Posts Tagged ‘teachers’

Work experience


Gabe spent the final four days of his fourth year at secondary school back at his old junior school. When, months ago, the requirement to complete work experience was communicated, he quickly dismissed working with Lou or me – both jobs too boring – and settled, in the absence of any career calling, for his old school.

He has enjoyed the experience to a degree that surprised me. The week began with him refereeing a grudge football match between two classes. He spent a couple of days in Robin’s class. Most challenging for him was a day in the class for kids with special needs. He found it frustrating that their learning of the most simple things was so slow. But, he conceded, they were cute – wanting his reassurance.

Gabe even returned to the school on Friday for the leavers’ assembly. L saw him singing the leavers’ song, which he explained away as because he had helped them learn it.


At leavers’ assembly, the year 5 pupils were given their job roles for next year. Robin was made captain of one of the school houses, the second most prestigious role after head boy, but far less desirable to Robin than football captain. Later in the day, Robin was told that he had an additional role – deputy head boy – on stand-by should the head boy be away.


We took Robin to Eliza and Gabe’s school for the open evening. Eliza took part in a drama performance, while we went on a tour. First we went to Eliza’s form room and recognised her French teacher. I introduced myself to him. There followed a five minute encomium to Eliza – the sharpest of his students, for whom he has plans: that she will do A level French. Later in the evening, in the English department, we met Eliza’s English teacher who explained that she had moved Eliza to the front of the class to keep her company. She praised Eliza’s understanding of literature and also pitched for Eliza to, in five years time, opt for her A level.


Parents evening at secondary school


L attended Gabe’s first secondary school parents evening. 10 teachers in an hour and a half. And this is (some of) what they said:

  • the IT teacher pulled out a picture of Gabe smiling and said, “this is what I see in my class. I wish I had a class of Gabriels”. Two other teachers said they wanted a class of him.
  • the history teacher said she wished Gabe could look after his book, but she couldn’t fault his work. “He has a great history mind.”
  • his form teacher said that “by year 10 he’ll be known throughout the school”.
  • the art teacher really hoped he would carry on with her subject.
  • the maths teacher said he was very good, “but not arrogant. If someone in the class gives an answer Gabe knows is wrong, he sits quietly as though puzzling how they reached that answer.”
  • the design and technology teacher said he “is on the steepest trajectory” in the class.


Eliza had two days of assessments. On Wednesday she took a gymnastics grade, passing floor, beam, bars and vault and getting a merit overall for a score of 33/40.

The next day she took grade 1 piano. She has stuck to her practice schedule and was well prepared. Gabe tried helping her on the afternoon of the test, and effort that went awry and ended with him shouting and making her cry just before the test began. Her result is awaited.


Robin had a sleepless evening, coming downstairs four or five times claiming he couldn’t sleep. By mid-morning today, he said he was feeling sick and by mid-afternoon he had been sick. Five hours of throwing up and rushing to the toilet followed until he flaked out asleep.