Wednesday, 16 February 2011
Textbooks and chicken fantasies
Textbooks are quite new to me in my teaching career. The UK early years brigade would have had me hung, drawn and quartered if I allowed my reception or year one classes to work from them. But here I have come face to face with my arch enemy of the textbook. And maybe they are not so bad. I’ve just been reading one called ‘Elementary Science and Technology’ for P5 (11 year olds) and its quite good. It tells you how to make a rabbit out of clay and how to crochet a table mat. I love the instructions ‘1. Get some clay, 2. Make a rabbit’. My experience is that even asking children to make an egg cup out of clay produced some creations that made the gherkin building in London look sensible.
The section on the evils of drink made me laugh and I really don’t think it was supposed to. Yesterday when I asked a particularly lovely class about the qualities of a good teacher, they mentioned that a teacher should be ‘innocent’. Such a sweet thing to say and so far removed from reality back home. It just reminded me of a story in one of the trashy magazines I used to read in the UK about a secondary school personal and social ed. teacher who moonlighted as a stripper...where had the innocence gone?!
My mid week hysteria has definitely begun to set in, I’m noticing a pattern that I go loopy on Wednesdays. I think I always did back in the UK as well but all the time alone with my thoughts has intensified it. Last night after having a particularly successful omelette (I’ve now found eggs in the village!) I had a very vivid dream about keeping a chicken as a pet. I called her Vivien and she had a little pink tag around her foot. I woke up really wanting to own a chicken. The problems would be a) I don’t know how to look after chickens, b) I go away at weekends and so I would have to employ a chicken sitter and c) I have a feeling they live longer than two years. This would create a problem when I finally leave because I would have to find someone who wanted an ancient chicken as a pet. So ces’t la vie, the chickens of Rwanda are safe!