As a teacher, there will never be a day that is perfectly polished and edited thanks to a film crew lurking at the back of the classroom. There’s no director crying “CUT!” to allow you to have a retake. There is no make-up artist waiting to make you look less tired in the (commercial) breaks. There’s no sound editor to smooth over those times when you accidentally combine two words together and it just sounds like a swear word. There’s no costume assistant for when you suffer a drastic wardrobe malfunction.
My fantastic teaching assistant (who still supports me an incredible amount despite my numerous faux pas) and I are the film crew day in, day out. But that’s okay. If we were able to photoshop the school day it would be extremely dull and clinical. In fact, it’s those moments of the absurd that give you something to laugh about on tougher days.
For example, last term, my class were practising how to spell words with silent letters. I taught my children to differentiate between the spelling of night and knight by looking at the ‘k’ and imagining that it is a knight in a fighting stance and wielding a sword. The kids loved it and so I kept going with this theme. “Okay, so, when we spell knickers, it doesn’t sound like there’s a k, but imagine the shape of the k is someone stretching their leg out to put on their kni-” and at that moment, my eyes widened at the realisation of what I was saying. The kids and I burst out laughing (with even a few tears of childish hysteria being shed..mostly on my behalf) for a good two minutes. Suffice to say, the majority of them remembered that spelling in the test… and hopefully for life! Embarrassing? Certainly. Effective? Definitely. No one was hurt or offended and we still occasionally reference the incident with a sense of gleeful nostalgia.
Even during my training placements, I accepted that things would go wrong from time to time and celebrated these moments with the class. On the last day of my final placement I shared a montage of out-takes of ‘Wallace Harbon’, my Australian twin who was an antagonist that they had to thwart. I only rediscovered the clips today and was instantly refreshed by the innocent, honest and candid nature of my mistakes, and the joy the children experienced when they realised that even adults are fallible was very telling. It has only encouraged me to embrace my faults more as they lead to learning and laughter.
Before anyone is horrified by my language, I did not share the last clip with the class! I swear. (As in, ‘I promise’. Not as in ‘I use swear words.’ Well, I do in the video but…you know what I mean!)
If you get to the end of the school day having suffered some embarrassing moments, wild change of plans, funny mistakes and humorous, fond memories, you did it right.
Embrace your inner idiot.