Tensions are high in the classroom ran by Ms Jacqui Kenny.
The Year 4 teacher is fed-up with Ms Wendy Stroud, the teacher’s aide assigned to her classroom, and her habit of answering questions aimed at the pupils. Ms Kenny’s frustration reached boiling yesterday during a teacher-led literacy circle. ‘I read a section of James and the Giant Peach to a small group,’ explained Ms Kenny. ‘I followed that up by asking the students to tell me about the peach in the story. It was a group of students at the lower end of abilities; they’d be the Wombats in Mr Fisher’s class. I wanted them to simply tell me the peach was giant. Without giving any of the students a chance to answer Wendy launches into a monologue about how the peach represents the loving home that James was unable to find after the loss of his parents. And that Roald Dahl selected a peach as it is a relatively soft fruit compared to a pineapple that is hard and prickly.’
New York is like a kiwi fruit, you can eat the skin but it doesn’t really taste nice.
After allowing Ms Stroud to finish her response, Ms Kenny forced a smile and posed the next question. ‘I asked why James and his new friends set sail for New York. But Wendy’s earlier response confused the group, leading to several incorrect fruit-themed answers. Kids were saying things like New York because it’s like a banana it’s ahh … umh … yellow and slippery. And New York is like a kiwi fruit, you can eat the skin but it doesn’t really taste nice.’
Ms Kenny reports the annoying habit has been happening for some time. ‘It started in maths when Wendy would answer the odd question. Shortly after that she began to place herself into the students’ weekly Times Table Challenge. And she would try her hardest. There was no letting the students win. Before I knew it Wendy was proudly sitting on top of the Times Tables Challenge ladder.’
The issue came to a head today when Ms Kenny was reading the answers to a comprehension test to the students. ‘Wendy chimed in several times, questioning the correctness of my answers! I told her that if she wants to feel clever she should go back, enrol in an adult class and finally pass Year 10. There’s no point outsmarting ten year olds to feel good about yourself.’
There’s no point outsmarting ten year olds to feel good about yourself.