It was interesting and captured their attention, not the usual same old "boring" things they are used to. (But as I said, Biology is great in this respect).

The final lesson was where I went to sleep and wrote random things backwards. (Well it was a passage between two people, which I will post if I ever get the chance). It was only student A in this lesson, and frankly I couldn't care less at that stage (I still noticed that she wasn't as hyper as she had been, but was still disruptive enough to be moved).

OK--there ends the waffle. It was very interesting to observe these two students, for it gives us an idea on how to position them so they get the maximum benefit from their lessons. Student B was radioactive. Wherever she went she could cause destruction, but she should definitely be kept away from her friends (at all costs). When sat with a different group, although she misbehaved she did get on with the work. She gets distracted very easily too, and can seriously destroy another class member with her mouth.

Student A though is a different story. On her own she is nothing, and will quietly get on with her work. If sat with a quiet and hard working group, perhaps she will also be well behaved. However, if Student B or any other disruptive and loud student was to sit nearby, then Student A will be a lost cause. Once she knows that she has a human shield of some source, or source of radioactivity, there is no stopping her.

I was meant to note how different teachers dealt with these students (etc), but from what I've written, if they got on with their work they were dealt with, and if not they weren't. That's all on this, but I might do it again with pupils from a different year group. (These were year 8s).

Tomorrow I should be going HOME again (woohoo). I will be collecting two maths books from Blackwells which have arrived for me, and should hopefully pop into the AT building too. (So don't be surprised...) I can't wait for tomorrow because I get to finish early from the school! (I am also very shattered and haven't really filled in the paperwork). Hmmm, I think that is all, or should there be something else too?

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