Why I am still here

Work is great. My job is still mentally challenging without being unreasonably stressful. The kids are good fun and interesting to work with. All I have to do is put in a bit of effort in my planning and assessment and my lessons go well every time. Even on the days I do not plan properly and only have a rough idea of what I want to happen in the lesson, it all goes really well.

My first lesson was about reaction times and preparing them for an Assessed Practical. I cannot give them a lot of help with this as it is a controlled assessment so it was gratifying to hear them talking about how to make the experiment fair, reliable and accurate with only a tiny bit of prompting from me.

My second lesson was about how the body protects itself from infection and the boys in that class are really starting to open up. We have been moaning at them at parents’ evening since they started that they are too quiet. I have been trying something a bit different where I have a powerpoint with their names flashing up at random, when I press stop a name is frozen on the board and they have to answer the question. It is a great way of getting the shy ones out of their shells because they *have* to listen and they *have* to think of answers and they *have* to try. If you are not a hand waver it is easy to get lost and not even think about the questions.

The technology used in the lesson was unthought of even when I started five years ago. I had a boring old powerpoint with pictures and bullet points and then every few slides were videos I stole from Youtube or Teachers.tv with the main points again or animations. It is something we can stop, pause, replay and much clearer in many ways than my pictures on the board.

I also made them laugh a few times, with my sound effects for arrows (pyu-pyu-pyu) and phagocytes (oooooonomonomonom).

There was even a long-ish video about Swine Flu filmed in the UK which was quite interesting.

My last lesson was with my special needs kids. They are bright and good at English (I have the top set) but they lack confidence and also a work ethic. It is a constant battle to get them to show me what they know. Plus, I was getting them to do the Past Simple which (while they are able to make the Past Simple easily when they are not thinking about it), was hard because it was GRAMMAR and therefore offputting.
I took them out in the last half hour or so for a snowball fight. It is really white and bright outside, perfect weather. Cold and bright.

Tomorrow is Lab Day (where I do physics and chemistry all day), as long as the snow storm tonight doesn’t prevent work.