A less stressful day than yesterday. Mostly spent with older children: years 10 and 11.
The first lesson was IT but the children had been allowed to finish off work from other subjects, and most of them had completed this. I noticed that some of the boys were surreptitiously playing an online mountain bike game. One of the girls had a rather unusual first name so I suggested that she look it up on Google and she found a town near New York with the same name. This seemed to please her very much.
In a later lesson, a group of quite troublesome girls were reduced to complete silence by being shown a video about healthy eating and weight loss. The teaching assistants didn't have much to do in that lesson.
Then there was another rather chaotic chemistry lesson, but this one had at least four disruptive boys in it which made things very difficult for the teacher. It was a practical lesson involving adding hydrochloric acid to fragments of limestone. I noticed that one table of children had been missed out in the handing out of equipment, and they hadn't complained, nor did they even seem to care, so I gathered up a set of equipment and took it over to them and got each of them doing it. They seemed to enjoy it but I don't know whether they will remember anything of worth from it. It must be very difficult for children to distinguish what is relevant in an environment like that. The teacher must seem to be more concerned with keeping the children on their stools, stopping them talking, getting them to write down predictions, and preventing them spraying each other with acid. For the children, the intended message (the actual chemistry) must be completely swamped by all this extraneous noise.
The last lesson was a complete contrast: a bright attentive class with an enthusiastic, knowledgable teacher. I hadn't realized that the history of medicine was an option in the history syllabus, but it does seem to have been an inspired choice to include it. The lesson was fascinating and took me back to my grammar school days. Several times I had to stop myself from putting my hand up to answer the teacher's questions myself. When I become a teacher, I want my lessons to be like that.
A good day. I caught a bus back into town and only walked the last mile home. I don't feel so tired tonight.