Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Dear Lord

Today, I watched my Year 10s ruin 'Romeo and Juliet'. I sat on a desk and I watched them do it, because I didn't have the energy to stop them and protest at the desecration of the Bard's exquisite poetry.

And how did they achieve this hideous feat? Well, I suppose it was my fault.

'I want you to develop your own adaptation of the Capulet Ball scene where Romeo and Juliet first meet,' said I, in a rash moment of dramatic licence.

Well, they didn't need further encouragement, did they? Within the hour, I was sobbing inside as I watched their final offering of 'Capulet Ball - the Musical' featuring Lionel Ritchie, High School Musical, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Gangnam Style.

Oh, dear Lord.

And then I experienced a moment of shame during my Year 9 lesson when I had to try really hard to stifle an hysterical laughter reaction in response to an act of physical violence. There is a boy, you see, who is a hideous little monster. He is rude and lewd, he is obnoxious, he hits other kids and throws missiles, he is sexually provocative, he prevents the rest of the class from learning, and he spends most of the time in my class making stupid noises and shouting out inappropriate comments like, 'Is Nelson Mandela gay?' which was yesterday's offering.

Today, he was swinging on his chair. I have warned him about this many times. Today, he fell off his chair and smacked his head on the edge of the desk behind him.

The whole class laughed. Because they would. They are 14 years old. Most of them have failed to develop their sympathic abilities and will likely become psychopaths later in life. But to my shame, I nearly laughed, too. It was the whole divine retributionism of it all.

I asked him if he was okay. I tried to look concerned. He looked stunned. There was no blood, but I reckon there will be a sizeable bump tomorrow. He didn't say much for the rest of the lesson. It meant the rest of the class could get on with learning and I could get on with teaching. I was thinking, is it ethical to use wood on head as a behavioural tool? I was thinking, it's a good job I'm leaving teaching in four weeks' time if I am having thoughts like these.

Dear Lord.

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