Create your own EBD Incident report

A little bit of fun for those fans of ‘insult of the week’ who want a more in-depth EBD experience

For example, mine would be:  When asked to sit on a chair, he said ‘Go fuck your dead dog’ and made a ‘special needs’ remark with impression

(n.b. E B D – emotional, behavioural difficulties)

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The end of Our Profession.

Originally, I posted it on Facebook but Mrs Ramsay asked me to put it here:

I don’t understand why this isn’t being made more of:
“Academies can set their own terms for teachers’ pay and conditions, they don’t have to follow the national curriculum, and if qualified teacher status is abolished, they will have much more flexibility in who can be hired.”

The government have basically said ‘clearly, teachers don’t agree with us, so lets deconstruct their whole profession around them because clearly they’re a bunch of left-liberals, and it’s a job anyone can do’ – national pay and conditions meant that teachers in rough birmingham comprehensives where everything is in short supply were paid the same as those teaching in posh grammar schools in the south east where the annual ski trip costs a grand and is absolutely de rigeur…..and qualified teacher status meant that you were a highly trained post graduate professional….. i don’t know what to say…..

An Article To Parents

Interesting article, by a father of 3 who is also the husband of an elementary school teacher. It’s very direct and an interesting reminder to parents that they need to think about what messages they are giving to their child by the way they treat or speak about their teachers. It comes down to one simple fact. It’s a parent’s job to teach children to respect learning and teachers,  the teachers can take care of the rest.

Parents, It’s Time To Stop Undermining your Child’s Teacher

Insult of The Week

I’m starting a new series.

Being an SEBD teacher, I hear A LOT of insults every week. Most of them are not very inventive and involve either the F word or the C word. However, occasionally there’s a gem…for instance: ‘

“Where did you get your f***ing hair cut? Lidl?”

or

“If you don’t shut the f*** up I’ll skin you and use your skin as a towel”

Every week, I’m going to post the funniest or most creative insult I hear. So here’s the first one. This was shouted at me by a year 8 who thought I was being stupid because I didn’t realise he’d started on the wrong question.

“Oh my f***ing god! Have you only got 7 chromosomes or something?”

 

I am the teacher, I am

Inspired by the brilliant poem  I am the vicar, I am by Kevin Lewis

Although I couldn’t stop this one being progressively more bitter…. but that may just be a sign of the times.

I am the teacher, I am
I am the educator, the nurturer, the planner and assessor
I am the scolder, and the praiser
I am the counsellor, the role-model, the writer of grammatically correct reports.
I am the negotiator, the enforcer, the mediator
I am the champion of the weak, the giver of homework
I am your greatest fan, and your harshest critics
I am the teacher, I am

I am the teacher, I am
I am an expert in my chosen subject
and educational principals
and bloom’s taxonomy
and maslow’s heirarchy
basic psychology
everything on the news
resource management
social care
computer maintenance
fixing the photocopier, the projector, my broken chair
fixing your pencil case
the zip on your bag
your trousers
the wall display
your calculator
the problem you are having with the girls you thought were your friends
because I am the teacher, I am

I am the teacher I am,
The asker of questions,
What’s three and four?
When was world war 2?
Who was Queen Victoria?
What do you think?
Why does this work?
Where is your homework?
Who said you could?
Was that a good idea?
Why are you crying?
Where’s your jumper?
When did you go to bed?
Who’s at home at the moment?
Every answer is precious to me, even if its wrong, or blatantly a lie,
because I am the teacher, I am.

I am the giver of answers
Start at the top
It’s under your chair
Yes you can go to the toilet
No you can’t open the window
Yes you do have to do it
No, homework is due on a tuesday
Yes I do have a husband
No I don’t watch X factor
Yes I do believe in god
No, start a new page
Yes I do think it’s important
No I don’t agree with your dad
Yes I understand international politics, and also that you don’t yet.
No I don’t think your stupid
Yes I really do care
I am the teacher, I am

I am the teacher, I am,
I am the investor in the future 
I see potential in everybody
I see individuals, and their needs, and I account for every single one
I see spreadsheets of data
I see past the nonsense
I see smiles, scowls, emails demanding data
I see head lice
I see suspicious bruises, unwashed shirts
I see penises drawn in the all sorts of places
I have to look beyond, data, levels and labels so that I can see children.
Because I am the teacher, I am.

