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Prolonging the Agony

Lynne is a Secondary Teacher with QTS who is currently working in schools through Protocol Education in Bristol. Today she discusses how she, as a supply teacher, feels about the introduction of longer lessons.  

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I have not 'blogged' here of late. Instead I wrote a piece for the TES in response to something I read in that publication whilst whiling away lunchtime in a staffroom and it incensed me so much that I had to, metaphorically, put pen to paper. The TES published it in their 'What keeps me awake at night' feature.

What I maintained kept me awake was the introduction in some schools of lessons that last 160 minutes, yes, two hours and forty minutes. And the stated reason for this? To limit the opportunities for poor behaviour in the corridors. Nothing to do with teaching and learning, just about crowd control.

I was thinking about this again the other day when I was covering a Year 9 Set 5 Modern Languages class. You know as a supply teacher what  to expect when you pick up the class lists first thing in the morning and see only eight names, all boys. These were not unpleasant students but they had the attention span of gnats. They could not sit still for more than two minutes at a time, they delighted in talking loudly about 'rude' things so I could hear, they would make exaggerated threats about what terrible vengeance they were going to exact on each other at breaktime for some imagined slight. They kept farting and burping and falling on the floor. They could not talk in moderate tones, everything was shouted at me and each other. There was a constant procession to the toilet. And throughout all this I vainly tried to get them interested in the gastronomic vocabulary of the French.

This lasted an hour. The prospect of it lasting nearly three hours is too awful to contemplate. I look at it from the perspective of a supply teacher but I cannot believe my permanently employed colleagues would feel too keen on such lengthy lessons even if it did mean they were trampled in corridors less often.

What do you think? Do you agree with Lynne?  Leave your comments on Blogger.

Related Blogs:

Longer Days and Shorter Holidays - The Debate

Surviving Year 6

Oh What Ofsted could learn from Supply Teachers



Tags: Lyn, Supply Teacher, Teach in Bristol, Secondary, Protocol Education, Behaviour

Category: Australian Teachers

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