Posts Tagged ‘horror’

Term 3, week 4

Well, it’s that day again – Y12 Horror Shoot Day – the day senior management and school janitors hate, but which students love.

Thankfully the weather was fantastic, cool and crisp and barely a cloud in the sky. Thankfully all students showed up on time, and all were (reasonably) well prepared for their shoots. Here are some highlights …

Great stuff.


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Term 2, week 2

As a teacher, you tend to deal with a massive spectrum of students, from good to bad. I doubt there are many teachers whose motivation to come to school involves yelling at the bad ones. (Well, I’d hope not.) For every douchebag, smartarse or jackass, there’s likely to be a couple of interesting, engaged or, at the very least, polite ad friendly students. My main motivation for teaching has always been generating and maintaining personal relationships, and I like to think that I’m always fair and reasonable, even with the students I teach who can be a real pain.

… so … I’ve never really encountered a student who harboured an obvious anger/hatred towards me. Until the last few weeks, when a previously stood down student who has been away at Auckland Secondary School Centre arrived in my class to be “reintegrated” into the school. All my prep about him involved messages about how eager he’d be to keep his head down, how he really wanted to make a goal of school, how he wouldn’t cause any trouble.

If only. It’s hard for me to put my finger on what, exactly, is different with this student from all of the other troublemakers I’ve dealt with. But, really, there’s a real sense of malice and belligerence that I find really disturbing. Willful disobedience, undermining behaviour, nasty homophobic comments and a bunch of other stuff left me feeling really rattled all weekend. I’ve never felt this way about bad behaviour before, but, really, I’m pretty miserable.

My suspicion is that this student isn’t going to be at school much longer. Seems like it’s not just me he’s causing problems for. But … yeah … the dark side of being a school teacher.

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Am starting a Film Noir genre unit with my Y13s. I’m not sure how well they’ll deal with the classic noir stuff, so having started them off with Brick as a taster for the codes and conventions. Based on the first half, it looks like they’re liking it. I’m really looking forward to teaching this unit.

Now that my Y13s are (mostly) done with production – will probably give them a few more periods to tidy up – I’ll start my Y12s on horror production this week. Today I showed them some exemplars from previous years, and also got them to identify the codes and conventions of the genre. I didn’t actually do very much teaching of horror last term – was mostly just exposing them to a bunch of different films – but think that, now they’re immersed in the genre, the teaching should come easily.

Today was also the first period with my new Y10 Media Studies class. It was a funny period – lots of students came late, so I had to repeat a lot of the “getting to know you” stuff. Weird how these things pan out, especially picking up a second semester class where all the students know each other and I don’t know any of them.

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Term 2, week 10

Friday’s trip to Spookers was fantastic. A bunch of cynical 16 year olds terrified out of their wits. What happens at Spookers stays at Spookers.

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Term 2, week 9

Today was the Y13 edit day – a day where my entire Y13 class stayed in E1 and worked on their documentary with varying success. Tyrone, Krissy and Jayden are working well, as are Rebecca, Harmony and Steven. Rose is also working well (almost single-handedly) because the other two people in her group have been wagging school with great ghusto. Anyway, despite the inevitable claustrophoboia of being stuck in a room with 25 17 year olds for A WHOLE DAY, it was a useful learning experience for me, and a good opportunity for the class to work for a meaningful length of time without having to deal with schoolbells.

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Term 2, week 8

Started the horror genre with my Y12s today, to much enthusiasm. They’ve not really engaged with the representation unit – not sure what I can for next year, but I wonder if I can replace the Tearaway material with something slightly different. Shortland Street? (Not that that’s edgy.) The actual pedagogy – the learning activities etc. – have worked well, but I’m just finding it so hard to stop the students from being overly glib and/or sarcastic in their responses. Will be interested to see how they deal with the early horror films we study, like Nosferatu and Frankenstein.

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