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Thursday, January 19, 2006

It is interesting, and rather disconcerting, to discover that the face which some teachers show to adults is completely different to the face they show to pupils in the classroom. I've been in two classrooms now where I've been amazed to see the pleasant woman I'd chatted with in the staffroom morph into a shrieking fury over the slightest irritation. With one of them, the change in demeanour was so dramatic that I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. I hope that if the children from today's class tell their parents about their teacher's behaviour that they'll be believed. Ranting at a class for being late when said class was not actually late is, as the kids here would say, well out of order. In today's incident, I arrived at the class on time, along with most of the rest of the class. There were already two boys there. Five minutes later, still no sign of the teacher. A couple of minutes later, she came out of an office where she'd been on the phone, and started her rant, claiming that she'd only gone in there to make her call after she'd "already waited for the class for five minutes." Which was Just Not True, and of course the kids knew it.

It's also immensely annoying when the teacher screws up and tells the class an incorrect fact, as happened twice in a Geography class yesterday.

Things like this put me in a very awkward position. I'm there to support a particular student, so I have no authority over the running of the class, and certainly can't speak up against a teacher. It'd be perceived as undermining their authority and, I think, would get me fired. Obviously I'd intervene if the teacher did something really heinous. But it's not worth losing my job over one of these relatively minor incidents.

I'm glad that the classes where I'm impressed by the teachers' patience far outnumber the ones where I'm outraged by their petty obnoxiousness.

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