Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Non exploding head day!

My head didn't almost explode today! However, that doesn't mean the classes were all excellent ... Year 11 were copying out key words though, so at least that meant that most of them have something in their books. Not great, I know, but still ... sometimes you just have to get them to write something. We did have a good discussion, though, since the new topic covers contraception, abortion and euthanasia.

Had a strange experience with two year 9s who kept on insisting that they wanted to print out their essays - I told them know, I'd print them out later, but they kept arguing, even after I started teaching - strange because it was really unlike them.

I have had some great Year 9 work, though. One level 8!

The Year 7s were taking part in an enterprise activity in the hall, which was fun. They made hats out of balloons, and had to explain what the hats represented. There were some really good ideas, like the hat that came with a jumble of balloons, which represented sharing good ideas - all the links were different ideas that the wearer had got from people.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Back to School

My head almost exploded today. It started during the Year 8 lesson, but as the Year 10s bounced around all about me, and one boy who had been particularly uncooperative at the start of the lesson started saying, "Listen to Miss, everyone! Help her out! I feel sorry for her", the tension in my body got worse and worse, the pressure in my blood obviously getting higher and higher, until I felt as if I were about to explode. You're not allowed to throw things at the pupils to get their attention, but I came very close to taking off my shoe and banging it on the whiteboard. Probably not a great idea, though, so I think it was best not to do that.

Two members of staff out, so that didn't help, but it wasn't too problematic. For me, anyway. It probably was for the poor teachers having to cover the lessons.

Have printed out all 20,000 words of my dissertation so far. Still have quite a bit to do, tidying up etc, but it's coming on.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Where have I been?

Well, I haven't posted for a while ... You'd have thought with it being half term, that I would have been posting lots of exciting updates!

However, the deadline for my dissertation is approaching very quickly, so although I'm at my computer morning, noon and night, I've been offline, analysing data and trying to work out different methodologies. Tough stuff!

I've also written an essay for my other course that I was on a few weeks ago, and today I learnt that I have passed! I'm very happy to have it out the way!

It's getting late, so I'm off now!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

I think you can tell it's getting near the end of term ... the pupils have been hyper all day. A few year 10s ended up having a 20 minute detention at the end of the day, but even when they left, the room was still in a state. Which leads me to the topic of Blog Action Day ... we are supposed to write about the environment. Well, my classroom environment was not good today. Even the displays are now tattier than ususal. Pupils seemed to be throwing themselves around the room today . Interestingly, the Year 8 assessment was about the environment and how it should be treated. I got some really good responses - the toilets sound really disgusting, and I hope the description of the canteen food and hygiene standards is purely artistic license! The pupils were also quite vocal about the state of the classrooms. It is depressing working in a room with peeling paint, graffiti, gum in the carpets, and a never ending supply of broken chairs and tables. It's a microcosm of how our outside environment should be - somewhere nice, pleasant, not spoiled in any way by thoughtless people.

Talking of thoughtless people, I was tidying the aforementioned classroom at the end of the day, when I saw a man (a parent?) get in his car, right in front of mine. Noticed there was very little room ... And then his reversing lights went on! I knew there would be no room for him to go back, so I frantically started banging on the window, but to no avail. He went back, right into my front bumper, and our car moved! He then drove off, and I went running round to inspect the damage. Fortunately there wasn't any I could see, but I wasn't impressed with his driving technique at all.

The other interesting thing that happened was the visit from Trident. They were excellent, and there were pictures of guns that you had to guess if they were real or fake. The difficulties we had telling one from the other showed how hard it is for armed police officers to make up their minds whether or not someone has a real or fake gun. There were also images of victims of gun and knife crime, which weren't very nice.

There have been about 21 young people killed in London this year so far. It is worrying when it sometimes seems to be getting closer to home.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Almost didn't update!

It's been a busy, eventful and generally positive week - and a busy weekend - again! - hence the late entry.

Monday was fun - we had the TV cameras in, and the Year 7s were excellent. Very well behaved. I've managed to make some nice certificates for them which should be handed out in assembly this week. I took off the two lessons before filming, which was just as well since some of the websites I wanted to use weren't working, and we had to get them up and running first!

Our next big day was Wednesday, a special day for our House. We had a visitor to the school, a man whose son was killed a couple of years ago. He spoke very movingly - you could have heard a pin drop. Shame the students weren't so attentive during Mass in the morning!

The next major event was after school on Thursday. I had to give a presentation of my findings of my research. Just need to get it written up as my dissertation now! It was a fun evening though, especially on the way home in the bus with some other teachers, where we discussed how we could use new technologies to move the school forward.

I've spent the weekend marking the Year 7 and Year 8 assessments. The Year 9s will finish theirs tomorrow, then the Year 10s and 11s later in the week. And then it's half term! (And writing up the dissertation ...)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Disappointment at Formula 1

Well, I'm feeling really quite sad at the moment, since we've just watched Lewis Hamilton go off the pit lane and have to retire from the Chinese Grand Prix. So there's just Brazil in two week time. I hope Hamilton manages it ...

Highlights of the week? Well, my Year 7s gave their presentations, and some of the students in the lower group did particularly well. They had to speak about their community, and there were some very clear and confident speakers. It's a shame that in between times, so many of them are rude to each other, shouting out, pulling faces, drumming, getting out of their seats ...

My other Year 7s were practicing using the computers. I got them all logged on - and the website was blocked! Great. Such are the pitfalls of using the ICT suite!

It's been quite busy, but mostly okay. The Year 11s were much better than last week, and the Year 10s had a couple of good lessons, mainly because some of the more disruptive students were not there.

We had a parents' evening as well, which was interesting ... it was an explanation of what parents should expect with the SATs coming up, and one parent made a big scene about the lack of communication with the school (I think she thought it was the sort of parents' evening where you meet the teachers rather than an information evening), then another parent asked her to talk to someone by herself rather than wasting everyone's time, so that was interesting.

Busy weekend trying to get ready for tomorrow and a presentation of my research on Thursday.