Monday, 13 October 2008

Sharp wits or soppy gits?

With a Year 9 class of not the highest intellect today, we read the word "debate" and they wanted to know what it meant, probably because it sounds a bit like "masturbate". I tried to explain that we might have a debate about fox hunting, for example. Some people might be for it, and some might be against. Perhaps it was a mistake to choose something so contentious. A large and lovely girl was nearly in tears as boys taunted her with graphic descriptions of foxes being ripped to shreds. I changed the topic, inspired by their behaviour.

Me: "Another debate would be about whether teachers should be allowed to hit pupils with canes."

Brat 1: "We would just hit you back if you hit us."

Brat 2: "That wouldn't work these days 'cos we'd just bring a knife in and stab you."

And what do you say to that?

...

8 comments:

extendedextemporaneousness said...

Well when asked how they'd react to being told they couldn't practice their religion publicly I had a group of year 7's come up with the most graphic and detailed descriptions of acts of mass terrorism I can imagine. Go figure.

Ranting Teacher said...

Well I hope you're taking Ed Balls' advice: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7658782.stm

Anonymous said...

How does one counter that?? Perhaps you could say something like, "Not if I stab you first you f*cknuckle!"

Anonymous said...

So, Ed Balls(up) has issued a "toolkit" - does it come in a stab-proof box ?

Ranting Teacher said...

Hehehe back in the knife-drawer Ms/Mr Sharp!

Lola Snow said...

OMG!!!!
There are no words, just no words at all!

Chapati said...

oh...my...
!!!

Maybe I should rethink my 'I want to have kids at some point in life' aim...

I know a school near me where the headteacher has to go around with bodyguards for fear of attack. Not really the best learning environment.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a teacher, I'm an engineer. As part of an outreach to the community kind of thing I and several colleagues went into local schools and delivered citizenship-type lessons to kids of various ages.

In one session, it was suggested to me by a teenager that stabbing me was a possibility.

My response, which was out of my mouth before the teacher still in notional charge of the lesson could react, was

"You stab me, you go to jail. You TRY to stab me, I take your knife, I get a medal. And you get stabbed."

This said with a steady look straight in the eye. And when I'd finished, I turned my back on him. I had no trouble whatsoever from that class.

Several teachers at my school gave the distinct impression that they were physically scared of the kids. At least two gave the opposite impression - that if you had any sense, you were scared of them. They weren't aggressive, or loud. They just had an air of confidence. It's not easy to do, I guess.