One of those days…

It is interesting how changes in the weather can affect the way that students behave. Today’s inclement weather and the almighty downpour happened right at lunchtime whilst I was on playground duty. Picture it: students sitting under trees, students playing volleyball, students eating, singing, laughing… doing all the things that they usually do during any given lunchtime. The menacing clouds give way to the downpour and deluge. Students scramble for shelter (well the sensible ones do) and others decide it would be a good time to run around in the rain, their uniforms becoming soaked.
It’s probably an opportune time to mention that immediately after lunch, they would be attending an Ash Wednesday liturgy – which marks the beginning of Lent in the Christian calendar. So, attending a liturgy – a whole school liturgy in a sopping wet uniform was not the best idea. Multiply that by about 20 students and it spells disaster.
So whilst another colleague and I hurriedly usher these students out of the rain, we get incredibly wet as well. Not ideal at all.
It was during the liturgy that I was listening to the reflection about forgiveness and what I could do to prepare for Easter. Well, at this point I was thinking about how I would like to be dry and how I would like to put every single student who disobeyed my colleague and I, on some sort of detention. I guess while listening to the sermon, the beautiful prayers and reflections that I had a change of heart. I figured that in the scheme of things – yes, the behaviour of some students was disrespectful, but it was not characteristic of all students. Some of the students who have since scored a detention tomorrow are the same students who tend to find trouble. They’re also the ones who rarely have their books for class. They are the ones who will try to break every single rule. Almost every single lesson. One such student today did all of those things, but she also did something which completely blew my mind. She put up her hand and answered two of the discussion questions clearly and to the point. She had shown engagement in what we were doing in class. I’ve always told her that I will never give up on her, and right after I had confiscated her phone and spoken to her about her headphones and speaking out of turn, she answers questions. Something she hasn’t done all term. She smiled and I smiled. It was as though the preceding hell in the playground didn’t happen.  It reminded me of that great Socrates quote, which I think sums up the best and most difficult part of being a teacher. “Those who are hardest to love need it the most.” For my mind, it’s reaching out to those students that is the most challenging yet most rewarding part of being a teacher.

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About acoure

English Coordinator and English teacher in Sydney. Believes in the power of education. Passionate about pedagogy, how students learn, curriculum design and learning spaces. I am keenly interested in finding out more about how teachers have adapted their pedagogy in a 1:1 environment. I am also eternally grateful for the inspirational educators I worked with in my formative years of teaching. They opened my eyes to the power of what a deep understanding of pedagogy can do to enhance the learning opportunities for students.
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