Yesterday was the year 12 dress up day. We don’t do a “muck up” day at our school… never have; never will. It’s just senseless destruction and it always goes too far. What our kids have is a day where they dress up in a costume that starts with their initial (eg. Dora dresses up as a dingo, William is Willy Wonka), and on the first day of Swot Vac they come back and run an assembly for the whole school where they perform skits, sing songs and show movies they’ve made.
So yesterday the school was overrun with strange beings. They’re supposed to leave other classes alone, but when they’re parading down the halls and they see a teacher they know it’s an irresistible temptation for them. It’s fun to have your class suddenly invaded by Bill and Ben the flowerpot men, a pirate, Harry Potter and a roaring gorilla with a crown on, for example. Seasoned teachers know not to schedule important tests on this day because you never know what’s going to happen.
My year 12 ESLs had their last class with me. We had Elmo conferencing with me about an essay on ‘A Man For All Seasons’ that he’d written the night before, a DJ shared around some chips that he’d brought in, Red Riding Hood and Minnie Mouse were racing around organising a group photo and Captain Cook (who was Asian… looks weird with the old fashioned hat!) was playing around with the riding crop that the jockey had. Angel was dressed as an angel and we had Harry Potter, and air hostess and various other characters pop in to say hello. The guy dressed (barely) as Spartacus would’ve been freezing! It was a rainy day.
I was teaching my year 9 English Skills class when Darth Vader popped in to give me 3 essays that he’d written. Mario was walking by with his theme music playing, Yoshi by his side. Then a koala came dancing in and said that he wanted my photo taken with him. Turns out he was a Korean student I’d taught in year 11.
Then a giant rabbit bounded in, had his photo taken with me and then turned and announced to the class, “Ms Frogdancer? Best English Teacher EVER!!!!”
(I had him in year 7 and have never had him again… even for an extra. He’s a good student and should do well…. clearly he’s a very good judge of teaching ability.)
Today is their last day of normal classes. In two weeks time their final exams start… English/ESL is first. A simple 3 hour exam to get them started. Today I have my mainstream class period 1. We won’t get any work done… they’ll be too busy signing each others’ uniforms. This day seemed like it would never arrive…. now all of a sudden it’s here.