Another year ending…

This academic year I have:

  • gone from being unemployed to getting a permanent job at College
  • gone from having 0 teaching hours per week to 12 teaching hours per week
  • successfully completed the first year of my PGCE
  • entered students to the Higher Tier of the GCSE exam, rather than all Foundation Tier
  • managed to become a manager at the College (I know, how???)
  • became quite active in the Union.

All told, quite a busy year. My management job is full-time (my previous job was part-time, allowing me to do 12 hours of teaching). But I need to be allowed to finish the PGCE, so next year I will (fingers crossed!)be allowed to carry on the minimum teaching load to keep up with the PGCE, 6 hours per week. As coincidence would have it, that is the amount of time given to the challenging students for English, so I can carry on teaching those classes for another year (I hope).

The exam is on Tuesday. I’m nervous. The majority of my students are sitting the Higher Tier paper. That includes almost half the challenging students. I hope my faith in them pays off, not for me, but for them. The Foundation paper may be capped, with a maximum mark, but the Higher Tier paper fails you if you don’t get a D. The students are capable, but sometimes they don’t want to work for it. But I at least hope that I have impressed upon them the importance of the exam.

Things that my students have taught me this year?

  • Apparently if I were to kick one of them in the head it would constitute the Best. Lesson. Ever.
  • I overestimate how well my students know internet memes.
  • 34 years old is apparently “ancient”.
  • Star Wars references are wholly lost on my students.
  • As are Harry Potter references.
  • And biblical references.
  • Don’t even mention topical news references.
  • There is no more inappropriate way to end a controlled assessment assignment than with “peace out homie and shit.”
  • Students will still demand to “watch a film” during every class except the ones when they have to write a film review and therefore watching a film might actually be of benefit to those who keep moaning that they “don’t know what film to pick”…
  • My students own more smartphones than any person has a reasonable need for.
  • My students can hide smartphones in more places than any person has a reasonable need to contemplate.
  • Despite having to read less whilst studying it, my students cannot abide poetry, and would much rather we had studied Of Mice and Men.
  • I am still irrationally against teaching Of Mice and Men and am thinking about tackling 1984 next year…

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