Over the last few weeks I've been helping a colleague's class out by ensuring they have enough work and depth in their programme.
My colleague has been very sick and we aren't sure as to whether she'll be able to come back any time soon. In the meantime, her class has been given a day reliever for her classes. He is fabulous but as any reliever would know - it's not only difficult to keep up with relationship building, but also hard to give clear guidelines and programmes when you're being given relief work.
For a class such as this one - I feel sorry for them but I also hope that they'll be able to overcome these setbacks and achieve in the end of year exams.
So with this in mind - I suggested to my HOD to give them the new film she'd bought 'Chappie' - a PG13 film. The kids immediately fell for the storyline and the main character Chappie - a robocop in the near future of Jo'berg, South Africa.
After they'd finished the first viewing I taught a 30 minute session around character and possible themes and settings. They wrote down their own understanding of the film and their perspective. We discussed the seriousness of their learning dysfunctional behaviours and the fact that they needed to put a lot of effort into their exam at the end of the year.
Still though - it wasn't enough - because they still weren't sure of the settings enough to be able to write much about the connections with the themes and characters or symbolism of the settings.
I sat down with the reliever a few days ago and discussed the possible programme of what they could be doing and what they absolutely must do. It still wasn't really enough so I finally got around to writing down more structured thoughts with him while the students watched the film for a second time.
Today during their lesson and this afternoon - I worked on a new study booklet for the class that had the absolute MUST do and could do pieces of work. The study book is all good and well - but it would still need a teacher to work through it properly with them.
I'm pretty proud of it at the moment though mainly because I managed to get it all done today and also because I feel like I'm a better teacher when there's a time pressure or when I'm trying to save a class.
Anyway - here it is - have a look and comment below with what could be added and your thoughts :)