Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Dodge ball anyone?

I sucked at P.E. at school . . . actually, not true. Just was quite average. I sucked at the competitive games. It's still not me. I know that because the activities I have done since don't involve stuff like netball, tennis, basketball. . . I have no eye/ball/hand coordination. . . (unless, of course, there's a man involved then I hold my own. . . or his anyway. . . sorry.)

I'm back to CRT work (that's Casual Relief Teaching for the non- teachers amongst us) this term at school. I'm finding this curiously liberating: no preparation, no marking, no Parent-Teacher nights, no meetings, and very little internal politics to worry about. On the downside the work is irregular and you can't tell which classes you're going to get. 

The classes I dislike taking the most are P.E. You have to put the students into teams and generally supervise things you have little understanding of; and because our school is very short on space, you do it in the Hall, which is never heated; and you have no idea you'll be taking a P.E. class when you arrive so you are not dressed in sportswear of any description. 

Being able to come to work in tracky pants and runners would almost outweigh the disadvantages of actually taking a P.E. class but they don't tell you that when they ring you at 7am to see if you want to work. 

Other reasons to dislike taking P.E. classes include:

1/ Generally 25% of the class don't want to "play" so to speak. And if you don't know their names it's hard to yell at them to participate. Even if you do know their names they're sullen teenagers and they just ignore you anyway. (Ah the joys of teaching. Frequently makes me glad I have dog, not a child, who never whines or casts me dirty looks.)

2/The PE staff assumes everyone knows PE games that you can get the kids to play. Not so. I do not know how to umpire basketball or netball and I'm not prepared to put someone else's whistle into my mouth to get their attention. Ick. I'm not sure how to organise them into Bench ball or the other thing that they always use as a warmup . . . I should be familiar with it by now but, alas, no. 

3/ Sometimes they have to work on their own choreography for a dance routine or cheerleading. I may be able to salsa, but that's because someone else is leading. The girls know moves as if they've all been part of a professional dance video of one of the current songs. Seriously. I look like an elephant next to them. They could all be Britney Spears' back-up dancers. 

4/ When they are choreographing a dance to a song it means that song, or worse part of that song, is inflicted on you 20 or 30 times in 70 minutes. It gets tedious after 10.

5/ The PE teachers at my high school as I was growing up all appeared to be bitches. Unless you were good at PE they really didn't waste any time on you. As a consequence I hated PE. It's the ultimate irony that now I'm totally into exercise but I still don't like teaching PE much.

Today, fortunately, I was not a PE teacher. Yeeha! I was an Art teacher, I also suck at art big time; a psychology teacher (which is my subject but I got to supervise a student teacher so that was easy); an IT teacher (that's a laugh but they were working on their own projects); and an English teacher - yay - we got to talk about parts of speech. (It's the little things that make me happy.)

Stella x


  1. I am so with you on this and laughing. Totally get it!

  2. I would love to talk about parts of speech all day ... except not if there were people under the age of 25 involved. This is why I could never be a teacher. You should be commended.

    1. Thank you, it is nice to be commended.