Wednesday, 16 March 2016

6 Reasons I've Stayed in Teaching

All the examples cited are things I have personally had the joy of experiencing since I started in this job...

1) Knowing you're helping the next generation learn new things:
*whilst completing an assessment on a unit entitled "The Villain's of Shakespeare" that he has been studying all term*
Miss, who wrote Merchant of Venice?

Essay: JB Priestley explores several key themes in To Kill a Mockingbird. 

Contained in an assessment based on a term long unit on euthanasia:
How would you like it if you had euthanasia and weren't allowed to die?

Essay: This shows Macbeth is hallucinating about blood that is non-existent. This gives the audience the impression that he is on LSDs and this is something modern readers can relate to.

Task: Write a letter to an actor playing the character of Romeo.
Pupil: Dear Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Essay: Shylock has many evil features, for example, his beard.

2) Making a real impact:
Target: Be careful with your sentence structures.
Response: I will always sentence my structures accurately.

Target: Make sure you proof read your work.
Response: I will always proof read my work and proof read my work.

Target: What is one more way you could develop your analysis?
Response: i am a english god. (sic)

3) The logic of school children:
Year 11: Miss, you got me in trouble today.
Me: Oh, how's that?
Year 11: Well, I was hiding in the flower bed waiting to jump out at you and scare you, when Sir found me and hauled me out of there and told me off.

Year 8: Aw, miss! You're always picking on the naughty ones!

Me: Could you stop chewing on your ruler and making strange noises?
Year 10: I wasn't, I was being Scooby!

Year 7: Miss, I've one of lost my shoes.
*I look down at feet. Behold, both are clothed in shoes.*
Me: But you're wearing shoes.
Year 7: One of them isn't mine.
Me: Right. Whose is it?
Year 7: I don't know. It says Tom Brown in it.
Me: Okay, why are you wearing Tom Brown's shoe?
Year 7: I didn't realise it was his.
Me: *opens mouth to ask one of several questions* *closes mouth* *opens again* * closes again.* *Looking up Tom Brown on the system*
Me: Well, there are about 8 Tom Brown's on the system.
Year 7: Doesn't the system tell you what shoe size they have?
Me: *opens mouth**closes again.*

Another Year 7: Miss, I've lost my trousers.

4) The creativity of excuses
My dog stood on my iPad.

My exercise books got trapped under the floorboards when my dad was installing a chandelier.

I got carried away watching homeless people playing piano on the streets.

On the day Germany won the World Cup:

Apologies in advance,Due to the great events which transpired today and the celebrations which are about to happen, I may become extremely patriotic overnight and in school tomorrow, resulting in the rest of my coursework being written in German.Regards.

5) The apologies
On a trip to Germany, I was showing off my one piece of vocabulary: Schildkröte (tortoise) throughout the trip. Anyway, at one point I overheard a pupil I teach say in discussion, "English isn't really one of those subjects in which you learn anything." I must have looked suitably appalled, because about twenty minutes later he appeared with a tortoise key ring he had bought for me. His friend asked why he'd bought it, and he replied, "because I questioned Miss's life choices."

This, incidentally, was the same trip in which a boy "accidentally" packed a screwdriver in his hand luggage. A screwdriver! 

6) The bits that stick
Miss, I remember you saying that the best stories are sad, but have redemption in them. If they're too bleak, they're not realistic. Because you said in life there's hope. Real life is genuinely sad, but there is genuine redemption. I remember that and think about it when reading.

Ultimately, I think teaching, too, is a reflection of the big gospel narrative of life: there's a lot of difficult, confusing, and sometimes painful things. But there's hope, and plenty of redemption. Much of which comes from its utter hilarity.


  1. I've only just seen this! And very glad you went for the idea of writing up teaching experiences, these are amazing.


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