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‘Sir’ is a state school English teacher in a big city in the UK. Prior to this he worked with children with a variety of Special Educational Needs, particularly those with behavioural and social problems. His teaching has been rated as ´Outstanding´ by Ofsted which means he once did a great job for 50 minutes. Save for a light dusting of fiction in order to protect the innocent (and indeed the guilty) anything recounted here is absolutely true. Otherwise, there will be some exciting political debate where everything Sir thinks is also absolutely true. Twitter: @seekingsir

30 June 2012

MATRS: Main claws, sub-claws...

MATRS: Main claws, sub-claws...: Good morning team, Here's some super duper free stuff for you - a truly excellent lesson for teaching complex sentences, clauses and co...

^ Came across the above via the TES.  Really great resource for anyone struggling to get their pupils to understand how to use commas - worked a treat for me.  Check it out if you're teaching any KS2 or KS3 English.

In other news, I have, after a considerable hiatus which can be explained by nothing other than abject apathy and general laziness, returned to this blog; I promise that I will endeavour to update it in the near future and thank you to the very nice reader who said that they missed my stories.  In the meantime, and somewhat linked to the literary faux-pas mentioned in my previous post, I shall leave you with this...

Yesterday a year 8 kid knocked on my classroom door, opened it, and said the following words: 

'Sir, do you have any Durex?'  

I looked up from my desk and gave him a much practised look of teacher-incredulity.  Recognising my non-response, he spoke again:

'Sir, sorry to disturb you, but do you have any Durex please?’
His improved politeness is much appreciated but is clearly not the source of my consternation.

I add some further furrowing of the brow to my incredulous face in the hope that I might elicit a more satisfactory response.

‘Sir, it's for Miss Gomez… Hayfever…’ he says, by way of explanation. 

He offers forth his right hand in which he is clutching a crinkled scrap of paper that I assume to be a note from said teacher. Obviously intrigued, I take the note from him and read it: ‘Sir, got any kleenex?  Hayfever nightmare.  Cheers, Jen’.  I leave aside the lack of a capital letter for a proper noun as there are clearly matters of far greater urgency at hand.

I pass the note back to the boy: ‘Read the note, George’.

George reads the note.

‘Yeah?  What Sir?’

I slow my language down:
‘George, when you came into my classroom, what did you ask me for…?’

George is visibly perplexed.  He points to a box of tissues that I keep on my desk.

‘George, Miss has asked for 'Kleenex' on her note.  What did you ask for…?’

Whilst I look at him and await his response, I take delight in entwining my fingers together like a cartoon-villain whose dastardly plan is about to come together.  A few seconds later and George's face is overcome by a sudden sense of realisation.  His mouth opens, he covers it with his hand and lets out a quiet but protracted ‘Nooooo!’ until his breath runs out.

‘Just be grateful you didn’t do the same thing six weeks ago, George’.

‘Why Sir?’

‘Well I was still teaching my exam classes then.  So you would have walked into a class full of twenty A-Level students and asked if I had any condoms for Miss Gomez.  That would not have been good would it George?’

‘No Sir.’

I give him a handful of tissues.

‘Bye George, have a good day.’

‘Bye Sir.’

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