Schools are funny old places; we often mention in the staff room that some of the stuff that goes on and gets said would get you funny looks in any other profession. So, after an amusing (albeit brief!) Twitter post, I thought I’d share some of the ridiculous things that go on which I find amusing.
TL:DR Working in a school is mental!
And in no particular order:
1) Animals on site
Everybody remembers the day a dog got onto the yard. The children squeal like they’ve never seen one before, the staff on duty walk off and pretend it’s not there so they don’t have to deal with it.
What I’m talking about, though, is an animal indoors on site. This is a whole new level of glorious.
The panic, oh the sheer panic in everyone’s voices is a thing to behold!
“It’s a SQUIRREL! What do we do?!”
“Don’t go near it its got diseases!”
“WHERE’S IT GONE?!”
“It attacked me! It at TACKED me! Went right for my head, vicious little thing!”
And the smaller the creature, the better! If it can fly then you’ve hit the jackpot. Don’t let the flying bad boys into the hall, you’ll never get them down. Work? Nah. There’s a dove in the kitchen! But we’ve got test practice to do! Don’t care, there’s a newt in the Reception class.
2) Random interjections
These usually happen during moments of genuine seriousness. You’re having an in depth conversation about ways that the Enterprise group can help raise funds for the school to buy new footballs (which keep getting lost to the hoarder neighbour that hates children), when a little hand goes up:
“Yes?” You ask, already knowing where this is going.
“So, you know when mummies and daddies? They’ve got legs!”
You sigh, and decide to wear pyjamas for Children in Need like every other year. And no, these responses are not limited to the youngest children in the school; Year 6 are more than capable of interrupting with something random and incoherent.
3) Folding the green screen
Modern green screen technology is fabulous – it allows you to accurately recreate early 90s visual effects with ease! To be fair, it can be used to good effect in schools when children are creating videos and images which require a locational image or a diagram. And, being portable makes it a breeze to deal with.
Or so you think.
Putting it up is well easy. You unzip the bag, take it out and POP! It just opens out into a self supporting hoop/not-quite-square-thing. Amazing – let the visual effect masterclass begin!
When you’ve finished is when the trouble starts. It should simply fold away into its original bag, ready to be zipped away for the next lucky class to tinker around with. What actually happens is something never before seen in any visual comedy movie. It starts with “The Fold”. The Fold appears easy enough, but requires 2 adults, 5 kids (4 to help, 1 to get stuck underneath) and a rather large amount of luck to fold it in the correct manner. If you’re fortunate enough to get it into something vaguely resembling its original shape, you now need to stuff it into the bag. You can just about get it in, but that zip is never getting done up. Not because you have’t managed to fit the screen in properly, but because you bust the zip the last time you tried putting the bloody thing back in THE BLOODY BAG!
4) Sleeping in class
Now, usually if someone is falling asleep in class it could be a sign of over-tiredness, or something which needs looking into. There are, however, some occasions where it just happens. At the end of the day, whilst you’re reading your class novel, for example. You are putting on your best voices for every character, you’re creating the scenery with your tone, things are getting interesting, the main character is abo…
As quickly as it happened, the pupil is back on their chair, praying that nobody noticed them fall off, looking around with a wide eyed, meerkat like expression.
5) Snow days
Actually, snow days are no laughing matter. Next point:
6) Teacher multiple-personalities
Being a teacher, or so I’ve been told, is very similar to being an actor. You have to read the audience, play to their reactions, deliver lines appropriate to the situation. In one breath you could be praising “the most wonderful piece of, um, what is that? Is that a…cow? Anyway it’s the most wonderful one I’ve seen all day,” and then within the same breath scolding someone for “still rocking on your chair?! I mean, come on! Have you not heard the story of the boy who fell off of his chair because the leg snapped and then stuck in his leg and we had to call an ambulance AND IT WAS AWFUL HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF THAT WAS YOU?! Yes, that is a lovely picture of a cow. What? Oh it’s a picture of me? How lovely.”
It’s a little unnerving.
It’s even worse when the whole class is silent, close to tears, because you’re absolutely at your wits end with their behaviour at break time. Do we really need to call in their parents? Because that’s definitely something which might possibly nearly need to happen! At that very moment, someone from a different class comes to ask something, and without even flinching, you speak to them in the most delightful, Poppins-esque voice and send them on their way.
Then turn back to your own class. They get on with their work without a fuss.
And are banned from playing football for a week.
7) Teacher Sarcasm
Teacher sarcasm is something which, if brought out anywhere else in life, would get you a firm punch in the face. It goes something like this:
You’ve spent ages giving instructions, going over instructions, checking individual pupils who need additional support know what they need to do and in what order to do it, when to stick sheets in, where to stick sheets in, etc… Then, after just settling down to focus on a group, someone stands next to you, book and sheet in hand.
“Yes?” You ask, already knowing where this is going.
“So, do we stick the sheet in?” They ask.
“No, you need to stick it on your head,” you respond, seemingly at the end of your tether. They still stick it in the wrong place.
8) Resistance to staff room treats
There is no such thing. Whenever there is a birthday/Christmas/party/leftovers/whatever, they end up in the staff room. Even the strongest of wills cannot resist the draw of the sweet delights. New pack of biscuits? On it. “Thank you” chocolates? Already gone. Mince pies in March? Delightful! “But I’m on a diet!” Yeah, no you’re not.
9) Kids filming on iPads. Everywhere.
In the modern age of technology, children are increasingly being required to use digital skills to produce their work. One of these skills is creating videos using iPads. (Other tablet brands are available.) The problem is, to get any sort of decent quality video and audio, you need space. How is this problem overcome?
Kids find a space anywhere they can. This is usually in a corridor somewhere, and almost definitely in an area of high foot traffic.
The only respectful thing to do is walk past whilst someone is filming something and dab.
10) Actual Snow days
Yeah, actually snow days are hilarious! It’s the thrill of even the possibility of a single flake of snow which is amazing!
“OH EM GEEEEEEE!!! IT IS SNOWIIIIIIIIIIING!” Says the head.
“CLOSETHESCHOOLCLOSETHESCHOOLCLOSETHESCHOOL CLOSE THE SCHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!!!!”
And if it starts snowing when you’re in the middle of Literacy? “Drop…EVERYTHING! Get your coats and get outside!” The hysteria is real, people. Everyone checks their phones every 5 minutes, giving updates on whatever their weather app says at the time.
“Mine says snow at 2!”
“Mine says a light dusting at 3, then heavy snow at 5!”
Then you wake up, bleary eyed on a cold February morning, remember the thrill of merely the hope of there maybe possibly being snow and open your curtains.
Nothing. Not a bloody flake. You realise all the hype was for nothing and you have to go to school.
Those are some of my favourites, but there are plenty more hilarious things that go on in school – leave a comment with some of your favourites, or find me over on Twitter @andykeegan.