Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Leaver's Assembly I Want to Give

Hello Year Eleven.

Today is your final day of school. For many of you your exams are an open door that you only need to walk through to access a world of opportunity and happiness. A world where you can be anything you want to be as long as you work hard enough and accept that sometimes, in order to be what you want to be and do what you want to do it is going to get a little rough and uncomfortable. Sometimes you won't get eight hours, or regular three courses or 20k starting, but that's how it works. You have to grind to be good at things. Sacrifice and discomfort is the craft table for the model of who you want to be.

We will miss those among you that have accepted this. Those of you that have skipped a party to revise or spent lunchtime researching or who come and speak to us teachers after school to get the help you need. You. All of you we will miss, and the school will miss. I wish those of you this applies to the very best to the very last and you are always welcome back to visit us; we would love to know how you get on with life. If you choose to start families I hope you raise children in your image. If you don't have families then it is a loss to the gene pool, but possibly a gain to your happiness.

There are, however, those among you we will not miss. You are those that have skipped lessons, opted out of everything and decided that nothing we can do is good enough for your overinflated sense of self importance. To you, I address the rest of this speech.

I will not miss you.
This school will not miss you.
The further education that you will not get will not miss you.
The business you won't start won't miss you.
Your beautiful houses, all of them, won't miss you.
You fortune won't miss you.
Your incredible life partner won't miss you.
Your children will not miss the person that you are not.

They will instead watch grow old a horrifying waste of vacuous, foetid flesh that forms, just, the shape of someone who should not have been born because you barely know you were.

Year eleven, we as teachers are not allowed to tell you what we really think of you because it would probably cause you lasting emotional damage but, in this most final of non-final moments I just want you to know what utterly despicable human beings some of you are. You have bullied, aggravated and cajoled your way along a stretch of time where your caretakers are employed to help you and what have you done? You have left teachers crying in classrooms, head in hands. You have made them want to punch things, you have had them in late night phonecalls of inadequacy and despair. You have made them feel worthless. You have damaged the people who would never damage you.

Here is a truth: Not every teacher wants every child to do well. When you turned up, fresh-faced and full of life, we did. We wanted all of you to do well but some of you, since then, have been constant insults to yourself and, although many would not want to think it, we lost interest. You lost us and we stopped caring because there are hundreds of kids out there that need our care. You lost because of your arrogance, your self-importance and your simple inadequacy to recognise that people care about you and, even more simply, that people are actually people. We don't ask you to enjoy our subject, or our company, but we draw the line with your active attempts to ruin our lives. We're done with you and thank whatever deity cursed you with life for that.
I grant you a Good luck.
Don't come back. We don't care how you do.
Try not to breed.

[Applause and Jeers]

Tuesday, 20 May 2014


For the first time in my teaching career, I got to watch a prospective teacher deliver their interview lesson. It was horrible. The person observed was a PGCE student and it all just felt a little awkward because, essentially, he looked terribly under-trained. I don't know where he was studying (I don't really want to) as I wasn't heading up the interview, but it was a little bit embarrassing. The candidates were asked to teach something in English that they are passionate about. I took running internal monologue notes. I will repeat these, now.
  • Passionate about persuasive writing? Really?
  • Underpitched and nervous.
  • Cross-curricular (tick.)
  • Seemed to go off task early
  • Tone almost too pushy. 
  • Am I bored? I think I'm bored. 
  • Pace slow
  • Overtalks
  • By the book. 
  • Developed confidence
  • Class very quiet (not sure if this is a good thing)
  • Some explanations very vague. 
  • Not a worksheet. Please not a worksheet. 
  • Oh shit; it's a worksheet. 
  • Good classroom prescence
  • Students on task (note to self: Do they like worksheets?)
  • What have they learned at this point?
  • Feedback a touch weak and underdeveloped.
  • Is task too easy here?
  • Could be trained into a good teacher
  • Would have liked to see evidence of subject knowledge. 
  • Keywords? Spelling? Modelling?
  • Questions from class? Have they been taught any developed techniques?
  • Resource heavy. No individuality until 30mins in. Why? (Bad PGCE teaching maybe?)
  • Is this better than my interview lesson as an NQT?
  • Lacks confidence in own skill.
  • Potential but trained badly. 
  • With confidence, shows personality
  • Missing unpicking of learning
  • Plenary is quite nice but inherently rubbish. 

It's a roller coaster eh? I don't know what it is this year but it seems impossible to find good teachers to hire. Seems like everyone is leaving and there is a substantial lack of quality in the new students, in this case, seemingly, because they are badly trained and don't take risks. No life. I dunno, maybe something is putting people off...