I am the teacher I am,
I make complex things simple
I help you take on the world
I credit you with my successes
and myself with your failures.
I am proud of your work
I buy pencils and sweets
I notice tiny changes that can’t be recorded
I am the teacher,
I have many different names
Miss, Sir, Mum, bitch
I am the subject of whining
the receiver of notes
the distributor of forms
the nagger
say please
wipe your feet
don’t run
use the bin
capital letter
use a ruler
underline
sit properly
2 minutes
use a pencil
sit down
stand up
be quiet
what’s the answer?

I am the teacher, I am
I am an upstanding member of society
with ink on my hands
dust on my knees
and a pocket full of tissues
a drawer full of stickers
and snoopy on my tie
I am trusted with:
signing passports
giving references
expensive equipment
confidential information
thirty two in a class
moral standards
British values
other peoples children
the future
I am the teacher, I am

I am the teacher, I am.
I am the one that always understands
I am the one who is magic
I am the one that feels guilty when ill
I am the one that is always to blame
I am the one not allowed to make mistakes
I am the one that’s easily replaced
I am the one only here for the money
I am the one that finishes at three
I am the one that doesn’t work all year
I am the one that can’t be tired
I am the one not allowed to cry
I am the teacher, I am

I am not perfect
I am not magic
I am just human
I wouldn’t dream of being anything else, so
I am the teacher, I am

How far would you go for an education?

An inspiring article

Before you read the rest of this post, please understand that I am completely in awe of the man in the article. To value education so highly that he did what he did is an inspiration. The chance to learn is such a privilege, and to have it on the doorstep like we do in this country makes us very lucky, it also makes us forget.

It set me thinking about education in Britain and the barriers to learning that exist here:  language issues, learning difficutlies, crowded, underfunded schools forced dto cut subjects from timetables due to budget cuts that mean fewer teachers, the remaining teachers and students pressurised by the constantly changing political agenda and then I thought about the wider scheme of things. Perhaps the biggest barrier to learning in this country is the culture – society has made education ‘uncool’, it’s made it an obligation that must be fulfilled not an experience to be cherished between the national curriculum and a celebrity culture in the media that values almost every other personality trait above intelligence and a government that gives the message that teachers are to blame for everything that young people do wrong is it any wonder that a lot of our young pepple see schools as prisons?

I started thinking about my job, and the kids I work with.

 I work with young people who suffer with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties . They struggle to access education for a completely different reason, and some times the journeys we make are frighteningly long, even though they only spend 30 minutes on the bus in the morning. They have, for one reason or another in their turbulent lives, been told that they are not worth educating or that even if they wanted to learn they are not smart enough to face up to the challenge. Their behaviour often appears as spoilt, wasteful or arrogant but they are reactions born of fear. They live unstable lives, with parents who don’t care or aren’t strong enough themselves to keep their children safe. I know that it doesn’t seem to be a struggle to a lot of people but the barriers they face to learning are real, they just aren’t so easily understood. If I went out in the morning unsure of where I’d be sleeping or what would happen when I got home I don’t know what I’d do.  That’s what our kids face. And yet, they still turn up every morning, smile at the staff and give it a go…. well most of the time.

Every Friday….since Columbine.

Read this slowly and with your mouth closed

Wow. Just wow. As teachers we are many things

– we’re future manufacturers and dream builders and surrogate parents and honest friends,

we provide stability, smiles, laughter, structure, aspiration, self-worth

This woman and her slips of paper is a crusader for hope & better society.

