Amy and Amiability

Postcards from the edge of reason...


Monday, September 24, 2007

Ah huh huh...

Over the summer I heard a programme on Radio 4 about Elvis (there's a lot of it about). They said that when Elvis Presley died in 1977, there were an estimated 37 Elvis impersonators in the world. By 1993, there were 48,000 Elvis impersonators, an exponential increase. Extrapolating from this, by 2010 there will be 2.5 billion Elvis impersonators which means that one in three people wil be an Elvis impersonator by 2010.
I am not happy about this. I hope it's not compulsory.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Introducing the Deacon of Dribbly

I went to Sheffield on Sunday for Ali's ordination which was very exciting (not least because I can't remember the last time I saw her in a skirt, let alone a dress!). Thought I might have to go to Sheffield by dinghy but thankfully the rain held off - right until Brenda and I set off on the ten minute walk back to the car, when it started hailing! Lovely. All in all it was a fab day (although Brenda and I did let ourselves down a little by waving to Ali as she processed in at the beginning of the service- not the done thing apparently, well judging by the fact no one else in the congregation moved a muscle. The shame! )

Dribbly, we are excessively proud of you. I found the most perfect pressie for you whilst out shopping today and will post it a.s.a.p. Needless to say it is eminently suitable for the modern vicar about town! (ahem)
Me and Ali!

Ali and Brenda

Ali, the Bishop and Ali's Dad's shoulder!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The end is nigh...

I'm going to miss "Not Conner". He has changed over the course of the year, from a rough start, with a reputation as an aggressive little chap with anger management problems to an absolute (although sometimes mischievous) delight. He is an easy-going little miracle, a fantastic conversationalist and a beautiful singer who cares about doing the right thing. He proves to me that, given a fresh start and people around you who have faith in you, you really can achieve anything. However, no chat with him is ever run of the mill.

A few highlights from our conversations over the last couple of weeks

Scene 1 - A group of children have been helping make sweets to sell at the summer fayre. Not Conner has been helping out reliably and carefully; Oompa-Loompas, your jobs are not safe! (It must be pointed out before I start that NC has an elaborate mohican style hair-do!)

Amiable teacher: You have been such a fantastic help today. What on earth am I going to do without you next year?

Not Conner: (thoughtfully) Hmm, I suppose you could dress up someone in your new class so they look like me, then you won't miss me.

AT: I don't think that would be the same

NC: Yes it would! It's easy, just tell them to pop down Wilko's for some Brylcream: that's all I do anyway.

Scene 2 - An observed literacy lesson. the children are writing suspense type poems based on a scene from a book where a boy goes into the jungle.

AT: Look, I've got you these photographs of the jungle and jungle-type creatures to help you if you are not sure what to describe.

NC: (Picking up a picture showing a selection of brightly coloured poison arrow frogs and studying it carefully) Do you know Miss, the more I look at these, the more I just want to squeeze 'em!

I made a mental note to check whether he has any pets at home.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

As threatened, a poem what I wrote...

Well, strictly speaking I wrote it with my first class during what the National Literacy Strategy rather optimistically calls "Shared Writing". Those of you who have ever had anything to do with 8 year olds will appreciate that, as the poem needed to be in rhyming couplets with approximately the same number of syllables per line and to have some sort of logical story flowing through it I pretty much had to write it myself; believe me it's a classic! Hehe...

Clara Sprout

Who shouted out and died in gruesome circumstances

There was a girl called Clara Sprout
Who was forever shouting out.
Her teacher said, “Your hand must go
Up in the air so that I know
You want to speak. Oh don’t you see
You mustn’t shout out “me me me””

But night and day and day and night
She shouted “me”. It wasn’t right.
Her friends were cross. They got fed up.
“Clara Sprout will not shut up”
They whinged and moaned “We must be free
From girls who shout out “me me me” “

And then one day, it did befall
That teacher took them, one and all
Out to the zoo as a surprise.
The girls could not believe their eyes
When watching crocodiles be fed
The keeper grinned and then he said
“Who is brainy, who is sweet
Who knows what crocodiles do eat?”
From just behind a voice was heard
Cry “me me me” and on that word
The old crock pounced and with a gulp
Chewed Clara Sprout into a pulp.

