No one is up. Last night I fell into bed at 10 and left the kids up. I have no idea when they went to bed, but unsurprisingly they were obviously very quiet as they got ready for bed. (Unsurprisingly? The loud one who clumps his way through the house, banging doors and flushing toilets in the middle of the night has taken up an offer from his Dad to work every Saturday morning in the fruit shop, so he was absent. The other 3 boys are as quiet as mice when someone is asleep. It’s one reason why I’m fond of them.) Now the house is quiet and serene. The clock is ticking and Molly is snoring blissfully in her bed. It’s quite a nice way to start the weekend.
Thanks for all the interest in the poems, but I can’t put them up here, for a couple of reasons.
The first one is that one of the poems isn’t mine. It was written by an ex student who gave me permission to use it in classes, but she has long since graduated and left the school, so I have no way of contacting her.
The second reason is that is that it could quite easily lead to this blog being ‘outed’ by kids at the school, and then of course all the fun would stop and I’d probably have to shut it down. All they’d have to do is Google the first line and it’d pop up, and believe me; they’re more than capable of doing it. I have a Facebook page that I started in the holidays with my real name, which I’ve barely touched because I’m not quite sure what to do with it. In the second day of year 9 classes one of the boys asked me about it. (It’s all on private settings, but he’d gone on a search of his teachers, obviously.) I laughed and told the truth…. that I was a bit scared of it so I didn’t know much about it and we moved on, but it was a little strange… like someone had been following me… the cheeky little whippersnapper!
It’s on the agenda of the school to clamp down on all things cyber between students and teachers. At the last staff meeting we were cautioned about how parents and students could perceive us on line and to be very careful about the way we portray ourselves on line as it reflects the school as well as ourselves. Blogs were mentioned along with Facebook and myspace stuff, but because I have a blog persona I am ok. (Yes, my real name isn’t ‘Frogdancer’. My kids are not called Tom1, David2 etc in real life. I really don’t want my ex husband or the kids at school to find this blog, so even if someone uses my real name in the comments, as soon as I see it I go in and change it.) We were asked to be as private as possible if we wish to use these things and… (Maybaby will love this. A while ago she wrote that her principal in America told the staff the complete opposite)… we were NOT under any circumstances supposed to ‘friend’ a current student of the school on Facebook. Even the year 12s after they finish their final exams… with them we have to wait until the next calendar year until they are totally out of our care. We are in a position of power in our relationships with these children, and to admit them into our private lives could quite easily get problematic if someone gets their feelings hurt or something. We’re dealing with teens who have massive hormone rushes and who are usually not as savvy and mature as they like to think. (Come to think of it as I reread this before hitting ‘publish’, the same could be said for some of the staff…) The legal and moral ramifications involved are hideous enough to make your hair curl and of course no one wants this aggravation in their lives. So there’s yet another reason to be as circumspect as possible.
The blend between private lives and public lives with students is a little less cut and dried in real life, of course. Many of the staff have kids who attend the school, so it’s nothing unusual for us to walk into our lounge rooms at the end of a long day, only to be greeted by “Hi Mum” and “Hi, Miss! Howyergoin’?” I live in the school zone, so every time I step outside my front door I run the risk of bumping into students. Some people say to me that they’d hate that, but it does have its benefits. For example, most fences in my street are tagged with graffiti. So far.. touch wood.. my big front fence is clear. It’s also nice to take the dogs to the leash free and have a quick chat with students and/or their parents. There’s quite a strong sense of community at the school, with even the ‘naughty’ kids being lovely to bump into as we’re all out and about. We all have a sense of being connected, which I think is a valuable thing to have.
Of course, the downside can be a little embarrassing. A couple of times I’ve had kids say to me in class, “Man! You were really screaming at one of your kids on Saturday! I was at Madeleine’s (who lives next door to me) and you were going nuts!”
What can you say to that? I usually say something like: “Why yes. Yes I was. He hadn’t done his English homework. Now where is yours, eh????”