Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Splish, splash, splosh.

Oh the rain.
It has been raining in Sydney for three days straight. Or maybe it has only been two, but man it feels like three. I don't mean for this blog to turn into a rant about teaching and the trials and tribulations, but please, hear me out:

Why do we have to go to school when it rains?

We can't leave the room, for starters. As the rain pounds against the walls, we become locked in a battle of wills as to who will break first: the students or myself, in this brightly-coloured prison. Yes, I like a positive learning environment, so my walls are a thing of beauty, but that does not mean I want to stare at them all day long without a break. Who will need to go to the toilet first, me or them? Who will hit someone first, me or them? Who will attempt to sneak out of the classroom first, me or them? Strange things happen on a rainy day at school.

I spend much of the day chastising children for getting wet. I am not really sure why I bother. They do take umbrellas with them when they walk around the school, but I am sure they only take them to humour me. Umbrellas seem to serve mainly as an obstacle against collection of rainwater in one's mouth, or to hamper optimal puddle-jumping velocity. They come back with the bottom of their trousers soaked, their shoes muddy and the tell-tale sign of excited, pink cheeks. They've just had the time of their lives.

Wouldn't it be good if we all lived in a Shirley Hughes book? That way, puddles could be celebrated (and even encouraged, by the purchasing of special puddle-jumping boots) and birds could be chased and we could get muddy, grassy and wet and it would be nothing but exhilarating. We could wear 'macs' and 'wellingtons' to the park, and to school, we'd wear sweet little brown t-bar shoes and corduroy trousers.Then we could all go home and dry out wet clothes on the hearth, with a mug of steaming cocoa warming our hands.

All images by the lovely Shirley Hughes, from her must-read book 'Alfie's Feet'.

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