It's the final lesson of term. Let the fun begin...
Schools up and down the country are moving into the final week of term. It's hot. Half the kids are out on rewards trips. It's tempting to loosen the reins and capitulate to shrill demands for 'a fun lesson.' Don't. You'll regret it.
"Hi Sir! It's the last day of term! Can we have a fun lesson?"
"You have worked hard this term and I do want you to think I'm fun. History isn't fun, so here's a video that pretends to be about history but is really just for fun. But if the headmaster comes in, pretend that it's about what we've learned so I don't get told off, which wouldn't be fun."
"Great, Sir, Thank you, Sir! Oh, Sir, videos are such fun!"
"Quiet, children, let's watch! Get ready for some fun!"
"Aw, Sir! This is a cartoon for babies! This isn't fun."
"Sorry, Tanisha, I thought you'd enjoy it because it's a cartoon and cartoons are fun."
"Turn if off Sir, this isn't fun! Can't we watch a proper film? Something fun?"
"Oh well, I suppose if you're not enjoying it, I better change it as I did promise this lesson would be fun."
"Don't turn it off, Sir! Tanisha might not think it's fun, but I do!"
"This is confusing. Is this fun or not?"
"Can Emily and I draw a poster with your stencils while everyone else is watching the film? Then we'll all be having fun!"
"That's a good idea, Tanisha. You and Emily can have fun making the poster and everyone else can have fun watching the cartoon with the incidental link to the history we've covered."
"Sir, we think the video is boring too, but we don't think making a poster is fun. Can we make a board game with the scissors and glue, you know, for fun?"
"OK, if you want to watch the fun video with the incidental link to history you can. If you don't want to do that, then you can choose to do something else you think is fun. That should be fun!"
"Sir this isn't fun because we can't see the paper to make our poster because the lights are off for the film, which we don't think is fun."
"Sir, this isn't fun because the people talking while they make board games means we can't hear the video, which we note is actually about a cowboy mouse. I was looking forward to learning more so now I'm not having any fun."
"Sir, this isn't fun because now you're shouting at us because Josh stabbed Jess with the scissors because he thinks that's fun."
"Whose fault is it that this isn't fun? Not mine! I planned lots of fun!"
"Sir, this really isn't fun because you're cross and we're cross and nobody had fun and nobody learned anything."
"I wish I'd never bothered trying to make this fun. This has been no fun."
"No, Sir. It really hasn't been fun. You're no fun when you try to be fun."
Ben Newmark is a head of humanities and teacher of history. The original version of this piece appeared on his blog