Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Games To Play In Controlled Assessments.

This post, in a first-of-its-kind manner, comes to you love from year 10s GCSE controlled assessment. As I stare in the children's cold, dead eyes, bordered with either hatred or an overuse of Girls Aloud endorsed makeup I wonder on the amount of money I am being paid to sit and watch students try their hardest to fail their GCSE and whether it is truly worth it, or why i got into this profession. I consider the six weeks of summer holiday and the amount of marking and paperwork I will be able to get done without any kids around. I also sit and muse on the ending of Watership Down and shed a slight tear.

The unchecked mind is a dangerous thing, particularly in a room full of students who personally blame you for putting them through three hours of silent work. Gove has announced that this no longer going to be the way. That there will be a new deafeningly silent light at the end of the tunnel. That we, as teachers, will be absolved of the maniacal dearth of noise that fills our eardrums with repressed rage every time we begin a lesson with the words. 'okay guys, you know what to do. Exam conditions, go.'

I always tend to start by imagining that I am involved in a serious accident and that I am being woken up by a doctor for the first time. Which of these students would wish to be that doctor. Which would you definitely not want.

One of my students just asked me for more paper. We are not far in. This is dangerous, they may be abandoning their previous answer to try and start again. Then I notice, the curse of rainforests across the world, double spaced one sided. There must be about twelve words on that sheet. This event does mark the opening of a new game. I stare into the eyes of my LSA. She stares back, quizzically. She does not know the game. I prepare myself for the first point. It is crucial to stamp your mark on The Game. I narrow my gaze. She looks at me as if I have deap-seated mental problems. Sometimes I even think I don't. In a flurry the first point is over, even before I could realize it began. The hand shot up. The words didn't quite leave the girl's mouth before I had plucked the paper from the desk. Outside a bird seemed to fly almost impossibly slowly in the air as time dripped ever slower and slower.Flap. My hand placed on the desk and my body lifted in the vault. Flap. My feet hit the gum-encrusted carpet and just slid a touch before I gained my grip. Flap. The floor echoes with the landing. Flap. My hand, paper pressed against it by almost visible air in the stillness windmills and slams the paper onto the student's desk. Smack. The Game releases it's hold on time.
'Paper?' I ask nonchalantly. I look at the LSA and wink. She shakes her head at me. I have this game under the cosh. Now to just keep the vigilance. One fucking Nil I think.
'No sir, How do you spell machine?'

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