The Perpetual and Profound Question: Does cooking chocolate melt faster than ‘normal’ chocolate?

WHY is it that even some of the BEST Science students the school can acquire insist on investigating: 

“the melting points of different types of chocolate”

for their year 10 student investigation?



All you people in the Science Lab: Can I have some originality PLEASE?? 



Making M&M atoms with Year 10

Modelling The Subatomic Structure of an Atom (Year 10)

Prior Knowledge: atomic number=number of protons, atomic mass= number of protons + neutrons, number of electrons=number of protons, electrons exist in energy levels or shells with 2 occupying the first shell and 8 occupying the shells after that.


mnms skittles mnsmmini


periodic table


1. Write on the board:

M&Ms= protons


M&Ms minis=electrons.

2. Point out that the size difference between protons and neutrons is negligible (for year 10) and that electrons are much smaller than the other two subatomic particles. Hence, the mini M&Ms are the electrons.

3. Students use the information in their periodic table to construct an atom of hydrogen, an atom of lithium and an atom of beryllium.

4. Students draw the atom they have created out of consumables.

5. Students create a table showing similarities and differences between the structures of the three atoms. (help them to notice that they all have one electron in the outer shell and that each one has a different number of electron shells)

6. Students use the information in their periodic table to construct an atom of helium, neon and argon.

7. Students draw the atom they have created out of consumables.

8. Students create a table showing similarities and differences between the structures of the three atoms. (help them to notice that they all have full outer shells and that each one has a different number of electron shells)

9. Link the number of electrons in the outer shell to the group number (explain the helium anomaly) and the number of electron shells to the period number.

My class is pretty bright, so I managed to leap straight from this to ionic bonding by getting them to trade mini m&ms. They picked up on their own that the atoms become charged if you change the amount of electrons, and thus I could introduce the concept of ions.

I’m not going to lie, this lesson was a massive hit. They worked as fast as they could in order to eat their atoms, and the physical model also helped them to see that the nucleus doesn’t get ‘filled’ it is actually just MADE of protons and neutrons. Likewise with ‘shells’. If you remove an electron from a shell with only one in it, the one underneath becomes the outer shell.

This is actually a lesson I borrowed off of another teacher and then modified. It was originally shown to me as a lesson for teaching year 9 about the existence of protons, neutrons and electrons and their organisation within an atom. In this instance, you should provide the kids with a scaffold showing a distinct empty nucleus and some empty energy levels.

This is a very versatile lesson and I hope it works for you! Don’t forget to write the lollies off on tax….even the extras that YOU end up eating!


The Scientist in Me Needed to Make a Graph….

My lack of blogs has severely affected my writing skills. In fact, I feel that they have already deteriorated and I am remorseful about the fact that I haven’t written. I have created a simple line graph to illustrate the phenomenon of my reduced compositional output: 




Fig.1. Although the scales are completely bogus, it is clear to see that as the amount of bloggable material occurring increases, the time available to blog about the bloggable material decreases. Conversely, when the amount of bloggable material is small, the time in which to blog about it increases. 







When it’s not ok to ask “are you ok?”



As a school student

I remember knowing that it was my solemn duty to respond immediately to emotional pain and suffering if I saw it occurring at school. I had been taught since kindergarten that if someone was being bullied, I had to step in and help them and that if somebody had no friends, I should adopt them and introduce them to others. If I saw someone crying, I should go and put an arm around them and ask  “are you ok?”. I tried to live by this to the best of my ability as a student, but I now know that I didn’t see most of the pain I was supposed to respond to. Real bullying and isolation comes not from strangers, but from former friends when you’ve grown apart from them. However, there were definitely times in the playground when I had conversations and gave advice to upset people who were not necessarily my friends. It was a normal thing to do, and there were times when other students did the same thing for me.


As an adult

When I see someone experiencing extreme emotion, a wave of hot and cold fear slugs me in the ribs and then spreads all the way down the trunk of my body and through my extremities. The feeling is always followed by a violent shiver, and then it abates. During the fear wave, I get one moment of ‘deer-in-headlights’ and then many moments of ‘flee the situation’.  The most important thing is that they shouldn’t know you’ve seen their moment of vulnerability. Or, they should be able to plausibly pretend that they don’t know about you seeing their moment of vulnerability. There are plenty of options for making yourself unobtrusive during someone else’s emotional lapse. If you’ve just walked onto the scene, and nobody looked your way, back away sneakily, then turn and run. If they did look at you, smile, mime forgetting something, and then leave, pretending you didn’t notice anything unusual. Make small talk with your back turned so that they have time to wipe their face and compose their voice. If they try to flee the scene, let them go, and say the things you’d normally say when they leave a room.

