Wednesday, 26 April 2017

V is for Voiceless Victim

Vacant, Void, Vexed, Visibly Vanished,
Viscous Verdicts, Values Vanquished
Is this what it's like to be the
Voiceless Victim?

I'm watching 13 Reasons Why.  I know I'm not the demographic it was aimed at but I am "enjoying" it - if that's the right way to describe something about teen suicide?  I think it gives the appropriate attention to the fall-out on the adults and the teens it depicts but I don't know because luckily for me I've never had anyone close to me who took their own life.  But I do know what it feels like to be a child who feels suicidal because I once was that child.  Age 11.  There...that is something I have never told anyone. 

Luckily, I kept thinking what would happen to the people I left behind and I decided that I couldn't do that to them.  I had changed primary schools at Easter for the last term before secondary school and I hated my new school mainly I think because I had loved my previous school.  I didn't fit in, I had no friends. I was becoming pre-pubescent. I felt I couldn't tell my parents because I knew how much the move had meant to them.  I was alone and therefore I just didn't want to go on anymore.  If I say, I opened high-up windows and found razor-blades and leave it at that. 

It was an awful period but I got through it and when I went to secondary school I left behind those children and that school ethos and made good friends and had a wonderful time.  And no-one ever knew because I didn't want anyone to.  And that's why, when I watch 13 Reasons Why, I think they have it right about the victim being voiceless and unable to tell anyone what she is going through - to make the true connection person to person and get help - because it is so hard.  
I don't have any answers and these are only my own thoughts - I am quite happy to have comments but I also know this is a very sensitive subject so please write considerately.  Thank you.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

U is for Uniformity

Unyielding Uniformity - Unbending, Unquestioning, Unambitious
Unnerving Uniformity - Unforgiving, Uncaring, Unbelievable
Unleash Uniqueness - Understanding, Unafraid, Unbowed

I am not a fan of uniformity - maybe because I've always been a bit of an Undercover rebel? Recently, for my Nordic walking, I went on a course and one of my fears was that the instruction would be about how each lesson would be uniform across the board with no ability to teach to the individual - which is sometimes what it takes.  Luckily, this was not the case and I could breathe a sigh of relief and return to my Nordic walkers knowing what I'd been doing had been given the thumbs up as a way of teaching :)
It seems to be that Unfortunately more and more teachers have to fit into a pattern of uniformity across the school. Of course I can see some strengths in this - a uniform reading scheme - a uniform maths scheme etc but the growing encroachment on how teachers teach is more of a worry to me.  To be shoe-horned into a way of doing things does not seem right.  We all have our own ways of getting through to children and we tweak these ways to respond to individuals if we are a good teacher. Each class is different and respond to different things - knowing how to do this is surely one of the signs of being a good teacher? Having our hands tied on the ways we do things stops this from happening - so for that I am NOT a fan of Uniformity in teaching.

Now it's your turn: What is a pet hate of yours?  How can we make the world a better place?  Are you a fan of uniformity?  Leave a comment below because you know I'd love to know :)

Monday, 24 April 2017

T is for Terrible Teacher

Thoughtlessly Trenchant, Terrifyingly Tempestuous,
Taunting Tirades, Tediously Trite,
These Things Tailor a Terrible Teacher

Perhaps not a post a teacher should be writing but we have all come across those teachers who really shouldn't have been in teaching.  I was a good student and luckily didn't have any of the wrath of teachers fall on me personally but I was still in classrooms where a teacher could terrify you with their shouting or throwing of board rubbers!  Or those who thought it was a good idea to really bring a student down a peg by rubbishing their work - how many children were put off a subject because they were told they couldn't do it?  I think things have got better but I don't think any teacher should be complacent about how and what they teach - children need a lot more than simply an adult standing at the front of the class telling them things!
Did you ever experience a Terrible Teacher?  Did you ever get put off a subject at school because of your teacher?  Did you ever overcome a difficulty despite your teacher?  Leave a comment below because I sure would like to know :)

Saturday, 22 April 2017

S is for Solitary Sapien Solar System?

Solitary Sapien-Specied Solar System?
Slight & Shatterable, Solicits Salvation
So Salute
Earth Day and do what you can!

As Eco Co-ordinator for my school, I used to love the initiatives for Earth Day and the challenges I would set the children to celebrate the 22nd April.  
What will you be doing for Planet Earth?  Click on the link above for ideas :)

Friday, 21 April 2017

R is for Racing Rodents


Racing Rodents, Rock-like Reptiles
Required Responsibility, Respect, Regard
so helping to nurture and train kinder, thoughtful children.

I was lucky that I grew up in school classrooms that had animals there to be cared for by us as pupils. Now days many classrooms are devoid of "pets" for health and safety reasons and I think this lessens the ability for children to understand how as "superior" beings we should look after the other animals on the planet.  There is also the well documented phenomena of may of our most challenging pupils being very caring and quiet around animals especially when given the responsibility of taking care of them.
Did you have classroom "pets"?  Do you think animals should be in a classroom environment? Were you the animal monitor?  Did you ever get to look after the class pet during the holidays?  Leave a comment below because I sure would like to know :)

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Q is for Quixotic Quidditch

 Quivering Quintains, Quixotic Quidditch,
Quiz Questions, Quality Quiche
All occur in the school hall.

School halls are normally the place where daily assembly takes place, school dinners are eaten or indoor gym class goes on. But they are also the place where school gathers for exciting events; to see entertaining visitors maybe from centuries long ago, watch a class perform to see what they have been learning that half term, to cheer on their school quiz panel or have a cookery demonstration.

What can you remember taking place in your school hall that was exciting?  Did you enjoy indoor gym?  Were you on the quiz team?

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

P is for Popular People

Popular People Perhaps Practice Perfectionism?
Possibly Perceiving Potential Participants' Problems
so Prohibiting Peer Panel Procurement?

I can't say I was ever a popular pupil with my peers - I was trustworthy - I was helpful - I was kind but these things normally do not lead to winning a place on the popular girls' table.  It seemed to me to be more about how you looked, what you wore and who you had your eye on and those things had to be Perfect!  
Even as a teacher surveying a class it is easy to spot the popular children - the ones others fight to sit next to, to play with, to share with and often it is not those children that a teacher would hold up as models of behaviour but still they hold court and there is little anyone else can do about it.
Were you a Queen Bee or a Superior Male?  If so, what was it like and did you use your powers for good? If you weren't, did you want to be part of the gang or couldn't care less?  Leave a comment below and let me know :)