All the best teachers dream of that – if only we were all so inspired

What happens when the Prime Minister doesn’t mean what he says?

Prime Minister, we need to talk about people
This article is thought provoking for many different reasons. As an immigrant myself – admittedly a pasty white, fluently english-speaking and brought over by parents at the age of four so it’s difficult to tell type of immigrant – I like to think I’ve contributed to society as a Teacher and a leader with Girlguiding among other things. However, immigration is not why I wanted to put this article here.

What does it have to do with Education I may hear you cry!

Well this is the problem. We as teachers are told that we MUST educate children better in British Values – what ever they are – and that if WE don’t the country will fall to pieces. Now, I could do a verse and two choruses on the irresponsibility of blaming teachers for all that is ‘wrong’ with ‘today’s youth’ but I won’t. My point is very simple and I’m going to put it very simply

If the man who runs the country stands up and opens his mouth and says things that lack any sort of compassion and contradict what he has previously said are ‘British Traditions’, how is it the fault of teachers that young people have such a bleak outlook and suffer from disenchantment and disaffection ? Frankly, I know how they feel

We don’t need educational reform in this country, we need cultural and social reform.

Climbing out of the mainstream, a new challenge.

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I couldn’t stand it any more, drowning in the mainstream swimming against the tide all the time – it’s exhausting. I found myself spending more time looking at spreadsheets than kids, caring more about data than individuals. That’s not why I became a teacher. I am not the most suitable mainstream teacher around. I believe in education, learning, growth for each individual. I have a terrible tendency to like the kids I work with and to want them to be their best – not their most convenient, quiet and obliging, but vibrant, lively and engaged. I also believe that teaching is an act of giving, a very loving gesture not just a clinical procedure that can be weight,measured and codified.
So, I am going back to an SEBD setting, to work with those children that most teachers don’t want because they are inconvenient and do not look good on a spreadsheet. I’m going to work with all the kids who were the ‘apart from that one’ in the data trends. The ones that need to be loved before they can be taught.
I saw this picture on an animal rescue website, but really it applies to teaching vulnerable learners too.

abandoned

These children are not born like this, they have been damaged by society – neglectful or abusive families, unrealistic social expectations, blinkered communities, judgemental educationalists or most like a combination of all of them. If I don’t reach out and love them, and teach them who will? It only takes one person to help someone break their cycle of self-destruction, privation and despair.
It’ s all based on the belief I have always held that children with SEBD may display unpleasant behaviours but they are ultimately still children. They live what they know, they speak how they’re spoken to,they push away because pulling people close means getting hurt. It is horrible. Imagine it. Other educational needs garner sympathy, even unintentionally patronising pity, but SEBD kids are looked on as a nuisance and embarrassment. They are people. We wouldn’t treat animals the way some of these children are treated by people who should know better.

Anyway, sermon over, I’m not trying to make myself sound like some kind of saint – I just feel strongly that these children need loving. You know what they say : Those that are hardest to love are the ones that need it the most.

So, if anyone wants me I’ll be over in the corner with the nutcase kids that make frog noises and throw things, because someone has to be there and at least I’ll smile at them when they turn up.

Dear Parent…. about ‘THAT’ child

This is a response to a brilliant piece written by a kindegarten teacher:
http://missnightmutters.com/2014/11/dear-parent-about-that-kid.html
This is a secondary perspective…

Dear Parent,

I know you’re worried about your child having to share a classroom with THAT kid. The one who has to sit on his own because he doesn’t know how to interact with the others and pinches their stuff. The one who shows everyone her bra to get attention, even whilst I’m talking. The one who has to keep her exercise book in my desk drawer so she doesn’t lose it. The one who always has the wrong shoes and no pen. The one who gets angry when they get questions wrong and rips up their book and the work of the person sitting next to them.The one who pushes the tables and kicks the chairs when they’re reprimanded. The one who deliberately draws penises on other peoples exercise books whilst they’re trying to work or graffitis swear words on the text books. The one who called your child a ‘f***ing c*nt’ last week, in front of a teacher – for ‘no reason at all’.