It all sounds cold-hearted, doesn’t it?

The truth is that other people’s emotions are awkward to deal with, and there’s a very clear reason for this: fear of rejection. I don’t want to put myself out there and offer comfort or ask that fateful question “are you ok?” Only to have that person frostily reply with “I’m fine”, and think of me as a busybody. If I’m very close to someone, or very clear on where our relationship stands, it’s a completely risk-free situation, and I can acknowledge their pain and respond to it immediately. Likewise, if I’m certain they don’t want to be acknowledged, I can just enact one of the above evasive manoeuvres. Otherwise, the decision to ask or not to ask is risky!

I don’t want to be the one who makes the move of asking, only to have the other person think “geez, we’re not close enough for you to be asking, man! Why can’t she be cool and pretend that it’s just hot in here?” I also don’t want someone I barely know to open up with a flood of information, because I would never know them well enough to help. I’ve been in situations like that with students, where you offer solutions and they keep saying “no” until, in a burst of frustration they just say “you don’t understand” and run off sobbing. I don’t want to be the reason that an upset person feels worse instead of better.

There’s also the awkwardness surrounding The Comforting Physical Gesture. If it’s somebody I am not sure of, I never know if I’m being too cold or overly familiar when I’m talking to them. I’m just thinking the whole time “all right, that thing they just said was bad, do I put my arm around them? pat their hand? No, wait, opportunity missed, it would be creepy now. Oh, oh, something worse, and they’re getting teary, now I have to do something! Quick! Decide!”


Accidentally hit them in the head with my hand because they moved as I was putting my arm around them.

What if it’s a member of the opposite sex that I’m trying to comfort, and they think my comforting gestures are an ill-disguised attempt to get into their pants? What if they decide that sounds really good, and they forget that they’re upset and start putting the moves on me?


What if they think I’m coming onto them, so they suddenly get better and enact their strategies to get out of Unwanted Sexual Contact situations?

Then someone else would have to go through the above process to ask ME if I’M ok!

Some might say I’m over-thinking this, but others will totally get me, because they, like me, have been burned before.

Now to find the courage, sometime today, to ask a special person if they’re ok instead of procrastinating by having a paranoid-anxiety-attack on my teaching blog…………

MsBlueScience Out! 



My nose remembers more than my eyes, but my eyes can create meaning from my world

Photo on 13-01-14 at 6.13 PM

Of the five senses, smell evokes the most distant and the most vivid memories. The olfactory bulb in the brain is very close to the hippocampus and the amygdala, which are associated with memory-forming and emotions respectively. Strong links are often forged between memories, emotions and scents. In Dementia patients, it has been documented that certain smells can trigger accurate memories of childhood.

Being here in this house is both familiar and alien. It is not my house and it will never be my home. I created many memories here, but no memories of me have lasted.

This house has sections that smell the same, and my brain remembers how I used to feel and the things that I used to do, but the differences in the scents are also striking. The people who live here have changed in my two-year absence, as have I, and many things about the house are new to me. New perfumes, deodorants and colognes. New cleaning chemicals and regimes. An ageing dog. The layout has changed. The routines have changed. The office that used to be a bedroom smells like an office, and it feels different. The people have different routines now and they use different chemicals and undertake different activities. They wear different clothes. Everybody’s smell has changed. One fewer person living here. Six ageing people, including me. This house smells different, so I feel different.


Smell can tell me about the similarities and differences between this house and the image of this house that exists in my memory. My eyes capture the light that is refracted and reflected from the objects and the people in the house. They transmit the light to my brain so that I can read faces. I can read photographs. I can read furnishings and decorations. I remember some of the decor and some of it is new to me. I see some items and I remember the long-standing arguments and drawn-out decision-making attached to them. I see photographs and I remember looking at the people in them on the night that they were taken, but I cannot remember what I looked like on those nights and I cannot remember how I felt. I know that if I stumbled across the perfume I wore then, I would remember more about myself and less about others. I look for things in this house that were brought by me, and owned by me, but there are none. They are gone because I took them away two years ago. When I smell a remembered scent, it gives me pictures, colours and emotions. My eyes take information and create meaning in the form of an internal dialogue. This house is telling me that it is not my house and it is not my home because it looks different, so I feel different.

