Saturday, 18 June 2011

School school school!

It has been a while since I have posted about school.  Really, it has. But I just have to post a little snippet of the numerous little joys that teaching brings me.  (And no, I'm nothing like  Roald Dahl's Miss Honey. Or even Mr Chips. Nothing at all. Right?)

It has arrived at the time of year when we reach...the end of the year. The time when suddenly the children and I realise that we have worked hard together all year and we really, really like each other. They have all finally clocked on to my (super dry, bordering sarcastic) sense of humour. (One or two got it from Day One. They are the ones I have joked with all year, grinning and giggling quietly to themselves.) The class can do almost anything I ask them to do - mostly. Even putting capital letters and full stops in the right places. Mostly. And so we begin to inspire each other.

Now yes, hopefully I have inspired them much earlier in the school year. I think I have. I've had some amazing creative writing - stories, poems, even newspaper reports - and art work. They've shown tremendous concern and care for each other and those less fortunate than they are.

But this last week has been an unusual joy. It started from a homework assignment which I left up to them to decide. We'd looked at the English Civil War, talked a lot about it and the questions still kept coming several minutes after the last bell of the day. (Yes, I know, timekeeping and all that...but what do you do in the face of enthusiasm?  KEEP GOING!)  So I suggested that they find out more, presenting their findings a week later - in any form they wanted.

I was stunned by their enthusiasm.  They wrote pages of notes and explanations; produced a newspaper page of the 'Stuart Times'; created a 'Wanted' poster for Charles I, listing his various 'crimes' against the crown; created a chess set featuring the different groups of characters in the Civil War; and produced 'Lego' models of a battle, and Charles I's trial and execution.

So, I had to record it. Because I know, come September/October, I will begin to wonder what I am doing, when homework is scrappily done, or not at all, and the children I  teach are 'takers' rather than 'givers'. I will look at this, and remember, and look forward to seeing the results of a year of hard work once more. It will happen.

As for this class - in a few weeks they will be gone, moving on to greater things. And I will rejoice with them - in a grieving kind of way.

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