Friday, 2 November 2012

What am I doing this for?

Today is officially the last day of half term. I have started to look at some work for next week but have got distracted a bit by everything else, such as cleaning (never has cleaning been more enjoyable) doing laundry (ooooh folding) and generally procrastinating....including writing this. 

I have been having a 'rest' this half least til today. I ended the last (long) one very tired, stressed and generally upset about a lot of things that were going on in school. I felt hugely that lots of things were 'not fair' and that I was being penalised for working hard and being the best I can be. Its that old thing of 'if you want something done ask a busy person.' Thing is one person as a department with a full timetable can only do so much.
I think some people at school are starting to realise that science will not be able to move any further forward without the subject coordinator (aka me) having some time to coordinate, and meet with English and develop literacy and reading in science. Thing is, I don't know whether anything will change, I don't know if the people realising are important enough....I teach more than anyone else in the school, it's no wonder I feel left behind. 

So, back to today. I have checked my work email, nothing urgent at all....good start.

Then I started setting up my folders to organise resources to go up onto the VLE for this half term. Brilliant you may think. Well the VLE is not accessible to students yet. Nor will it be till probably after Christmas or even Easter. This means the slog of resourcing it for last half term was fairly pointless but I still have to get on and do this one. The issue I have is this. By the time the kids get onto the VLE in a 'useful' capacity I will have to re-do all the resourcing because we will probably have a new National Curriculum so it will be mostly irrelevant in terms of its structure.

So is this a timewasting some ways yes, why resource it when it can't be used? When you know it is changing?
Well I hope that some of the stuff I have put up there remains useful, lets be honest the fundementals of science don't really change (although I'm sure Mr Gove would like them to) so maybe it is not so fruitless. Only time will tell. I'm hoping that some 're-ordering' of resources and 'renaming' of topics will partially suffice but until the new document is published we are all in the dark.

Once I've resourced some of this I'll move on to next weeks planning....bread and butter stuff, a couple of hours and it is done.

Then....I want to develop a 'Science and Literacy/Numeracy' show my naughty boys why scientists need to read and write and do 'maff' - sounds easy but I don't think it will be. I've tried the approach of making a display about why science is important, and one about science and jobs but it doesn't seem to matter....most of them just don't like it because they find it too hard. They like practical work (to muck about and break stuff in the most part - don't dare ask them to do repeats....a lot of swearing ensues and claims of "I've done it I'm not f-ing doing it again") but the actual understanding of the world around them - not bothered, its too hard so why try and risk failing?

In some ways this links back to a previous blog post about textbooks and resources and the demand level being too high on average. When you are trying to teach science GCSE to kids with a reading age of 9 it is very hard....hard for me but more importantly hard for them. Mainly I feel sorry for them because I can only imagine how it feels to be presented with something they can't read, access or understand. It must be awful. Probably similar to me trying to read and understand my other half's engineering nonsense....see I do have empathy!

So I try.....and try and try and try and don't give in. THIS is what makes me stressed and tired. That I give and give for not a lot back.....we'll get there in the end, but probably not before everything changes again.

For the record. My 'to-do list' could be a mile long. There are things that I am constantly being asked to do which are not important, are impractical or non sensical. Right now, today, I am focussing on the three most important things.....and procrastinating :)

Hope everyone has a happy return to school on Monday....


  1. Delighted to hear that you are developing a Science and Literacy/Numeracy display. Ian Richardson, a former National Advisor of Science will be doing a presentation later this month in the West Midlands, which includes the importance of literacy and numeracy in science. (Hopefully we'll get the presentation to go up on our blog).

    In addition to this the National Science Learning Centre has introduced a new course to specifically assist science teachers with this at GCSE level.

    On a lighter note, hang in there, there's still the weekend available for a bit more procrastination :0

  2. Can't wait to see the presentation...will really help!