Now I know my GCSE class is not the only group who can’t really be bothered. They don’t bring their books or handouts or even their sodding pens to lessons, let alone complete pieces of coursework. If I break down their set tasks any more we’ll be back to reciting the alphabet and building up words like c-a-t and m-a-t. I feel the pressure and the sense of urgency whereas they simply won’t let any of it filter through, so instead I carry the burden of thirty or so lackluster slackers.
Take a lesson this week for example. I returned their abysmal mock GCSE papers. One boy’s two hour paper consisted of three scribbled lines for a question worth half of the overall mark. He saw his percentage, which had barely crawled out of single figures, and flung the paper across the room with gusto and a fair sprinkling of expletives. There followed a tirade on how effing crap the school is (and I’m being polite here for those with sensitive filters or dispositions) and how effing useless all the teachers are.
I had anticipated some despondency, perhaps not quite so vehement and Anglo-Saxon, and had prepared photocopied packs detailing how they could have scored higher. I had also given these out before I returned the papers, as I knew the class competition for the lowest score would take preference over anything constructive, but what I hadn’t quite prepared for was the total disaffection as we looked through the sample answers and they had a go in pairs at filling in tables and diagrams to help them understand anything they hadn’t quite grasped in the exam hall. Or rather, they didn’t have a go, but instead chatted, turned around and thumped each other, scribbled on each others’ hands, threw paper across the room, and lied about whether or not they were chewing gum. So it was only fitting at the end of the lesson that half of them left behind their revision packs, and I was still finding screwed up pieces of them around the room all afternoon.
Thanks for reading, be sure to check my other posts about school and my teaching days. Stay tuned for new entries, there`s always something to write about!