Monday 6 February 2012

A Week in the Life: Monday

Awake at 5.15am and dozing until getting up at 6.55am. Usual term time morning routine and arrive at school at around 8.15am. Worried that the car's engine error light came on during the commute, but as it still seems to drive as normal, I will endeavour not to panic and check it with the diagnostic gadget when I am at home in daylight at some point in the week.

The mouse for the computer in my classroom is not working, but helpful techy solves this so when I get back for registration after daily briefing and catching up with colleagues, it is working. Who needs a wireless mouse, anyway?

8.50am - Registration: Year 12 Tutor Group. Usual notices and quick glance at uniform to check for blatant contraventions of the the dress code (complicated by the fact that as there is snow on the ground, boots are permitted today) and then write e-mails to colleagues on form tutorly matters.

9.15am - Period 1: Year 8 English. Exploring A Midsummer Night's Dream and read the scene of the first appearance of the Mechanicals. Compare their characters to the lovers and Theseus and Hippolyta; show a short DVD about staging the scene and chaos ensues as groups consider and practise their own interpretations and characterisations.

10.35am - Period 2: Year 13 English Literate. We have reached Victorian poets in our chronological ranging through the Literature of Love from 1500 to the present and three students present their ideas about poems in the collection.

11.35am - Period 3: Free. Administrative bits and pieces, catching up with odd bits of marking, GCSE speaking and listening write ups, dealing with responses to earlier form tutor e-mails, and start today's blog (once I have launched my stand alone copy of Chrome as blogger no longer supports IE8).

Lunch is meant to start at 12.35pm, but it was closer to 12.50pm by the time I managed to sit down with a sandwich. 1.15pm and back to the classroom to listen to a Year 11 student give another individual presentation in an attempt to improve on their last attempt.

1.35pm - Period 4: Year 12 English Language and Literature. Starting to look at Alan Bennett's The History Boys so we share background details and information before making a start reading through the play.

2.35pm - Period 5: Year 7 English. We begin with something as old-fashioned as a spelling test and then discuss the final chapter of Michael Morpurgo's Private Peaceful, the morality of shooting soldiers for cowardice, and whether there are any lessons we can learn from Tommo and Charlie's actions and behaviour or the book in general. One student asks whether Private Peaceful is a children's book and I ask what she means by a "children's book": she is sated when her neighbour points out the age range printed above the barcode.

3.45pm is meant to be the end of school, but I choose to stay in school to save an hour driving to and from home and hopefully make profitable use of time before Year 9 parents descend at 7.00pm to help their children choose their GCSE options.

By 4.30pm I have finished the speaking and listening administration, checked a lesson for tomorrow, and written a little more blog before turning to marking GCSE controlled assessments. I realise I have forgotten to see a colleague at the end of school as we agreed, so I belatedly go to see her. We complete the short task and then spend the next twenty minutes chatting.

At 7.00pm, we start waiting for parents to arrive to discuss options for their children for next year and I have marked three controlled assessments. By 9.00pm I have spoken to a handful of parents and endeavoured to explain the differences between English, English Language and English Literature GCSEs. Repeatedly.

Arrive home at 9.25pm and decide to try reading the car's error code. Ironically, the diagnostic tool reports its own error thereby leaving me no better off than earlier. Switching it on and off several times and pressing buttons randomly to try and improve matters all takes about twenty minutes and makes no difference.

Go into the house at 9.45pm and have a couple of slices of toast and do the washing up.

10.00pm, onto the computer to check e-mails, Facebook and Twitter and complete today's blog and at 10.35pm it has to be time to go to bed.

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