Bestworst lesson

23rd February 2007 at 00:00
BEST: I was beginning to think it impossible to convert my Year 2s from the present tense "Instructions" to past tense "Recounts". The best gave me about three simple sentences. It was dire, so, as any self-respecting grown-up would do, I reached for inspiration (well... biscuits).

I began in complete silence. From my bag, I drew biscuits, chocolate spread, milky buttons, strawberry sauce and a knife. The children watched in silence as I coated a biscuit with lashings of chocolate spread. Not a word had passed our lips.

I smiled and grinned around the room before whispering the first question:

"What did I do?" Magically, the response came in the past tense. I carefully arranged two milky buttons for eyes. "What did I do?" elicited more past tense responses. The strawberry sauce "mouth" was very gooey... I spoke as I squeezed, "Carefully... care-fully... gently... gently" (a staged aside). Strangely, their responses were more elaborate, actually incor-porating my adverbs.

Then I grinned, mis-chievously, widened my eyes and bit a big chunk greedily. They squealed, I munched. Then to their utter delight, I licked all the chocolate off the remainder, getting it all over my hands and chin.

The recount was fabulous. They all detailed wonderfully how greedy and disgusting my performance was, and the punctuation included elipses and exclamation marks in abundance!

Purely as a means of saving face, I let them all make one afterwards. And I have to say, they too have very bad manners WORST My worst lesson was probably in the early days of supply teaching. A Year 5 class had three children with behavioural needs. Each had a support assistant, so all my behaviour problems were over. Surely four adults could handle a bunch of 10-year-olds?

To enjoy a long afternoon maths lesson on three-dimensional shape we would design and make models. While they were designing and constructing, I decided I would draw some nets on the board so they could come and write their names next to the "correct net for a cube".

There was a lot of chatter. The laughter and the friendliness I put down to the fact that all of the children were comfortable with the activity. I didn't mind.

A support assistant was summoned elsewhere. There were still three of us left with the excited mathematicians. I should have given them my full attention, but I continued to draw on the board. As I wrote I heard a tiny voice say "Noooooo" and, before I could turn around, some entertainer had launched a pair of scissors and caught me squarely on the left buttock.

I spun around, squealing, as four defensive lads leapt across the tables and pinned the assailant to the ground. The girls were all screaming and the boys shouting.

Fortunately the rip in my trousers was tiny and I wasn't bleeding (thank goodness for MS knickers).

I felt the agony of the bruise for at least a week, but the dent to my professionalism I still feel today Beverley Kirk is a teacher in Lancashire Tell us about your best and worst lesson - and we'll pay you pound;100.

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