The tragic tale of Clara Sprout
Must be a warning all about
The gruesome fate that may befall
a little child, short or tall.
If you don’t put your hand up high
To answer your kind teacher’s “why?”
But rather choose to shout out “me!”
You too could die in agony.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Favourite poems... as requested by Teapot

When I was in Junior school, this was my favourite poem; in fact I think my year six teacher must only have had one poetry book and that was of course "Please Mrs Buter" By Allan Ahlberg!

Please Mrs Butler

Please Mrs Butler
This boy Derek Drew
Keeps copying my work, Miss.
What shall I do?

Go and sit in the hall, dear.
Go and sit in the sink.
Take your books on the roof, my lamb.
Do whatever you think.

Please Mrs Butler
This boy Derek Drew
Keeps taking my rubber, Miss.
What shall I do?

Keep it in your hand, dear.
Hide it up your vest.
Swallow it if you like, love.
Do what you think best.
Please Mrs Butler
This boy Derek Drew
Keeps calling me rude names, Miss.
What shall I do?

Lock yourself in the cupboard, dear.
Run away to sea.
Do whatever you can, my flower.
But don't ask me!

Allan Ahlberg

I'm not really sure what we all loved about it but I think it was probably the mention of underwear in the fourth stanza! It was definitely a poem that defined my generation. What does that say about us!?!

Nowadays, of course, I have the privilege of being in a job which means I have to read poems regularly. A few years back I had a year 1 class (a noisy rabble of five and six year olds; some of whom will, next year, be my noisy rabble of ten and eleven year olds) and this was their favourite poem. They used to say it at the tops of their voices with such great facial expressions. Hmm I wonder if they still remember it...

Oh Soggy Greens

Oh, soggy greens I hate you,
I hate your sloppy slush,
And if my mum would let me,
I'd throw you in a bush.

Oh, apple pie I love you,
I love your crunchy crust,
And if my mum would let me,
I'd eat you till I bust.

John Cunliffe (who also created Postman Pat!)

Goodness I could go on and on. Viv, you have opened a floodgate! I may have to add some more at a later date but just one more before I go, which is one of my current class's favourites, Jabberwocky. As they are completely bonkers themselves, this poem makes complete sense to them. Click on the link below where you can not only read it in "English" but translated into many other languages - fascinating!

Doh! It was glorious sunshine when I sat down to do this and now it is raining torrentially. It seems that, yet again, I have missed the daily, five-minute lawn-mowing window of opportunity.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Evidence that my class really have lost it...

Overheard today. One ten year old boy to another.

"Have you ever thought what it must be like to be in Girls Aloud?"

Honestly, I ask you...
Three more tests to go.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Evidence my class/colleagues are losing it in the run-up to SATs #1

  • One child (not realising anyone could see him) walking out of the computer suite in what can only be described as the style of a Thunderbird puppet.
  • Me mistakenly telling my class to "make sure you are looking at someone else's answers" (obviously I meant to say "make sure you AREN'T looking at anyone else's answers")
  • The corridors ringing with the sounds of teachers crying " Why would you write that...Why? Why?"
  • And "Why are you making up your own methods for addition, subtraction etc on the spot when you could be using the ones you have been perfecting for the last 5 years? Why? Why?"
  • and many other similar semi-hysterical rhetorical questions.
  • A boy taking the same reading test twice in 24 hours and it not even seeming vaguely familiar the second time (in fact he scored 6 points fewer)
  • Aforementioned "Thunderbird" disturbing whole class by pausing briefly in his writing, singing "Ta-da!" and starting his writing again as if nothing had happened.
  • Random outbreaks of shimmying/ nervous humming (mainly the children but it's early days!)
  • A small boy timing the strokes of his writing to the theme of the A-team (which he maintains he didn't even realising he was doing)
  • Me wondering how on earth I will get round my hobbit-hole of a classroom with all the desks spread out exam style without having to use a metre stick to pole vault over them.
  • The children taking half an hour to calm down after me suggesting the meter-stick/pole vaulting combi.
  • Me taking half an hour to calm down having realised their laughter was totally unfounded as no-one actually knew what pole-vaulting was.

8 school days to go.