Monday, November 26, 2007

My squandered day off......

A photo from Phuket. It's a lump of an island.

I could have today off. I should have today off. It's report writing day and I've finished my reports already. But I put my hand up and volunteered to come in with the careers teacher to get more year 10 interviews done. I need my head read. Damn these students and their irrational thirst for knowledge and their ridiculous desperation to be placed into their chosen subjects for next year! Except for Jack. His thirst and need are totally understandable.

Just as an aside from my whinge about voluntarily giving up a holiday (I can assure you that this has never ever happened before), on Friday we had Jack's second interview for his subjects for Year 11 next year. He wants to do a year 12 subject next year, and we have guidelines about the study score average (8.5) and behaviour/conscientious/maturity levels that each kid has to reach. He has been a real twit over years 8 and 9, and it's only been this year that he's started to pull his head in and knuckle down. (With some inevitable slips back. He's a boy, after all.) He's improved a lot, but it's hard to reach egghead levels in one year from a standing start, so he was a bit short of where he needed to be.

In his first interview he was told that he had to get a certain level for his exams, to prove himself. He'd already started studying, but after that he was galvanised into study activity. He even gave up going to his Dad's on the weekend before the exams to study. (Like me with today, this has never happened before.)

Anyway, the exam results showed that in 3 subjects, he'd made it, and in 2 subjects he was only 1 mark short. In his second interview we had the other year 10 student manager, the careers teacher, and myself. For this interview (as opposed to his first) I had the Mum hat on. I went and sat on the other side of the table next to Jack, because even though I'm his student manager, in this interview I was going to fight for Jack.

(In his first one, I was on the other side of the table helping the others stick the boot into him. Well, he deserved it. He had to prove to me as well as the others that he was prepared to fight and work to get this subject.)

He really wants to do Year 12 Further Maths and he's more than capable of doing extremely well at it. He's into statistics (it's amazing that this kid has any personality at all considering the subjects he loves!) and this subject apparently has statistics all through it. After a lot of discussion, and Jack putting his case very eloquently (maybe he has inherited something from me after all!!) he ended up getting the course he wanted. He also dropped accounting to take up physics. He's thinking he might become a pilot, so he needs physics more than bean counting.

On the way back to the car he asked ,"Did I only get Further Maths because you work here?"

I was honest. "You showed that you've lifted your game, which was good. I think that they gave you more of a chance to show what you can do because I was here. But I wouldn't have gone in to bat for you if I didn't know you could do it. Now your job next year is not to make us look like idiots."

He's so excited about next year. He can't wait to have a course that's totally chosen by himself. His course is truly revolting. English (well, that's the only good subject. It's compulsory), Year 12 Further Maths, Maths Methods, Physics and Economics.

I know. Hideous, isn't it? If I was enrolled in a course like that, they'd find my body swinging from a tree with a noose around my neck. But he's a strange child. He can't wait for next year.

And as a teacher and as his parent, that's something I'm so very pleased to see.....


River said...

What subjects would best be studied throughout high school for a child interested in architecture? Not city buildings, but family homes. Just curious.

Frogdancer said...

Visual Communication (the old 'graphics'), Maths maths maths and English.

They have to be able to draw plans and interpret other's plans and drawings, they need to understand figures and they need to be able to effectively communicate with clients and suppliers. (It's amazing the things I've picked up while doing this job!)

You really need to get hold of the university requirements for their courses. Some places are more fixated on Maths than others.

River said...

I was just wondering what I would have had to go through if I'd been allowed to follow my interests at school. As it is now I just gather home plans from magazines and fool around redrawing this'n'that, move this wall, add a's fun. When I was a kid playing with dolls, the dolls weren't nearly as interesting as the houses I would build for them using my sister's building blocks and the entire contents of the bookshelf.