Sometimes it's not a good thing to encourage too much creativity in the classroom. In my first year of teaching I had an enjoyable and high-achieving drama class made up of 16 girls and three boys.
After a couple of early assessments the boys came up to me to complain. They felt that they weren't getting as high marks as some of the girls and jokingly accused me of being sexist.
I checked the marks and, although they were higher for a particular group of girls, I felt that the boys got the marks they deserved and explained the reason, that because the girl group was dealing with more serious issues in an imaginative way compared to the boys' comic pieces, they were hitting the higher mark bands.
What I hadn't noticed was that these boys had a rivalry going with the group of girls and were using the drama classroom as an arena for their battles. So when in a major assessment the girls scored higher than the boys, they decided enough was enough.
They were a talented threesome and their performances were always well acted and funny. What I hadn't been expecting was a display of their musical and lyrical talent.
At the end of the next lesson, the three of them stood up and, to the tune of "She'll be coming 'round the mountain", sang the following ditty:
"If you've got a penis it's a B,
Oh if you've got a penis it's a B.
If you've got a schlong, it's B for you all day long,
If you want A* it's double D."
The class fell about in laughter and it was hard not to join in. The boys meant no disrespect, but were putting their concerns across in a comical manner. I would have given them a high mark for it, but, as the rhyme suggests, had to settle on a B.
Dan Clay is a supply teacher in Greater Manchester.