I take in the subtle cues from my environment through olfaction and vision. Although vision is the strongest sense in humans, others would be different to me, I am sure. Perhaps they would listen carefully to their world and remember sounds and voices. Maybe they would remember the contours and textures of fabrics and the shape of other people through touch. Eating certain foods or ingredients might remind them strongly of places they’ve travelled or people they have eaten with. I suffer slightly from industrial deafness and I’m not a tactile person, so most of those memory jolts and eerie feelings come to me when I smell something or see something. I actively look to make links from these senses as my way of interpreting and remembering my world.

I have always found it particularly interesting that a scent-triggered memory can elicit direct emotions from me, but that a vision-triggered memory is dialogue with no pictures.

Being here in this house is both familiar and alien. I have aged. It is not my house and it will never be my home. I created many memories here, but no memories of me have lasted. We look different, and we smell different, so I feel different. This house and I, we are not the same as we once were. 


The Joys of Share Housing: My Rental Crisis


In my last post I alluded to the fact that I am looking for different accommodation because I cannot live with my housemates anymore. My housemates are foreign, which has never been a problem, except that two of them can be difficult to speak with, making the shared environment uncomfortable to occupy. I make excuses to go out or not to go home. It is also difficult to solve problems with people you cannot speak to effectively. One of them, a female Peruvian, speaks broken English, and it can be difficult to discern her true meaning from what she says. If she has a problem with someone else, she leaves passive-aggressive notes that are rather ambiguous or confronts that person in a bossy manner. It is difficult to tell whether her aggression stems from frustration at her limited ability to express herself, or her passion to win an argument. She also has no desire to work to earn a living. She wants to be a housewife, and so the only job she currently has is occasional babysitting. She is home all the time, watching bad TV. In between this, she “cleans” which involves disinfecting the entire house and rearranging furniture and cupboard contents-including items that don’t belong to her. She also has a shopping addiction, continually moving new things into the house and taking up more than her fair share of space. 

Another of my housemates is an older Mexican male who is extremely bitter about his wife divorcing him. His two children come over every second weekend and occupy the TV non-stop. The Peruvian female hates this, which gives me a guilty amount of pleasure. The Mexican is extremely loud when moving about the house and he brings random females with him all the time. It would be nice if he brought home a quiet one or if they could limit intercourse to once or twice per night or during weekends only. I am frequently woken multiple times between midnight and 6am by his bed creaking loudly, the wall shaking and grunting or squealing noises. It is not fun keeping silent about his habits when I meet the random women in the kitchen in the morning. It feels like I’m breaking some sort of ‘bro code’. 

Not the worst housemates by anybody’s standard, but they’re all becoming more and more inconsiderate in the noise department and it’s definitely time to leave. Here’s the problem: I want to buy a house, and that means saving for a deposit. Rental options to facilitate this are pretty much limited to share house situations. The cost of share-housing is the same or less than renting an apartment alone. I have found new housemates and we are searching for places to rent, but it’s very very difficult to find somewhere and have an application approved. 


 Here are the people that real estate agents and investment property owners want to lease their property to: 







I can totally understand that they are afraid of this happening: 



But we are responsible adults with full time jobs who want to keep a house tidy and clean. Why can’t real estate people see that we just want to live in a situation where we can save money and have some company after a hard day at work? 


“So you don’t have to go back to work until February, right? Wow, I wish I got 6 weeks of paid holiday!”


1301BlamingTeachers-ArtAt this time of year, the only smalltalk among friends and family during Christmas celebrations is a comment on my ‘extensive holiday period’.  I’d like to see some of my family members do this holiday with as much style as I manage to pull off!

But firstly: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Australia! 

Traditional Christmas Symbolism:

tree one

Australian Christmas Symbolism:

snowman sand


….although, to be fair, it did drizzle a bit on Christmas Day 2013.

How to Christmas Holiday like a Science teacher: 

1. Increase coffee intake so that your 10-week sleep debt catches up with you on the 27th, not the 25th. Try hard to remember that it’s not nice to snap at people.

2. Purchase gifts for everyone within two days. Do not buy anything that is more than 50% plastic and refuse shopping bags wherever possible. Don’t forget that children should be engaged in learning from their Christmas presents. (Yes, people ARE grateful when I’m their Secret Santa, why do you ask?)

3. Wrap presents as well as you can with minimal wrapping paper (reduce), rip the old tags off of last year’s gift bags (reuse), and separate the sticky tape and foil paper from the papery paper before putting the rubbish into your bins (recycle). Advertise unwanted boxes on freecycle for people who are moving.

