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Lazy Secondary teachers or what?

(21 Posts)
pointydog Fri 22-Aug-08 20:57:44

Dd1 started secondary and a surprisingly large number of her teachers had prepared surprisingly little for teh first couple of days.

HE - a wordsearch hmm and a talk about health and safety

science - a video and some sort of questionnaire to which the teacher lost the answers

maths - a chat about the credit crunch

music - the teacher played them the drums

geography - teh teacher asked the pupils who liked school and then became embroiled in a cheeky slanging match

Oh help ma boab.

SqueakyPop Fri 22-Aug-08 21:02:09

If she is doing cookery, then it is reasonable to open up the year with a Health and Safety talk - the wordsearch helps to reinforce the concepts.

Science - obviously depends what the video was about - but they can be a useful way to teach (I must admit, I tend to use videos towards the end of a topic as 'revision', unless it's a 3 minute clip that is spot on for what we are doing there and then).

Mathematics - bringing relevence into the curriculum, and capturing a current event.

SorenLorensen Fri 22-Aug-08 21:04:20

It sounds like they are just letting them settle in - breaking them in gently. I have all this to come in a couple of weeks <<<gibber>>>

badgermonkey Fri 22-Aug-08 21:07:04

I don't do much work with my Y7 on the first lesson - we have a chat about rules and expectations, and I try to get to know them a bit. It's your chance as a teacher to suss out the class - the characters show themselves right from the start, and you can also gain a measure of the type of class they are, letting you plan appropriate work from the start (are there a lot of lively boys in there? Do they seem appreciative of humour, or did they respond best to laying down the law?)

I usually get them to write a token paragraph or two so I can see what the spread of ability is and pick out those who I need to keep a particular eye on for whatever reason, but nothing taxing.

pointydog Fri 22-Aug-08 21:07:06

Both wordsearch and video would be more mid/end topic, I'd say. They are covering health and safety until after the Oct hols apparently.

I know the credit crunch is providing some relevant context but used as a long discussion and not as a structured lesson, I can't help feeling disappointed with the effort put into the start of term.

pointydog Fri 22-Aug-08 21:08:16

I do understand about the settling in period but really, it has to be a reasonably interesting introductory lesson.

Heated Fri 22-Aug-08 21:08:50

Often the main feature of the first day is to get through the first day. First time travelling to and from school on your own, lugging bags, and getting lost. The staff might have instructions about easing them in.

My yr 7 start with interviewing each other, which then turns into a piece of writing for display - but really it's just a disguised way of making, hopefully, a new friend.

My yr 8, on the other hand, have an fiendishly difficult essay <evil cackle>

badgermonkey Fri 22-Aug-08 21:17:12

Yes, the whole first week really for Year 7 is about logistics. I often find between one thing and another, you can't be sure of getting them for a full lesson in the first week (they are forever being whisked off the early lunch/photos/assemblies), so planning is hard enough anyway, they're usually late because of the above activities and because they are taken in a big crocodile from lesson to lesson by well-meaning TAs who wander across in no particular hurry (not a problem, really, but something else to take into account) and you quite often have to deal with people getting lost/crying/ending up in the wrong class etc. So it is silly to plan demanding work until the second week.

SqueakyPop Fri 22-Aug-08 21:21:37

Passing out exercise books and text books, and discussing general expectations can take a while, and discussing what it means to study the subject. There is often not a lot of time left for an outstanding lesson.

I am not teaching Y7 this year, but if I were, I would probably start off with a brainstorm about what the subject is - this gives me good feel for the characters in the class. I always find that Y7s are absolutely full of questions, so I'd explain my random question policy.

Then I would move on to the boring bit - safety. I would go through the rules with them, getting them to stick a copy in their books, and asking asking the girls to explain why we have each rule. Depending on whether it's a single, double or triple lesson, I would get them to heat up a beaker of water, recording the temperature - pointing out all the safety features as we go. For homework, I'd get them to make a safety poster for display.

The next lesson, we'd be straight into the course.

Id give them about 2 weeks to get their act together with organisation.

pointydog Fri 22-Aug-08 22:12:29

weeeell, ok. Grudgingly. It's obviously a bit different to a first day of term at primary. Well, maybe it's similar to reception/yr1.

mumeeee Sat 23-Aug-08 17:58:46

Year 7's don't usually do much in the first week. Most secondary schools just use that week to settle them in and get used to the school. It is a big step from primary.

TeacherSaysSo Sat 23-Aug-08 18:06:23

pointy, do you remember when you changed jobs/companies. You don't do much in the first few days. You just settle in, get to know the other people around you, routine etc. Its the same for both teachers and pupils!

TheFallenMadonna Sat 23-Aug-08 18:11:25

How does your DD feel about it? Because although you're not likely to cover much curriculum in the first week, the lessons should set the tone for what is to come. What you've described (for Maths and Music at least) could have been excitibg or dull, depending on what was done, and how it was received by the pupils.

Wordsearches however are rarely acceptable wink

TeacherSaysSo Sat 23-Aug-08 18:11:50

ps pointy please don't call us lazy its really insulting!!!

TheFallenMadonna Sat 23-Aug-08 18:13:08

I dunno - a wordsearch is pretty lazy for the first week of term...

TeacherSaysSo Sat 23-Aug-08 18:25:33

umm not sure what HE is!!!

janeite Sat 23-Aug-08 18:27:35

I hate wordsearches! But, overall I do think it sounds like the teachers were trying to just ease them in. Often the first few days are just about pupils getting to grips with reading their timetables, finding rooms and getting to recognise a few friendly faces, without too much pressure of actual "thinking" to contend with!

the flip side of this is when secondary teachers get moaned at for giving Year 7s tests in the first week!

TeacherSaysSo Sat 23-Aug-08 18:32:42

janeite, too true. Many of our kids are knackered at the end of their first week, I'm sure they would be grateful to have a few days without pressure and homework etc.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 23-Aug-08 18:41:18

I would go for

"or what"

pointydog Sat 23-Aug-08 22:54:59

madonna, dd1 said her first day was very boring. And I think that's a good point about the lessons setting the tone.

Blandmum Mon 25-Aug-08 10:54:19

The first day back tends to be low key, as it normally invones doing al the admin for new kids in year 7....getting them ICT logine, regestring them in the library, doing the H and S stuff, giving out the Homework diaries, timetables etc.

Our first day back we only have years 7 and the sixth form in and the kids don't follow their usual time table/

And less of the 'Lazy' genetaliastion, thanks. I've been working my arse off getting the new lessons organised angry

I can see we have enetered 'Lets have a pop at all the teachers season early this year.....

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