Well, it is now the Summer holidays for me and unfortuantely it is not the utopian scene that Sir Cliff of Richard always claims it to be. I have spent the previous school year looking forward to 6 weeks of nothing apart from preparing myself for my PGCE by sitting around reading history books and getting angry with David Starkey on 4OD. But this was not to be! Instead I have been obsessively checking the weather forecast on the BBC's website (always wrong) and hanging around Boscombe in a blue tshirt emblazoned with a yellow caterpillar. Yes, that's right, I am back busting boredom for Bournemouth Council.
Now, for those of you who don't know me, the above description makes me sound like some sort Crime Fighter Extraordinaire, ridding the streets of Bournemouth of the scourge that is BOREDOM. "How exciting!" I hear you cry. But, for those of you who do know me, you will know that this is not the case at all and that Boredom Busters is simply a playscheme run by the council for kids aged between 4 and 12, which has been my holiday job for the last 8 years. Not so exciting now, huh? But in actual fact, the opposite is true. Myself and the other playworkers, the lovely Alex, Lauren and Georgie are all employed to entertain the kids, but in fact they actually spend most of the time entertaining us.
After spending so long away from the little ones, working in a secondary school, it was lovely to go back to working in an environment where every second word is not an expletive. Plus I have learnt so much over the last few weeks, much more I'm sure than I would have learnt from working with grown ups who claim to know much more than your average 5 year old.
In the last 3 weeks, I have been educated in many areas and here are a selection ov' the things wot I 'ave learnt...
- Chad Danforth aka Corbin Bleu is the Mayor of Bournemouth's favourite 'High School Musical' Character.
- 'How To Be Gangster' - A crash course in the ways of the Gangster, courtesy of Alfie and Freddy, including self censorship, beeps and all!
- Before coming to Boredom Busters, one child spends his morning farting as a way to pass the time.
- The writers of 'High School Muscial' love nothing more than a spot of casual racism.
- At the sight of an expensive car, such as the Mayor's chauffeur driven Jaguar, children like nothing more than to dive inside and climb all over it with their muddy shoes on.
- After pushing someone over, the magic word is not "Sorry". The correct words are in fact "F*** off"
- Paper aeroplanes are the most amazing things since sliced bread and the ability to be able to make a good one, makes you God amongst small children.
- A £4 bag of ball pit balls may well be the best investment you could ever make.
- Small children are quite willing to negotiate leaving their famly home and move in with a complete stanger if you have the right games console.
I have also spent hour upon hour watching David Starkey rave about the monarchy and poured over books upon book trying to revise the whole of British history (there is quite a lot of information there!) but I think you'll agree with me when I say that the information above is more enlightening and useful than anything in a history textbook...
But unfortunately the textbooks have to be read as I am heading off to Southampton University in September to start my History PGCE. This means that in a years time, I will be a proper History teacher! (Well, nearly....) I'm extremely excited, but also rather scared. It's the next step forward for me which is great but the saddest part of all of it had to be leaving Glenmoor at the end of term. I had an amazing time there, the pupils and the staff were fantastic to work with, hopefully I will have a similar experience in my school placements next year. But it was not all doom and gloom as I was given a lovely send off!
Jenny and I (The Teaching Assistant Dream Team!) were treated to a lunch with all of our favourite people and showered with gifts. I got a Horrible Histories Quiz Book, Borders voucher, a notebook for everyone to write their goodbye messages in, an ink stamper which has a smiley face and the words "Miss Leckie says Well Done!" on it, some 'code cracker' cards and a gobstopper! The Book Group also threw a little party for us, complete with presents and a home made cake and a chocolate card with my name on it! Here is a little pic of me enjoying this particular gift....
Then my Year 9 class, the amazing 9.5, hi-jacked their English lesson and threw me a party with even more gifts including 2 bottles of wine, 2 bunches of flowers and 2 cd's of songs we used to entertain with lessons. As well as the wine, flowers and Cd's, Charlotte and Lois, had done one of the most thoughtful things ever and made me a book full of photos of the class and messages from all of them. This and the excitement of a party was all a bit too much for me, and I will admit that I cried like a bit of a baby. As Charlotte said "It's your last day, what did you think we were going to do? Sit and watch 'Mrs F***ing Doubtfire'?! I don't think so! We wanna give you a proper send off!" And a proper send off it was!
Roll on September! Before the year is out, I will have two more schools that I have to leave. GET IN! That's if I ever get all this reading done....