just another day

My Day at Fanny and Maude’s School for Fine Young Women

I went in the back door of the library to get some resources before classes started and was there before the library assistant arrived and when he did he rushed over and opened the doors so that all the girls tumbled in and then I noticed he had blood pouring from his chin. He said that he had suffered a little accident. I suggested that he go to the school nurse for first aid and I would look after the library until someone else arrived. I waited until class time and then threw all the girls out of the library to go to form class and then raced over to admin to report they needed someone to front the library as I had to teach. Turns out his little accident was a blackout that he suffered at the train station and he fell and hit his chin. He was sent home to recover.

Morning tea duty with the junior school. One girl came to  complain to me that her friends were saying she was doing things she wasn’t.Another girl was sitting huddled in a corner crying because her friends were saying she took some crackers when she didn’t. I comforted her and then continued my patrol. Two little boys came up to me and told me jokes – one good and one bad, but they were jokes and I needed some.

The bell and loudspeaker system was down due to yesterday’s weather and so all we had was a bell from the 19th century to ring. School had to go into lock down because a known paedophile had been seen in the grounds of the special school next door and without a speaker system teachers had to run from room to room alerting students to stay in their classrooms. We all wondered who it was that memorised some list of known paedolphiles. That is both a good thing and a very worrying thing to do.

I have a new student in my year 8 class. She is an Aboriginal girl from North Queensland and she is a very undisciplined little person. She has no attention span and wants to sing all the time. I had to be a little firm with her and insist that she do some work, and she first told me to  “go away” and then gave me a look like she was about to punch me, but I remained consistent and got her to read a little. English is her second language though she is Australian born. She is going to be a sharp learning curve for me, as I will be for her. I suspect that she won’t return after the Christmas holidays.

I completed my week of bus duty today. I became quite professional at using the megaphone and announcing the buses as they arrived. “501, bus 501!” There are always two teachers on bus duty and one announces the buses and does crowd control and the other writes down the name of any student trying to leave the school grounds without their hat on, or any other uniform infringements. Parents actually complaint when they see girls walking without their hats on…When I went to school you dashed out the gate and jumped on a bus. The buses weren’t numbered as they are today, a teacher didn’t stand near the bus announcing the bus for us, in fact there was no teacher to be seen outside the school. We just made our own way home right from grade one. The kids are so reluctant to think that when they have a query about a bus they won’t walk and look at the number of the bus to make sure if it is the correct bus for them, they will walk the entire length of the bus stop (about 6 bus lengths long) and come back and ask us if their bus had arrived and which one it is, even when they have been standing next to it – talking 16 and 17 year olds here. Sigh.

Today was Canteen Day and so I wore a bandana to help raise money for the cause. One of my students is still grieving from the loss of her 12 year old sister from cancer last year and she became quite excited that I was wearing my bandana in class. Sad.

Today was also World Teacher’s Day…yipee.

14 thoughts on “just another day

  1. My goodness. I tell you, the kids today are really something else to deal with in groups. I don’t know how you teachers do it. Just the two I have are so much and they are extremely good. I cannot imagine dealing with a classroom full of them!

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    • It is really exhausting. I know that so many people think that we only work 9 to 3 and have weeks of holidays, but the truth is that I am there from 7.30 to 4 each day, and then spend some part of most evenings and weekends at home working on class work. First two weeks of most holidays everyone is just physically exhausted.

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    • Some days all you can hang onto is the thought that “this day will end” but other days you feel as though you are on wings and it can be due to something as small as a student thanking you for helping them with something. Or a smile when you wear a bandana.

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  2. Thanks for this insight into the world of modern education FD.
    I think I lament the passing of our days of childhood freedom, and the automatic respect we had for elders.

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  3. Sounds like a long week. I really like hearing about your work and day! Why do parents get mad about hats? That seems so strange to me! Is it a private school? It sounds like it. Are public schools similar? Sorry for so many questions. :$ Wasn’t long ago that I was in high school. XD Weird… feels like a thousand years…

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    • It is a private school and though it is 2010 we are also expected to raise “young ladies”. I would like to say it is because of sun awareness but I fear that it is just that “we pay $10,000 a year for this education we want to see something for it”. Elitism.
      Public schools would love to be the same, but they have so many behaviour issues that it is more difficult for them. They try to apply the hat rule but their approach is more that the government doesn’t want to get sued when someone gets skin cancer in 20 years time.

      My youngest child left high school 8 years ago and it is a different world from that time.

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  4. I spent 4 years at a boarding school – still shudder if I see green socks…ours had to be kept pulled up at all times. (As boarders, if we were to be allowed out in public we had to wear stockings and keep blazer on at all times – bad luck if it was stinking hot.)

    As for the respect thing in schools –
    Tuesday this week I attended an assembly at Master 14’s school (special assembly as he and several others were getting gold awards so there were quite a few parents there.)
    One girl chose the occasion to put on a performance a 2 year old would have been proud of – except she added language no 2 year old would ever have used; and this directed at the vice principal. Maybe he was asking too much when he requested the kids remove hats and sit quietly…
    I have so much admiration for any teacher in the system these days – be it public or private.
    I also now realise that my own teens are complete angels compared to some and for that I am so so grateful.

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    • Yesterday I was pretty direct with a year 10 who told me she couldn’t be “arsed” reading the set novel. I said “why do you think you are special and outside the rules? Do you think it is fair that everyone else in the class has to read the book and you don’t? You are setting up an excuse for yourself so that you can say “oh I would have passed but I didn’t read the book.” I said it loud enough so that others could hear too.

      She started reading the book.

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  5. I do think that the girls at your school are a bit different from the average teens, don’t you? Just from what you have described, they sound like pampered, wealthy girls, a bit spoiled and protected.

    I remember running out of school and finding my own bus. My 12 year old finds her way from the middle to the high school in the afternoons and volunteers to help with props while her sister practices for the play. I am sorry that you have to deal with what sounds like spoiled girls and parents. Hang in there and have a good weekend 😀

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