You’re worried that THAT child is ruining your child’s education. You’re concerned that the time they waste borrowing a pencil or arguing about their uniform is time that I could be spending helping your child with their coursework. You’re concerned that somehow, this child will take over the agenda and your child will get lost in the chaos and never pass that exam. You’re concerned that one day THAT child will actually punch your child and break his nose.

Your child is not THAT child, not right now. Your child is okay, this term before puberty kicks in or the bullying over their acne really starts. Your child is not the child that has fallen out with everyone over Facebook AGAIN. Your child only asks to go to the toilet when they need to. Your child always does her homework on time and wears the right shoes and brings her pencil. I know you’re worried.
You’re not the only one.

What I can’t tell you is that I am not worried about the fact that this child has no pencil. I’m worried about WHY. Why does this child’s parent not realise that this child comes to school everyday without the basic tools to learn?

What I can’t tell you is that I am not worried that this kid is wearing the wrong shoes, but I am concerned that he’s been telling me for weeks that ‘mum’s getting them at the weekend’ and she hasn’t. I’m also starting to get concerned about what else Mum doesn’t buy him.

I can’t tell you that he smells so bad no one wants to sit by him.

I can’t tell you that she only shows her bra because that’s how she’s been brought up to get attention, and that’s why she’s in care.

I can’t tell you that I’m not worried that he loses his temper, I’m worried because I know he’s so frustrated – because he believes that he’s worthless and stupid because that’s what he’s be told over and over again and that he still, at the age of 15, doesn’t have a better way to deal with this than to lash out.

I can’t tell you that I’m not worried that she draws penises on your child’s book (because pencil rubs out and pen can be crossed out) but I am worried that she feels the need to deface other people’s work and I spend ages trying to figure out if it’s low self esteem or a constant need for any form of attention, or what…and if it’s that then why….

What you don’t want me to tell you is exactly what your son did to the boy who called him a ‘f***ing c*nt’ – because you would be ashamed that your son could be so callous or cruel. I am also not going to explain to you why I recommended him for in school isolation rather than a day’s suspension.

Believe me, you are not as concerned as I am.

I worry – about all the kids in all my classes, their acne, their shoes, their self-esteem. You don’t hear about the ones who curl in on themselves or cry when no one’s looking, because that isn’t interesting. You only hear about THAT kid because THAT kid makes such a show of themselves that no one can miss them.

I am only human, but I can promise you this – I care deeply about your child and their life chances and I devote endless energy (often more than your child) to their success. I will do my best to help all the kids in my care succeed and that includes THAT child because if I don’t help THAT child, she will make sure that nobody learns. If I don’t care for that child, may be no one will care for him and if I don’t put energy into THAT child maybe it’ll be your house he burgles one day.

I cannot tell you any of this. The only things I can say are:

I am doing everything I possibly can to support your child
I will continue to value all the children in my class including yours

This will not change, even if your child suddenly because one of THOSE children (which given that he/she seems to be in the same class as several of THOSE children…he/she may well do).
If your child does become one of THOSE children
I will have the same affection for and expectations of your child as I do now.
I will pick up the books from the floor and rub out the penises and talk calmly to them in detentions about what’s happening
I will listen to them
I will listen to you, I’ll even email you if you like.
I will defend them if they deserve it, but not if they don’t
I will give them the same breaks as I give the others.
I won’t ever tell you what the other children call your child or say about you in front of him. I will not give up – even if your child calls ME an f***ing c*nt in front of another teacher, because at that point your child will need me to not to.

and that’s what I’m doing for THAT child, because he’s been rejected and beaten down enough already.

Regards,

Miss.

Anybody can teach!

So glad I went to university for 6 years to qualify.
Apparently I needn’t have bothers.

Secret Teacher

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I wish I could say this was some kind of practical joke; that this had appeared on a whimsical website poking fun at government policy. However this is no joke, and nobody is laughing.

