From the forums - Love's dung dream and a few flashes of genius

22nd October 2010 at 01:00
Strange gifts from the heart, science with a bang, and those witty ripostes just keep on coming

The education world is in a depressing phase, with cuts and redundancies looming. So teachers deserve any opportunity to be cheered up, and one of those is a heart-warming thread on the TES online staffroom. School staff have been responding to the question: "What is the loveliest thing your OH (other half) has done for you?"

Some of these acts of kindness by husbands, wives, girlfriends and boyfriends have been gifts, including the soppy standards of flowers, chocolates and poetry. But other partners have shown a practical side.

"He got me a big pile of steaming manure for my allotment!" wrote PlymouthMaid, adding: "I'm not a very girly girl, as he observed."

Meanwhile, kibosh says she had been delighted to receive a roadside safety kit and a foot pump from her husband, which she noted was "invaluable". And tangerinecat has been impressed by her partner's willingness to tidy up after their young son, unasked, adding: "This morning he cleaned up a big pile of cornflakey vomit!"

For giraffe, the discussion brings back an indelible memory: "I will always remember leaning on his shoulders when I was in labour. He was solid and warm and smelled wonderfully clean in a freshly ironed shirt. I thought I could do anything if I had him to hold me up." After a pause, she adds: "He makes brilliant tea too."

Heartwarming stuff. Unless you're single, in which case it may just depress you further.

What can be done to make science a more appealing subject to pupils? For Lilyofthefield the answer is simple: "Bangs, flashes, smells, and most importantly, no writing."

But p1j39 is less convinced by the power of practicals, suggesting they would be little use for teaching "atomic physics to GCSE students".

Au contraire, replies Mathsteach2: "I taught atomic physics with radioactive materials and a Geiger counter to GCSE students and the lower-ability groups and we had great fun. For example, playing hide the sample and see who can find it - a variation on 'hunt the thimble'."

p1j39 acknowledges that approach could work and that bangs had their place in the classroom. "But 99.9 per cent of all science does not involve explosions - 'Sir, can we blow something up?' 'No, remember how your parents complained when you lost your left eye.'"

More teacher put-downs have been added to the long-running list of best responses to pupils' comments. sixthdangan described how a child with a sore digit said innocently: "Sir, I can't write with my finger." The teacher replied: "Try using a pencil."

But the winner is still Jim. Pupil: "I'm going to be seven next week!" Teacher: "Not if you call out in class again." Veiled threats rule.

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