I have commented many times on the weird and wonderful things that various experts and government ministers want to see on the curriculum.
In the past there have been calls for thinking (doh), walking and whistling amongst others and it has to be stressed that this was not one suggestion but three separate ones.
Now some bright spark has come up with the idea of teaching sleeping.
Well I suppose for those poor teachers unable to inspire their pupils even to anarchy it would be a good get-out.
“Miss Penrose, what is going on here? You are timetabled to be teaching tectonic plates and terminal morraine, not terminal boredom!”
“Ah, Headteacher, I took the opportunity to have an impromptu lesson in sleeping.”
“Oh, very good Miss Penrose, using your initiative and seizing the moment, splendid, have you thought about applying for the vacant Deputy Headship?”
The power that is in this particular case feels that children need to be taught about the health benefits of sleeping.
But surely that is something that should be aimed at the parents.
On many occasions parents have come into school to say that little Jordan is a bit tired today because he was up until half past three at his Nana’s. Little Jordan pokes his sleepy head out from behind Mum and appears to be Muskie from Deputy Dawg, so big are the shadows around his eyes. Indeed if you didn’t know better you might mistake him for one of the living dead from a horror movie.
However little Jordan doesn’t need to go to Nana’s to stay up until half past three, as he has a computer gaming console and a plasma tv in his bedroom which he uses until approximately 2 am every morning while his Mum is out on the lash.
In the playground you will hear him reciting sketches from The Mighty Boosh or Max and Paddy or whatever else is on Satellite re-run comedy.
It all seems a far cry from the days when teachers tried to stop you going to sleep in class. Even day dreaming was a no-no.
There you’d be, Pride and Prejudice dutifully open in front of you, your eyes slightly glazed as the teacher selected random children to read a paragraph before passing the baton to the next child.
The drone of the lifeless voices was pleasantly soporific and the old eye lids would begin to close.
Then you’d become aware that the voice had stopped and silence reigned, to be eventually broken by some light sniggering.
Your eyes would open wide to the realisation that everyone in the class was looking at you. Realisation would dawn that it was now your turn and so you would hastily turn your attention to smoothing the open pages of the book and commencing
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a for…”
It was at this point that several things happened simoultaneously. The whole class would erupt into laughter, your desk patner would start pointing to the page number you were meant to be on, you would realise that whilst you had been pleasantly drifting away the pages of the book had flipped back to the beginning, and the teacher would bellow that you needed to see her at break time to write out 500 times “I must pay more attention in class.”
A more violent approach to the classtime snoozer was the well aimed piece of chalk, or for those who slept more soundly, the board duster. These cunning weapons could be deployed at a moment’s notice, always being to hand in the old fashioned classroom. At the first gentle snore these improvised weapons of rude awakening could be deployed to devastating effect. Try doing that with an interactive whiteboard.
Peripatetic teachers might choose the ruler rapped on the desk, or better still the knuckles or the back of the neck, whilst the much mocked ear-tweak was a dead cert to wake the inert.
And for those that had just awoken from a sneaky forty winks there was always the proffered chalk and the invitation to step up and show us on the board how to do this particular equation, declension or conjugation. You may have thought you could get away with a quick snooze but back in the days when teachers notoriously had eyes in the back of their head nothing went unnoticed.
You were allowed to sleep in school though. When you first entered Infants. In that first year when every one else apart from your classmates were giants, when the walls were decorated with friezes featuring the letters of the alphabet and accompanying pictures of things that began with that letter but you could already read and write, when Friday afternoon was dressing up time and PE was performed in your vest and knickers, when school seemed like a confusing maze and you knew where to hang your coat by the picture over your coat peg, then you could sleep in school.
After lunch every day you trooped along to the hall, took one of the gym mats, which were probably two foot by three foot at best, placed them on the floor in neat rows and lay down to nap.
The teacher would walk quietly amongst you, shushing any giggling or otherwise inappropriate behaviour, trying to soothe you all to a refreshing slumber.
And then just as you had finally settled down and were drifting off she’d get out a bloody big bell and set about ringing it for all she was worth, scaring the livng daylights out of everyone.
A Clockwork GCSE exam paper
THE DAILY STIRRER
and don’t forget all the other Greenteeth Multi Media pages…
Greenteeth Multi Media
Greenteeth Comedy Pages
A Tale Told By An Idiot
Ian at Authorsden