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Demob Happy

Lynne is a Secondary Teacher with QTS who is currently working in schools through Protocol Education in Bristol. Lynne feels students should be  allowed to drop subjects surplus to requirements as soon as GCSE subject choices are made. Do you agree?

Demob Happy

 It is bliss these days not getting up in the dark to wait for the phone to ring but despite the light mornings, the last few weeks have been one of the most trying periods for us supply teachers. When you turn up in school and find you have Year 11 Art and Year 9 Set 3 German you know what to expect. The Year 11's have completed their exam and the Year 9's have made their option choices with Modern Languages - my specialism - the subject they abandon with most relish. Year 11 are given the opportunity to revise other subjects so chat, eat crisps and do things on their phones. I remind them how valuable this time is blah, blah, but they gaze at me uncomprehendingly. When proper work is set in, for example, science, half the class just draws pictures. How GCSE grades continue to improve is beyond my comprehension.

 So Year 11 have finally departed on study leave. Study? Maybe some conscientious students will be using the time profitably but there will be an awful lot who fail to get out of bed on mornings when they have no exam. Off they went loudly proclaiming their disenchantment with schooling oblivious to the irony that their shirts were covered in messages proclaiming the bonds that had been forged during the past five years. Now we are left with that other obstreperous group, the Year 9 students who are 'giving up' German or French or Spanish.

These pupils who see the end of their torment in sight don't have the swaggering indifference of the Year 11's; they just want to create mayhem. Trying to persuade children who are "never going to go to Germany", who "hate France" or who declare that "everyone speaks English in Spain" that there is anything to be gained by completing sentences in the Perfect Tense is a hopeless task. Some teachers set 'fun' work but the pupils fail to see the fun in it. Even Linguascope struggles to entertain them.

 When I was permanently employed I often used to think, as I endeavoured to find ways to keep these students from throwing things at each other, that they should be allowed to drop subjects surplus to requirement as soon as GCSE option choices are made. Now I am doing supply I am even more convinced it would be  good idea.

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Tags: Lyn, Secondary Teacher GCSE Subjects

Category: Australian Teachers

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