The South Leeds Academy are in need of two maths teachers, but not just any maths teachers. Those with any sort of qualifications to teach are deemed surplus to requirements. Indeed those who have the experience and expertise to assist pupils adequately are going to be immediately overlooked. They needn’t apply. The South Leeds Academy epitomize a worrying transformation in the education system in recent years.

When Michael Gove removed the requirement for QTS in academies, the rhetoric was of professionals such as scientists, engineers, musicians and linguists teaching pupils. I doubt anybody could argue that the above advert isn’t looking for professionals, for professionals are almost always qualified. There isn’t even a mention of a…

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An Antidote for Bullshit

After all the bullshit that’s happened over the last couple of weeks I went looking for positives as I was seriously questioning how I felt about being a teacher (something I have NEVER done before, and I’ve worked with some of the most dangerous and troubled kids in the country)

 

The Antidote for the bullshit turned out  to be the kids! Yesterday, one of my current year 11s asked for extra revision sessions (from my bottom set ‘couldn’t behave so was put in my class’ class) and whilst we were going through some work after school, one of last year’s year 11s came back to thank me in person. Thinking on it,  I realised how many other kids have said thank you to me this week on the way out of my classroom and it’s more than you’d expect.  Some even thanked me for helping them with homework during detentions. I’ve had unsolicited apologies for not doing homework, kids coming in to redo work to get better scores and kids so desperate to do well that they’ve cried. One of my year 11s even spent his lunch money on a geometry kit for his maths mock this morning. 

I don’t teach parents or the SLT or politicians, or inspectors – I teach my kids and it’s their rating that really matters.

Sick of the Bullshit

I’m so fed up with all the bullshit being lobbed at the teaching profession at the moment – and the way it’s affecting the quality of life of some great friends who have given a lot of time to help other peoples children, above and beyond what they are paid for. The disparity between the a supposedly ‘fair’ workload and what we are actually expected to do is a joke and if anyone questions it we’re accused of being unprofessional. We’re treated like we don’t give a damn about the kids in front of us and that we haven’t trained for our jobs or worked hard to gain experience. We’re judged professionally on 20-30 minutes of outside observation by someone who probably couldn’t do half of the job we’re doing and doesn’t know the kids or any of the background. I’ve seen/heard inspectors comment on things that didn’t happen in the lessons they have observed – which HAD ALREADY HAPPENED BEFORE THEY CAME IN – only to say that they have to comment on ‘what they see’.  Well, why the fuck don’t we  all wait for them to show up and teach the whole lesson in half the time – which is what they seem to want us to do. Are their any other professions where there is such a snap judgement made?

It makes me so cross that regardless of what we do, we get shat upon and NONE of the reforms have raised standards, and all the ‘scrutiny’ that is supposed to ensure ‘excellence’ just causes hurt and stress and DOESN’T make better teachers.  All it does is demoralise dedicated professionals who are trying their best – because unlike the ministers and bureaucrats who think they know what they’re talking about, they actually care about and understand children and teenagers.  You can come out  with all sorts of bullshit about that not being the case for all teachers, but honestly in the course of my careers I’ve met only 2 or 3 teachers who genuinely didn’t give a shit about the kids and I doubt any of them are still teaching. This profession is hard enough if you love it, it’s hard enough to get right without the pressures of tickbox teaching and arbitrary target setting and league tables and twats like Gove.

That’s why I’m going on strike.

For the Fallen

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning

We Will Remember Them

An Inspirational man

WW1: 17 Million dead

WW2: over 60 million dead (nearly 3% of the world population of the time)

Generations of young men, called up to a life that could not have imagined. Convinced by propaganda that they were doing the right thing. Killed in their prime, brothers fathers sons lost to society. Poor training, lack of equipment, and total chaos. They must have been terrified but they fought anyway.

