Wednesday 20 February 2013

You Don't Scare Me, I Teach In FE #1: Hearts In The Air

My A2 class are an interesting lot (mostly in a good way). They do the "why regress" on me whenever I teach them about metabolic pathways (thus reaching the limit of my biochemical understanding and sending me screaming for the textbooks). They have a slightly too healthy interest in dissecting stuff. They know themselves and their opinions and they aren't afraid to show it. Last year these characteristics were pretty much condensed into one awesome student, and it's great to see more of the same.

Occasionally, however, they test my patience... Surely not, you cry! How could 17 teenagers and twenty-somethings possibly get on my nerves?

Well, last Wednesday was my birthday, and rather than bring in chocolate or anything like that, I offered my A2s a practical. They'd already done one heart dissection at the start of their AS studies, but would they like to do another one? Hell yes. Spirits were high and the students were thrilled at the thought of being allowed scalpels (why we haven't had more injuries, I will never know).

Until one little darling picked up his heart (the disembodied sheep one) and asked me if he should throw it. Well, no, obviously. He said he was going to, and I have to say I was getting a little nervous and squeaky in my protestations. And then he threw it.

I don't know if any of you have ever seen a sizeable sheep's heart sailing across a laboratory, but it is something of a surreal experience. It would have been rejected by the producers of "Teachers" for being too unrealistic. I'm just glad that one of the other students caught it (though my poor broken nerves could have done without her throwing it back to the original culprit!).

This will be an infrequent (I hope) insight into some of the more extreme aspects of my teaching life. Just in case there's anyone who doesn't think teachers earn their holidays.

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