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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Vapid Learning

V is for Vapid Learning
April A-Z Challenge

So... I was teaching the preps (4 to 5 year olds) a new game today during their drama lesson.

It’s a challenge teaching preps anything, let alone drama, because they haven’t quite realised they’re alive yet. They just seem to float around the place in an external bubble of weird, amniotic fluid, seemingly oblivious to their true surroundings.

In the game, one student has to be the detective and suss out which child in the circle is hiding a ball on their person (in their knickers or under their shirt, preferably the latter).

“You all need to trick the detective by looking really guilty,” I laboriously explained. “Make the detective think it’s YOU that’s hiding the ball.”

“What’s a guilty?” asked one little blonde thing with fatty cheeks begging to be squeezed.

I groaned inwardly.

“Who here knows what guilty means?” I asked the class.

Not one of them knew, so I explained via an allegory about a dog that chewed up a shoe and was ashamed of what he’d done. I even acted like the dog with a mopey, guilty expression on my face and received a round of laughter from the room. 

They’re a tough crowd so I was chuffed.

“Or you could try to look innocent,” I added in a rash moment of over-confidence.

“What’s innocent?” Blondey lisped, cocking his head to the side in a fetching manner.

So then I enacted an entire scene where a dog is guilty of chewing up shoes and a cat (who was actually the culprit) acts all innocent and has an innocuous, but smug expression on its face, because it's secretly glad the dog is in trouble. 

There was more hysterical laughter from the peanut gallery.

I love preps but it’s almost as if they deliberately try to be dull-witted imbeciles just to annoy teachers. How can you NOT KNOW what innocent means? 

 Are they freakin, four years old or something?

I’ll teach the class of preps for a whole fricking hour and they see me, literally five minutes after the lesson, and come up to me when I’m on playground duty and say, “Do I know you?”

“Yep,” I sigh. “I saw you five minutes ago.”

Goldfish. That’s what they are.

I made the mistake of asking them today at the end of the lesson, “So, what have you learned in the last three weeks I’ve been teaching you drama?”

Five hands shot up.

“I learned how to swim to the side of the pool all by myself,” stammered the first respondent.

“No. I mean, what have you learned about in DRAMA?” I emphasised. “You know! All the stuff we’ve been doing here in this room!”

“I yearned dat dogs chew up shoes and they're very norty and cats are good,” whispered another one.

Yep. My work here is done.