There have, sadly, been many moments when I’ve been caught out swearing in the classroom – mostly after a weekend with the ice hockey boys, even now they are still teaching me new words. Anyway.
A long time ago, as an NQT in a rather challenging school, I took my fair share of classes with behaviour issues. Around about October half term, I’d had more than enough of one year 10 pupil. Let’s call him Lloyd. I’d tried every single positive management strategy I knew, and still was getting nowhere with him. Exasperated, I said ‘Lloyd, stop being a bloody nuisance and do some work.’
Well, being a southern with rounded vowels, working in a school in the Midlands (I’d already had the graph/bath conversation with this group) I got laughed at. ‘Miss, what’s blaady mean? Do you mean bludy?’ came back the reply. ‘It doesn’t matter how I say it,’ I retorted, ‘you are being a nuisance and I need you to leave the lesson.’ He did, laughing down the corridor as he went.
Years later, I’ve never used that word in a lesson again. ‘F*ck’ came out loud and clear the day I was given a CRO tube in a damaged holder. While I was plugging in the wires, the tube detatched itself from the holder, bounced and shattered. Do you know how far glass under vacuum can travel? Once we’d cleaned up my class of year 11 students once again took pity on my southern pronunciation and spent the next ten minutes trying to get me to say it ‘right’. ‘It rhymes with book, miss’ was perhaps the least helpful suggestion.
Now I’m in a special school I save the swearing for the staff room!
(edit July 2015) please note I am no longer on twitter