4. Conveniently forget that the supermarkets are closed for two days. Neglect to shop for groceries. Strategically plan your meals based around the friends and family you visit.

5. OPEN GIFTS! Plenty of chocolate, Science documentaries, household trimmings and books to read! These gifts are truly orgasm-inducing! (Turn into boring adult: check!)

6. Watch housemates leave for work. Brainstorm people to hang out with…..but they’re all at work. Wait for something to happen on FaceBook.

7. Eat many things.

8. Sit on couch with no prospects of company for many days. Find reasons why usual exercise schedule is absurd and unachievable without a school routine.

9. Eat ALL chocolate with nobody around to avoid possible social tension stemming from an unwillingness to share.

10. Begin intense household cleaning regime.

11. Cook lots to pass time and to create MORE things to eat. (WARNING: Do not interact with scales).

12. Become dissatisfied with housemates and enter into harebrained scheme to move house. Keep this scheme continually running in the background.

13. Allow the days to pass in a blur of domesticity, superficial social encounters, overeating and vegetating.

14. One week before the return of school, panic.

15. Lock self in office and complete all planning, marking and resource creation that was supposed to be spread over six weeks.

16. Begin the term and dedicate yourself to teaching again at the expense of housework. Restart exercise routine. Plan to clean and cook again in ten weeks’ time. It is now safe to approach the scales, but you might have to leap over piles of mess……..


And that’s why they tell you to marry a teacher! 


When it’s not your turn to be the teacher: Managing my/their/everyone’s behaviour #3

I have written before about changing friendships and those moments where I forget to turn off the teacher voice, but the problem of teaching becoming who you are rather than what you do encroaches further into my life than that. Every time I interact with a person who is unreasonable, overly officious or obdurate, it is me who takes the role of pandering to their needs in order to calm them. When I meet a person whom I find disagreeable, I make myself more agreeable to accommodate them. I even do this when that other person is in a position of authority or if they have been employed to cater to my needs. I automatically try to avoid conflict where I might have sought it in the past. I notice in the staff room at school that we all do this for each other as well. When somebody comes in with their temper in fragments, they are not often blamed for it. Instead, everyone else tries to keep out of their way or make them feel better, or simply avoid loading any further responsibility onto them. I definitely appreciate this when it is my temper that has erupted and I think it’s one of the major strengths of our faculty.

The power of placating service people is a useful skill and can win me extra consideration and bargaining powers. It’s also nice to have someone else think that I am a lovely customer. However, there are situations where managing people is a drawback.

When the habit of dispersing tension leaks into your personal life, it costs you meaningful relationships. Managing another person’s behaviour categorises them into a new box in your head. Instead of being equal to you, that person is now lesser. They become equivalent to a student and they also take mental effort to deal with. They will never be a person whose company you seek for pleasure and you will never be able to turn to that person for advice or comfort when you are having a rough time. It also ties you to someone whom you would normally meet and then forget about or refuse to see again. The problem is that you’ve gone to effort to make them feel good at the expense of an opportunity for you to feel good. They leave the interaction liking you, and you leave the interaction pitying them. You end up with a superficial friendship that becomes an obligation. It’s never comfortable and it’s frequently awkward. You end up either making all of the plans  because part of your role in their life is to organise things, OR you get no say because your role is to accompany them when they’ve got nobody. When I began to find relationships like this creeping into my life, I began to question those relationships I had pre-teaching that were a little awkward. It turns out that some of my relationships were less than ideal and I’ve begun to make more efforts with people I actually like. It’s comforting that other people just past my age have said they went through the same thing in their twenties.

Additionally, being a behaviour manager makes it difficult to behave graciously when being taught by someone else.

I got a remote first aid certification recently. It was a two-day course with a mixture of practical and theory, with a very experienced first-aider as a teacher. He had a few tics that it was difficult to ignore though. He had a habit of saying only half of a sentence and ending it as a question, as though waiting for one of the adult pupils to finish the sentence on a subject we had not been taught about yet. He was also patronising and he threw us into practical situations that we could not solve because we did not have the knowledge. I was there with a colleague from school and although the teacher’s first-aid experience and knowledge could not be questioned, we harshly critiqued his teaching methods and laughed helplessly at his manner. Our behaviour was unbecoming and something we would never tolerate from students of our own.

Teachers, like all professionals, have a multi-faceted life with many priorities and responsibilities, but I am finding that I’m turning into a person who approaches all of my priorities with my single-faceted personality. If I continue to do this, I will continue to struggle with making meaning of the place in my life that each person I know holds. In my future, I would like to keep the behaviour management at school and relax when I go home and when I go out to socialise.


