Training Daze

One of the perks of being a teacher is that you get to go on exciting training days. Ha, just kidding! During the last two weeks I’ve had to sit through some essential, but  rather dull training sessions. The first was quite painful, so when it came to the second training day I asked my colleague  to listen for me so I could do some very important jobs…like plan my class assembly.

I usually head for a seat at the back so I can multi-task, make the most of a sit down, and day dream out of the window. It reminds me of French lessons at school. I’d sit at the back and stare at the Pennines.  Occasionally I got caught out and the French teacher would ask me to read. His usual comment was, ” Great accent, but you’re not actually saying much”. Is it unethical for a teacher to be proud of “scoring” minus 26 in a French dictation ?

It’s ironic that since leaving school I studied second language acquisition at a Spanish University and have been known to teach basic Mandarin, Arabic and ‘Norfolk, (requested by a Reception pupil last year)  I suppose it just proves that, thankfully, what you study at school doesn’t always determine your future career.  Apparently my name was ‘notorious’ in the staffroom. I remember having to look up the word to see whether it was an accurate description of me or not. It might have been… Of course I’m not proud……

I digress. The following poem was written during one of my recent training sessions. I should add a disclaimer. Not all training sessions are dull. Some are even entertaining.


Training Daze

I’m sitting in the training

And staring at a screen

Two clever men are rambling

It’s all a blur to me


I’m struggling through the training

My mind has gone off track

I’ve lost 2 hours of life now

I will never get them back


I’m dozing in the training

I think I’m going to die

My yawn is getting louder

And my life is passing by


 I’m twitching in the training

It really is quite bad

Imprisoned by the trainers

I fear I’m going mad


My mind has gone all mushy

I’m fiddling with my phone

My colleague’s checking twitter

I wish I could go home


I’m puzzled by the data

Bewildered by reports

While colour coded assessment sheets

Give me infuriating thoughts


I’m nodding at the trainer

 And feign I understand

I’ve no idea what’s going on

I’m in my own dreamland


I’m wishing it was Friday

And dreaming of the sun

My thoughts are on my holiday

The cocktails, beach and fun


I’m sure I left my lights on

Perhaps I should just see

A brief escape, a toilet break

I’ll sneak out silently


I evaluate the training

On a form with dots and lines

The biscuits get a “useful”

I feel I’ve just done time.

School daze. Ruskin’s View – Kirkby Lonsdale.

Ooh,ooh, ooooh! Pick me!


In school children instinctively seem to want to put up their hands, even when you’ve not asked a question. It’s most bizarre. Then when you do ask them they’ve forgotten what they  had their hand up for. The classic teacher line is “I’m only going to choose children who are sitting nicely.” That’s the cue for them to sit up straight, appear intelligent, like they’ve thought of a really good answer. Or at least one they think you would approve of.

Often  I say, “I’m not choosing anyone who is shouting out, or screwing up their face at me”. It’s funny to stop for a minute, look at their faces and just watch them about to pop! They make a variety of interesting noises in order to charm you into choosing them. I’m a bit mean, I choose the children who don’t have their hand up and ask them what on earth I was talking about. They have no idea either.

Nowadays we have training on how to choose children so they all get a chance to answer. There is no opting out, even at 5.   The “in thing” is lollipops with all 30 names on which the teacher picks out at random. The children feel like they’ve won the lottery when their name is read out…until they realise they have nothing to say, or what they were going  to say was silly, irrelevant or a request for the toilet.  I tend to teach them early on that well known phrase ” I don’t know”.  It comes in very handy.

So, here is number 2 in my series of Pick Me poems. I’m hoping you Pick Mine and read it thoroughly in case I ask you questions on it later.

Ooooh, oooh, ooooh! Pick me! 

If only my teacher would pick me

I always put up my hand

I scuffle and jiggle

Screw my face up and wriggle

And look like I understand


She tells me to “Shush!

There’s no need for that noise,

 sit straight, cross your legs,

turn around”

I’m so desperate to speak

Hear my voice, just a squeak

This hand is not coming down!


She’s seen me again,

But passes me by

I bet she thinks I am thick

I am going to burst

I have to be first

If I’m not I might just be sick


I don’t know the answer

Or the question she asked

 I just love putting up my hand

It feels great in the air

As I wave at her there

Floating off in my own dreamland


If she asks me, I will say “I forgot”

And look down like I’m sheepish and shy

Surely someone will tell me the answer

 I’ll look good if I can reply


If only my teacher would pick me

She tries not to catch my eye

Perhaps I should stand

Make a point and DEMAND

That she gives me a chance to reply


That’s it! I’m done, my hand’s coming down

I shall no longer try to impress

Ask Alfie or Mabel

And see if they’re able

To get selected with more success


If only my teacher would pick me

Instead of ignoring my plea

I’ll hold my breath till I’m red

And pretend I am dead

Next time she will have to choose me!