Thank God it's Friday

4th June 2004 at 01:00
Monday Year 9 are on the downward spiral towards their Sats. I hope I can motivate them. Fat chance. Halfway through the lesson, when they are writing dialogues as characters based on a curfew scenario, a girl yells:

"Sir! Sir! Look at Chevonne's piercing!" I manage to stop myself turning round, and instead mutter: "Put it away, Chevonne."

Tuesday Middle set, Year 10, has a rash of bizarre questions. "Sir! Are you German?" (I'm not). "Sir! Is your first name Troy?" (It isn't). And "Sir! Was Wilde a queer?" ("Use the proper word, DarrenI "). Half an hour into the lesson I spot Stephen writing detailed, beautifully neat notes. In his blood. His pen ran out of ink and he accidentally cut his finger during break. I lend him a pen.

Wednesday Bottom set, Year 10. We discuss their ambitions and dreams, and after suggesting he'd like a career as a sex toy, Chris admits he wants to become a plumber. When pushed, he reluctantly admits that he enjoys working with his hands and fixing things. My faith in the human race is almost restored. Almost.

Thursday My dreaded Year 7 mixed-ability class. We're working on an extended project based on an 18th-century shipwreck and they've just landed on an island. I gently explain to film buff Nick that he can't use the names "Jack Sparrow" or "Will Turner" for his characters. He sulks, but agrees to change it to "Jack Starling".

Friday Busiest day. Year 9 realises that Sats are staggering over the horizon and stay more or less focused. Year 10, bottom set, work hard. With only one class left to go, I think I've finally cracked it. The words "count", "chickens", and "hatched" glare at me. My middle-set Year 10 class snigger throughout most of the final period. I check my flies, but they're done up. After a tense and unnerving hour, Kirsty explains the joke; it isn't funny. She also explains the "Troy" question from TuesdayI I don't watch Midsomer Murders, but it's a compliment. Which only leaves that German question...

The writer is a PGCE student. He wants to remain anonymous

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