Managing my/their/everyone’s behaviour #2

behave 2

I do not profess to be an amazing behaviour manager. The hardest thing about being a new teacher is that it is difficult to know how to respond when students do the wrong thing. There are also those moments when a more experienced teacher would have seen the trouble coming, but new ones can’t.

In my first year, I had two classes who could find my patience threshold within fifteen minutes and they expressed views that I found so appalling that I did not want to stay in their presence. The students in question were in year nine and year ten and most of them were larger than me, including the girls. The boys used this to their advantage, never missing an opportunity to physically intimidate me. They were loud, shouting obscenities and vocalising their tobacco cravings. Many of the boys preferred to rub their nipples at me to completing work and there was also plenty of hands-down-pants action. Some of the girls had difficulty selecting school skirts that could cover their underwear when seated. Call me judgemental, but I despaired of the adults these kids would become after day one.

I stood in front of both of those classes in turn on my first day, dressed like a teacher, with a freshly-broken right arm in a sling. I am right-handed so I wrote my name sloppily on the board with my left hand. The year nines laughed at me. The boys were particularly loud and plenty of animal noises accompanied their hoots of laughter. One of them asked me “are you a new student? You are NOT a teacher!” Most of them were convinced that I was a casual and I could not convince them that it was my name on their timetable. I stuck to my policy of not talking over the students and I used my best death stares. In the fifty-minute lesson, it took me forty minutes to mark the roll. Part of that time was spent trying to get them to sit down. They invaded my personal space, circling me like predators and sticking their mean faces close to mine. I stood my ground and made no reply except for “sit in your seats”. In the last ten minutes, I tried to get them to put away their mobile phones and to impose on them my expectations for the year. When the bell rang, the students shoved themselves back from their tables, knocking over their chairs and they ran for the door, punching and shoving each other and shouting explicit things. When I called loudly for them to stand behind their chairs, they pretended I had not spoken and kept going.

I used every strategy I had during that lesson. I had planned a lesson, I had tried to talk about class rules so that expectations were transparent, and I tried to get to know the students. I made a point of learning to pronounce their names properly, because I know I used to hate teachers who couldn’t even bother to learn our names properly and get them right. I refused to allow them to speak over me. The kids knew more than me though. If they do not allow you to even get the lesson started and if they present a united front of hostility, you can’t win. I have learned this year that the only thing allowing you to get a lesson started at my school is your credibility from past years. Out of all of the things they did to me that day, their laughter undermined my confidence the most. By the end of that lesson, I was afraid of them, and with good reason. Many of the students in that year nine class were involved in criminal behaviours at that time and some have become involved in criminal activity since.

The response from the year tens was not very different, and the lesson went the same way. However, they were less aggressive than the year nines. They hurled insults and threats at me, but did not make good on any of them that day. The boys emitted guttural and high-pitched noises at frequent intervals and they spoke to each other and me as though they would like nothing better than to rip everyone in the room apart. But they did sit down, even if they didn’t listen.

I struggled with those two classes throughout year. They bullied me relentlessly for terms one and two, but by terms three and four, some of the more menacing children had been farmed out to work experience, part time work, TAFE or other programs for the disengaged. Some simply left and many began to truant when they realised that they couldn’t break me and I wouldn’t back down. I only ever showed them the bitch in me. It worked as far as restoring an ordered classroom and they did learn to wait until dismissal at the end of class. Those that began to pay attention did very well for themselves. The year nines went into higher year ten classes and some of the year tens chose Science for year eleven. The ones who vehemently refused to attempt any work did not improve their rankings or their scientific literacy. In fact, they regressed, beginning the subsequent year with a lower ability to apply knowledge than when they came to me.


The most important thing about behaviour management is that you have to make an attempt. You have to do SOMETHING. Better a failed attempt than none at all, because a failed attempt still sets the standard that something unacceptable has taken place. I eventually learned the school systems and began to develop strategies to punish the kids. However, I must admit that often, to punish you must first entrap. If you confiscate a drawing or something similar that is being used to distract the class, always promise to give it back at the end and remind the student to put their name on it so that you know it’s theirs.  Take it to someone higher up instead of returning it. The kid cannot deny ownership if their name is on it in their own handwriting. This actually works numerous times on the same kid.

