Chefs in a Classroom

Monday’s mornings are a welcome sight. Is this a terrible thing to admit? We suffer at the weekends when there isn’t enough to do. It’s like sailing. Anything less than three days and it feels a bit jarring.

Take me on a passage though. I think this is how I always want to sail. The first day is excitement – and forgetfulness. Storm on the second night. Tiredness on the third, and finally acceptance. You’ve been going long enough to feel the rhythm. The strangeness of the sea without land in sight.

Less than three days sailing feels a bit like weekends. Saturday you rush around doing errands. Sunday you’re knackered. And then back to it on Monday. I’ve never been good at weekends.

With the new school year settling in, we’ve discovered Year 11 Physics lead lesson starts the week on Monday morning. 6am. And it’s unexpectedly good. The Physics lead teachers are turning out to be an entertaining couple.

The lead lessons now are co-taught; so that one teacher does the teaching. The other teacher fields students’ questions; written without disturbing the flow of teaching, in the chat box or in the Q and A pod.

This is the pattern. The Physics teacher doing the teaching will be in the middle of a deep explanation, starting to gallop with particles in motion or some similar cosmic subject, when the other teacher suddenly interrupts.

‘Mohammed can’t see the screen.’

Pause. Oh. ‘Can everyone else see the screen?’ the lead teacher asks.

Ticks come in from the hundreds of other kids. Lead teacher then apologises to Mohammed but explains he can’t stop the lesson. And Mohammed can always watch the recording.

The lead teacher begins again. We have a little webcam of him in the right-hand corner. He’s got headphones on and he is close to the screen. He goes straight back into the topic. Amazing intermolecular forces. Until he’s interrupted again.

The voice of the other teacher pops back. And this guy has a really booming voice. He says, ‘I’m not sure we need to learn this bit for the IGCSE.’

The poor lead teacher. He seems to love Physics and being able to impart it. Online school is hard enough. The teachers need to give that extra bit of enthusiasm for the kids to pick it up without being face-to-face.

Still, we know the teacher who keeps butting in. He’s a great teacher too. He was Lu’s teacher last year and he is again for her follow-on lessons. He has the right level of personable to keep the kids engaged. He takes the time to speak to them individually, buoying them up without suffering any fools. It’s a nice combination.

This is just different. Not often do you see one teacher getting involved with another teacher – in a classroom setting. Our ears prick up. Feels like too many chefs in a kitchen. And it makes us laugh. Yep, Monday morning is back. Thank goodness.

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