On Monday after school we had a compulsory training session on the new Health and Safety legislation and how it applies to us as a school and as teachers.
My main take-away was that you cannot legislate against stupidity, and that’s my main concern about the new act because I am an inherently stupid person. By which I mean, I lack common-sense. WAY too many times I have been doing an onerous task round home and a trady (that’s a kiwi expression for a tradesman) mate has turned up and said, ‘why don’t you do it like this’, eliminating a huge amount of time and effort in a simple stroke. (My embarrassment at their observing me doing something in a way that is so obviously stupid to them is tempered by the fact that I don’t use the ‘f’ word in every sentence as they do, yes, I’m talking about YOU especially Troy) So, although I feel comfortable in the classroom I am very aware that if I had to do anything else I am consciously incompetent.
And it was laboured to us that we do not want to be a ‘test case.” This, therefore, can produce a paralysis of action. Why would I take someone else’s Science class if there is a danger of chemicals? Why would I take a trip away if I have to take a student with a nut allergy? Why take a football team if I have to drive a mini-van full of rowdy students, and all the attendant risks that brings?
The answer for me is that I just have to do the best I can. I behave with competence in my class. And if I get asked to do something outside my class I approach it with my best effort and a huge dose of commonsense and care of thought. If that somehow leads to an accident then I can’t really control that. That is the definition of an accident. I can’t worry about EVERYTHING that might happen. I’m not going to catastrophize situations and be checking ceiling fans for rust in the screws, or light switches for electric surges before I touch them, or stray bags for terrorist threats. I’m just going to go about my business as sensibly as I can and I believe that if an accident happens it will be seen as just that – an accident.
Anyway….corny jokes to lighten the rest of this……
Math: Why do they never serve beer at a mathematics party?
Because you can’t drink and derive.
Chemistry: If you can’t helium, and you can’t curium, you might as well barium.
General Science: A photon checks into a hotel and is asked if he needs any help with his luggage. He says, “Nope, I’m traveling light.”