The curtain twitches

“Five minutes, Mr Bamboo.”

We had the start-of-term conference last weekend; or perhaps because last year’s conference was so popular, we held it all over again. There were some minor dif­fer­ences. This year’s big ideas were to extend the philosophy of the IB programme into other programmes (a box which I started ticking last year), and homework.

I don’t think we’ve ever given homework obsessively. I know I don’t, and I don’t need to. Do I run out of class time? Occasionally. Am I going to have the time to deal with the homework which would be a consequence of such a situation? Almost certainly not. I have an idea how I’m going to satisfy this requirement without irking my little darlings or myself.

We’ve been back at school this week, but things are still settling – at least in English. My IB class is a mixture of students from Fred’s and Michelle’s classes, which has created a problem, viz. Fred’s students haven’t been through An Inspector Calls (which I’ve been reading over the past couple of days). We have a solution of a sort.

The AS classes are also a little in the air as I try to get the right students into the right class. At the moment we have two HL classes, which means that there’s quite a number of self-deluding students who should be doing SL. I’m hoping we’ll be able to shift them into the latter class where they belong and where they might do well enough not to embarrass themselves.

We also have no spare copies of To Kill a Mockingbird, which is unavailable on Kindle, and not something which I’m likely to find in my local Xinhua Bookshop. I’ve read a couple of guides about it, but I can’t exactly go into class and talk about them. Perhaps I could get students to spend the first few lit. classes drawing pictures of Scout, Jem, Atticus, Boo Radley, etc. Or I could ask them what they think happens in the book, which they probably won’t have read yet – just like me.


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