Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Inspectors, farms, mice...and a winner! ;-)

This week, I've been reading , 'An Inspector Calls' by J.B. Priestley.

It's one of the GCSE set books for a pupil of mine....a 'sport mad' lad who simply

will not read! So,we've read it together and he actually quite enjoyed it!

Thankfully, he is an avid Arsenal supporter and so during our 5 minute coffee break

we are able to discuss the merits of Arsene Wenger's transfer dealings, this summer

(or lack of them!) and because I am able to hold my own (just about)

with such discussions, he thinks I am 'cool'...

and this means that he actually works hard for me! ;-)

I do feel sorry for boys such as this, who have little interest in reading.

(unless it's the back pages of the newspaper!)

Thus, when it comes to GCSE English, they struggle.

Anyway... 'An Inspector Calls'...

The Inspector in this play,
(Inspector Goole,which is a play on the word 'ghoul')
is a most mysterious character
who calls on a family, one evening, disturbs their harmony
and forces each of them
to confront each other's social responsibility.

Except there is a bit more to it than that !

The next book which I am about to read with another of my pupils, is:

I'm really looking forward to this as I haven't read it for a long time...

Generally, the schools around here choose the same books and, each year, I find myself

stranded on an uninhabited island with Ralph, Jack and Piggy...

in that 'delightful' novel, 'Lord of the Flies'...!!

Not so this year! I seem to have escaped from that island!

Throughout the summer, I'll be mucking about in the farmyard,

it seems, with Major and his mates, discussing whether

''Four legs good, two legs bad'', really is true!


I love a good battle!

Talking of which...

Last week this happened to me...

''No you are not a school... so we cannot help you!''

One of my pupils is moving schools.

You might think that this is nothing out of the ordinary!
She is half way through her GCSEs.
You might think that this may not pose a problem either.
She is changing exam boards for her English Lang/English Lit
which basically means that some of the work which she did last year
will be wasted, although some might possibly be used towards her final mark.
It's all a bit of a nightmare really...and throughout the holidays she has
to do some extra work to catch up .

And so, because I'll be working with her, I got in touch with the new
exam board to ask if I could access their resources, online.
You can only access these if you are a school, with a centre number.
I received the above reply which was rather annoying!
So I sat and thought about it...
Not wanting to be beaten, I persisted!

(''Do you know who this is, it is Mrs Snippets, for goodness sake!! ''LOL!)

And it paid off!

A very kind English Advisor contacted me and said that
he would put everything I need on to a memory stick and he would send it to me.

So, as they say...if at first you don't succeed..try again!


The final book I will be reading this summer is...

It's an easy read...set in 1930s America.

The title is taken from a Robert Burns poem, 'To a Mouse'.

"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley."

( Meaning that the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.)

The main characters, George Milton and Lenny Small have a dream

and it is this dream which keeps them going.

Sadly, their best laid schemes don't work out!


You know, with all of these books, strong messages are conveyed

and each book certainly leaves you asking questions about

society and how we treat one another.

Considering the news at the moment, it makes me think

that we as a human race, still have an awful lot to learn!

I think I'll leave it there!


Finally, if you remember, my giveaway...

I loved reading all of your comments!

The winner, picked out of the hat, this morning, is:

Please email me your address,Sarah!

Thanks everyone for taking part!



Country Cottage Chic said...

Ooh, very deep this morning Mrs Snippets!

Well done for sticking to your guns so you can help your GCSE pupil.


Twiggy said...

Well done Sal, I read Of Mice and Men and Animal Farm, years ago at school. You've prompted me I must go and dig out my ancient copy of To Kill a Mockingbird, another thought provoking set text from school !!
Twiggy x

SarahB said...

Ooooooooh, I am super thrilled thanks sooooo much!! Will email you my addy in a mo.

Well done you for your persistence in helping your pupil that is moving!!

We moved halfway through my GCSE's (I was the second year to take them) and no-one seemed to help facilitate my move, as such I didn't get to take some GCSEs I had studied for and was entered (at the end of year 10) to do others I hadn't studied for over 18mths!!

Gosh that turned into a moan, sorry!!

S x

Carol said...

Congratulations Sarah.
It is true, you do work so much better when you 'get on' with a teacher. I remember my English teacher, Mrs. Sibelius, she was very good and a very nice lady too.
Every year it was a lots of poetry, a 'new' Shakespeare plus a Jane Austen or something similar, but certainly not a George Orwell or John Steinbeck, far too modern!
Carol xx

KC'sCourt! said...

Long story, but I wish I could have had a teacher like you.....would you teach me the principles of English? No I'm not joking, my teachers were useless I learnt nothing whatsoever! I did read Animal Farm because I wanted to and it was in my own time and other classics too.
Julie xxxxxxx

galant said...

I was fortunate to have two excellent English teachers. The first, in my private primary school was Mrs Kelly who opened her small school after she retired as head of English at the local girls' grammar school. Then, once I was at grammar school, Miss Petty was head of English and was my teacher, and an excellent one, too. I still can't use the words "nice" or "got" without thinking about her: she outlawed these words, saying we had to do better than say something was "nice" which didn't mean anything, and "got" was totally forbidden. "I got a book from the library" was dismissed; we would have to say "I borrowed a book from the library."
She also taught us how to lay out a formal letter, even so far as to explain that when we had put the address on the right hand side, when we turned over the page we had to start below where the address had been on page 1. I could go on, but she, like Mrs Kelly, was truly inspirational (it wouldn't appear so with the examples I've given, but take it from me that she was.)
Margaret P

tracey @ the vintage bothy said...

Memories, memories, "Animal Farm" & "To kill a Mocking Bird" (fave book & film) for "O" Levels and I have recently read "Of Mice & Men" in an effort to read more "Classics", I did enjoy it.
"A" levels for me, "1984" and last year for GCSE Tom had "Animal Farm" - oops, how old am I?
T x