*Heroes*

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 It seemed that out of the battle I escaped
Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped
Through granites which Titanic wars had groined.
Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned,
Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.
Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared
With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,
Lifting distressful hands as if to bless.
And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall;
By his dead smile, I knew we stood in Hell.
With a thousand fears that vision’s face was grained;
Yet no blood reached there from the upper ground,
And no guns thumped, or down the flues made moan.
“Strange, friend,” I said, “Here is no cause to mourn.”
“None,” said the other, “Save the undone years,
The hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours,
Was my life also; I went hunting wild
After the wildest beauty in the world,
Which lies not calm in eyes, or braided hair,
But mocks the steady running of the hour,
And if it grieves, grieves richlier than here.
For by my glee might many men have laughed,
And of my weeping something has been left,
Which must die now. I mean the truth untold,
The pity of war, the pity war distilled.
Now men will go content with what we spoiled.
Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled.
They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress,
None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.
Courage was mine, and I had mystery;
Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery;
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled.
Then, when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels
I would go up and wash them from sweet wells,
Even with truths that lie too deep for taint.
I would have poured my spirit without stint
But not through wounds; not on the cess of war.
Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were.
I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
I knew you in this dark; for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.
Let us sleep now . . .”

by Wilfred Owen

(died 4th November 1918 – 7 days before the Armistice)

il_fullxfull.352794759_otto

Important.

This post is by an experienced school leader, who is leaving teaching. He has written a very comprehensive and measured statement about why he’s leaving teaching. As  he says, it’s a problem that needs more public concern. The crisis in the teaching profession is not just about a bunch of stroppy leftie types bucking against the government. Teachers are key to the country’s success or failure. Like he says – why should you care that people are leaving teaching in droves?  Who do you think is going to educate the next generation’s doctors, lawyers, businesspeople, engineers, skilled technicians…?  Hard working, caring invested professionals or just anyone with a pulse? Well, who do you want teaching your kids?

Why I’m leaving teaching…and why you should care.

Insult of the Week #3

It’s been an interesting week – this afternoon witnessed something that will forever more be known as the ‘Jam Tart Incident’.

I’m awarding an honourable mention for

Hey Miss! Lick My Shoes.‘ and something I heard on Tuesday that I can’t remember.

But this week’s insult of the week is:

 

“Oh, go choke on a lego brick!”

 

 

Feed, Clothe, Care for, Educate….

A teacher’s remit is wider than people realise. Pretty much every teacher I know has worked with kids who come to school hungry – sometimes because there’s no food at home, some times because there is no one at home to make sure they have breakfast. I remember a kid who’d be given £1 to get breakfast on the way to school – and who’d turn up in form time with a massive slab of chocolate, pretty much every day for the whole year.

We’ve all taught kids with holey clothes, flappy shoes, no lunch, grimy faces, constant lice…. We do everything we can to plug the gaps. These are children not of ‘scroungers’ or ‘layabouts’ but of people who work so called ‘minimum wage’ jobs, on zero hours contracts, who don’t get tax credits any more. These people are part of the governments ’employment statistics’. Just because they are employed, it DOES NOT equate to improved standards of living – in fact quite the reverse. Parents working shifts, leaving kids to look after themselves, still not able to afford things like school uniforms, or the ever increasing price of the laundrette and prepaid electricity.

Meanwhile, the government bang on that teachers need to do more about this and more about that – if we weren’t so busy worrying about the welfare of the children in front of us and the increasingly poor circumstances many of them find themselves in, if schools weren’t being used as social catcalls for the poverty and deprivation in this country, required to: provide hot meals, after-school babysitting (sorry cross-curricula enrichment), social care and guidance, and prevent terrorism, then maybe we could focus on education but as it is, some things are more important.

It scares me how quickly the government seem to have undone our social welfare system and begun returning us to a Victorian morality – the rich get rich, the poor get cholera….. Anyway, enough ranting. The brass tacks are basically that more and more kids are being picked up at school because they need social care and because there’s no one else to do it, the teachers are.

CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE