Snow Day

School’s shut because of the snow 🙂 I got a text at 6:45 saying “School shut, stay in bed”. I’ve not looked outside yet to see what the snow is like, but I can hear cars going past the window so the motorway and road into town is open. Either the snow around school is really bad, or a load of people from the surrounding areas woke up this morning and thought “nah, not today”.

And I just found this via the magic of the Internet…

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Nottingham Council's webcam...

Inspection tomorrow

latexTomorrow the OFSTED people come to visit. The theme of their visit is our post-16 part and other random stuff including several “types” of student. We’ve all been getting prepared, writing lesson plans and making sure everything is as it should be. Three inspectors are coming to visit for the day and will be wandering into lessons at random to see what’s going on.

Considering I teach a year 9 lesson in the post-16 block that contains several types of student they are coming to look at, what’s the betting someone wanders into my lesson. It’s also the lesson where the kids like to mess around and cause hassle, that I have to cross the entire school grounds in less than a minute to get to on time, that is in a classroom where there is no teacher PC so I have to take my laptop that takes five minutes to boot up and notice the network.

Knowing my luck they’ll be sat in there having a quiet five minutes writing notes when we arrive.

If they do, they’ll see a fine example of how to use cold weather to control children since I don’t let them into the 6th form block until they’re quiet and calm.

Week 2

Of 39…

It’s going well so far. I managed to keep a class of year 9s quiet whilst I spoke to them for ten minutes, which is a big improvement on last year when I was fighting the buggers to keep their mouthes shut. Tomorrow I will have looped around all my classes once, so I’m watching now for any of the quiet timid ones to start poking their heads up.

And when they do, I’ll soon make them hide again.

This year’s motto of “take none of their crap” is proceeding well.

While sorting out my diary’s categories I made that strange realisation of just how old this site is. I’ve been pushing words into this since October 2000 – LiveJournal users, this is where you follow the link back onto my real site 🙂 . The database is growing quite large now, and there’s some fun posts hidden in here. I think I’ll have some self-indulgence and post up a selection of my favourite entries. It can be the blogging equivalent of those “Top 100 ways to watch paint dry” programs that TV is full of.

At the weekend we’re supposedly off to rescue some ZX Spectrums from being thrown in the tip. I have no idea what I’d do with more of them, but the books and assorted addons interests me. I’m a sucker for weird hardware 🙂

School’s back for Autumn

Well it was back on Monday, but I was busy doing things to bother writing “I am back at work” in a post. Instead, here’s one three days into the new term.

Good points

There’s new staff (fresh meat) for the kids to chew on, I’m now old and boring and not worth winding up any more. Although my form take the piss still, but being in a smaller, more contained room with no art supplies or water helps.

My timetable is more spread out, I no longer have all my lessons rammed into Monday and Friday with a giant gap on Thursday. Mondays will feel less like I’m jumping on a tredmill running at full speed.

Today’s year 7 class couldn’t have been more quiet and timid, it was funny. I hope it lasts.

Putting the frightners on a kid who was farting around with the XP accessability settings was funny, and had the desired effect. It’ll be a long long time before he shows the class how to press Ctrl-Alt-Down to invert the screen, or mess with sticky keys.

The Bad

I’ve not got rid of all my irritating students from last year, and might have picked up a few new ones hiding amongst the timid. They do stand out a bit though and my new tactic of writing detentions in their planners seems to be working well, they have no excuse for “I forgot” now.

There’s some timewasters in my AS Level group, they’ll need weeding out.

Apart from that though, Day 3 in the Big Brother Zoo went well. Tomorrow I have one of my more disruptive students from last year. I wonder how many seconds she lasts before I remove her and fall out with her.

Musings of a MAME cabinet

Got my hair cut, it no longer looks like a bush and after a quick (but expensive) spin round Asda I have some new shoes, a new t-shirt (with cool Space Invaders logo on) and a bit of food.

This holiday has been good, I’ve been off to France on holiday, sorted out my website, seen friends and generally had time off. It would have been good to have completed a project that I’ve been meaning to do for years which is build a MAME cabinet, however I lack the space in my house to put one.

I have all the parts, I just need the wood and space to put one. I’m getting rid of a big TV to my sister’s so maybe I could put one in its’ place.

School again soon

Work starts on Monday, best boot my work laptop and see if there’s anything important I need to do before I start. Monday is an INSET day though, which is good since I’ve not got my class lists yet, so I don’t know who I’m teaching.

I do have more clue about what’s happening next term though. There’s a lot less to learn, I should only have to learn the names of four classes of kids, rather than twenty and the work I did last year can be modified and used again.

And we’re done for summer

School has finished for the summer. That’s one year I’ve completed, and since I passed my NQT year I am now considered a “normal” teacher. I will use part of the summer holiday to sort out next year, so that it works a bit more smoothly.

This year has been pretty difficult, but I’ve learnt a lot and have plans for the new term. I’m going to approach things differently and make my year 7s pee with fright 😉 Well, I won’t; I will train them to do certain things at the start of lessons though.

I now get to apply for my “golden hello”; a wodge of money the government gives you, probably as a bribe, if you manage to stick out your first year of teaching. They should call it the “golden carrot”, if anything 😉 I orginally lost my application form, filing it away somewhere safe after making a copy of it. I suspect I filed it away in my recycling bin by mistake. A replacement has been posted to me and I just need to get it signed by the deputy head.

I’m now off to Wiltshire for the weekend with Amy to visit her grandma. We’re camping in her grandma’s garden in Amy’s giant six-person tent.

Work related boredom, and how to kill it

I used to have a very boring job working in a shop. On the busy days I got to run around dealing with the great unwashed, and hours would fly by. On slow days (so… any day that wasn’t Saturday) I would waste hours just standing still.

Really… once I stood totally still for two hours without moving.

I’d gone through the phase of wandering the shop floor learning where the stock was, then progressed through the phase of “let’s unpack a delivery and take three hours”, off into the “let’s see how quickly I can unpack a delivery” and right on past “clean every square inch of the shop”. I seriously had nothing to do but look after my (deserted) section of the shop.

It gave me quite a while to reflect on things (mostly “why is the clock going backwards?”) and decide that on the whole, being paid £5 an hour to stand still wasn’t really worth it.

Now, since it’s a week and a half before we break up for summer at school (different job, much more interesting) I’ve suddenly found lots of free time. And I’m getting a tad bored again. So bored that I’m planning what I will be doing next September. I have a cunning plan to work out all my lessons for the coming school year so that I don’t have to do much during next school year except zoo keep and teach 🙂 If I had a list of kids, I could even write my reports 😉

So far I’ve made a nice little Gantt-style chart that’s neatly (and colourfully) organised all the units of work. From this I’ve started to list the lessons and brief ideas for them. There’s even the required 5 weeks ‘fudge’ time for when things kick my plans in the balls.

Hopefully I can get my planning done so that the holidays are mine and I don’t have to work after school planning stuff either. Next year looks more straight forward, I’ve taught all the stuff before so will scrape the bits together and make them better.