Bristol 8.2.19

Covering a design lesson at Orchard on Concrete Poetry. The art and design teacher has been off for months. Makes me wonder how many teachers there are off on long term sickness. Thousands? Tens of thousands? Hundreds..?

Seem to know the students here a bit better now and it’s made me much calmer which has a huge impact on the dynamic of the lesson. Kids ‘mirror’ a teacher’s attitude or behaviour so if you can remain calm and have the right tone with them they – hopefully – will respond in the same way. It usually works.

I’ve been covering these classes since the start of this term (January 7th) with the 2 year 10 classes being quite a handful: Yonis, Jamie, Nawor in one who often just play loud outbursts of drill or mock nursery rhymes or just a vocoded voice saying ‘I am gay’. The trick is not to get riled because you can’t tell who is doing it. That’s the game. The only option is to sit by the people who I’m almost certain are the culprits. They got in a new art teacher – not just a supply teacher – to start with those year 10s on Tuesday. I was in again on Wednesday and they told me that noone had listened to her and she couldn’t get them to be quiet. Eventually she started crying. She had had one day and then left, leaving her timetable with a handwritten list of names on the desk.

Feeling a bit spiky today. Got my chemicals confused last night – mixing dihydrocodeine with Zopiclone – resulting in the opposite reaction to what I was hoping for: heart rate and temperature increase and irritability. I was awake til 3. Hey, but it’s a Friday – not like the bad old days where it could be the start of the week and then I would have to do the one hour drive before I even started the day.

I have my first ever writing job from Is. She works for The Tablet and they have a column called ‘The teacher who inspired me’. I’m going to be interviewing Mary Creagh MP on Monday afternoon. It’s exciting. My ‘portfolio career’ (naff name) continues to expand. I think the TEFL at TEG might have dried up for the moment. Harriet wrote me an email on Wednesday to say they ‘don’t have any hours at the moment but they might need me for cover’. A bit of a blow. I had done 3 days of observation and a morning of cover but I get that I’m very rusty so I understand if they want to use someone with more recent experience. They had said they’d get me to do an observed lesson but perhaps they’ve changed their minds. I  emailed her about this because it’s a bit shit if she promised to get me in but now has changed her mind. Whatever.

Want to go to Thekla later to check out synth poppers Kero Kero Bonito with the cutest singer ever. I’ve immediately made a comparison with Little Dragon: Geeky pale faced synth knob twiddlers fronted by a super cool mixed race singer (in both cases half Japanese) making sweet pop music. Unfortunately it’s sold out and will there be touts at Thekla?? It’s not a major venue/act like O2. Maybe they’ll have a few on the door.

Seeing Rebecca on Saturday. I feel like I’m wasting her time but I enjoy our chats.

Booked a flight to Romania next Friday. 2 nights in Bucharest. 2 nights in Transylvania. Skiing and want to go to Bran. The inspiration for Dracula not the actual home of Vlad which is 4 hours to the North of where I’m staying and too far for such a short trip. Whatever the case it’s exciting. Then back to Suffolk for 3 nights to see the fam.

Always love February half term. It’s always Valentine’s without the Valentine. It’s just how I want it right now.

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