Follow up with things that you say you’ll do. A late punishment, accompanied by dated records is better than no punishment at all. FYI-giving them detention means you have detention too. Find a better thing to do to them. If you call a parent and they appeal to you for help with managing their child, suggest the confiscation of electronic devices. Parents might also like to turn their wifi off at bedtime. It makes it more likely that the children will actually sleep.

Lastly, don’t let the kids see your emotions unless you trust them. It unnerves them to deal with robotic people, so give them a robot if need be. I have also found that sometimes you have to be unconventional for the kids to take any notice of you.

The uni lecturers are convinced that I will continue to develop in the area of behaviour management……



Managing my/their/everyone’s behaviour? #1

behave 2

better bart








Behaviour management is the

proverbial ElephantInSchool during university education degrees. The lecturers are confident that you’ll figure it out for yourself when you’re on prac. On prac, the supervisors handle all of the obstinate learners for you, while you die of shame in front of them. The Teacher Instruction literature guilts you into believing that if the students are misbehaving, then your educational practice is unsound. The Inspirational Teacher literature is not worth consulting when it comes to student discipline. It contains more verbose imagery and orchestrated catharses than poorly-written erotica.The maxim referenced by most of them is: “The only behaviour you can manage in the classroom is your own”.


My Behaviour

I do manage my own behaviour. I enact coping mechanisms to prevent myself from physically harming the students or other staff members. This behaviour management approach protects my career, and prevents episodes from being exacerbated, but it does not improve the behaviour of my students in that instant. When I go home, I have to enact further strategies to ensure that I can still interact with other humans.


Excuse me while I disembowel this orc to release my frustration and carnal rage. 




When it’s your turn to manage behaviour for the first time in first year, you have to decide where you’ll draw the line, and you have to make constant judgements about when a kid is playing you and when they’re being sincere. Sometimes, you will be wrong, and most of the time, you will be accused of favouring a student who you like more.

News flash: I tend to dislike students who lie to me, swear at me, physically threaten me and refuse to participate in my classes. Students who wait for instructions to be given so that they know how to do the wrong thing incur my wrath. It is therefore nonsensical for a student being disciplined for any of the above behaviours to complain that students doing the right thing are not being given punishments.

Nonsensical is what teenagers do best.

If anybody wants to talk to me, or ask me to do something: tough. I’ll be sitting at my desk plugged into a musical paradise working by myself. 

There are also  instances when the students are very clearly managing your behaviour, and you don’t have the emotional energy to stop it from happening.

“We’re not going outside, we’re too tired. If you take us out there, we will run away from you and make you chase us. Go back to your staffroom and get us a DVD!” 

Seniors are the professionals when it comes to manipulating me. Homework extensions can be easily granted and excursions can also be wheedled out of me for the price of smiles and consolations and the promise of ‘a posse’ during playground duty.

bodyguards-entourageTo be honest, those moments where someone else is making suggestions  and caring about you are rare and very sweet.


I don’t care what we eat for dinner, in fact, I think I might be too tired to chew. I change my vote to soup or coffee. 


I find it most difficult to manage my own behaviour when there are spiders in the classroom and when I am undertaking playground duty. During Winter, a huntsman spider took up residence above the doorframe of my lab. The first group of students to come through that door after the huntsman moved in were Year 12 Biologists coming to school for a study day. When they noticed him, they screamed and ran to the opposite corner of the room. They all tried to stand on tables and chairs and there were shouts of “Miss! Miss! Kill it now!” I REALLY wanted to be among those standing on chairs. There were no other staff members around because they were at home for the holidays, so I looked for my male biologists. They were cringing behind the girls, covering their heads. I found some adrenaline  somewhere and by standing on a lab bench, I was able to sweep the offending creature into a beaker with a dustpan and brush. This did not curb the bloodlust of my class, so I had to spray the beaker full of insecticide and watch the spider jerking as though subjected to the cruciatus curse.


Student/teacher interactions during class:



Student/Teacher interactions during playground duty:


During recess and lunch, you again have to decide what level of behaviour you will demand from the students and then enforce it. The most frustrating part of playground duty is when the executive members of staff do not support your decisions or follow up the reports you give to them.


Irritated and enraged to the point of tears after dealing with students, I have no wish to engage in an argument with you, my colleague. If you provoke one, you will not get sane or stable answers. My sarcasm and flippancy is designed to evoke the same feelings inside of you as the feelings that are inside of me. I will also retaliate at a later date by pulling a prank on you. 


You have to carefully balance managing your behaviour and de-stressing. Too much either way will undermine your professionalism or cause your teacher identity to absorb your everyday alter-ego.