This true story of classroom experiences comes from a dear friend of mine, Brin Best, and he recounts this story which took place in his Geography class in the Yorkshire school where he last taught.
When I started work teaching geography at a secondary school in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, I knew I’d be surrounding by constant reminders of the area’s farming heritage, but never thought I’d be laughed at by a group of year 9 children as I chased a loose lamb around my classroom!
The lesson started innocuously enough. The keen, cheery group trooped in on that cold spring day, some telling stories from their own farms of the latest animal arrivals. The school served an enormous rural catchment area, and educated children from some of England’s most remote farms.
The school’s strong rural science curriculum meant that we ran a small farm, and it was not unusual to conduct a lesson to a backdrop of bleating sheep or clucking hens. But five minutes into my lesson; the subject: PLATE TECTONICS, I became aware of something quite, quite unsusual- barely a fortnight old and still smelling of lanolin – a tiny lamb poked its head around the open door of my classroom.
As you would expect, all sense of decorum broke down as the brazen lamb trotted into my classroom and started bleating endearingly at the 13-year-olds. However, the bleating of the lamb was quickly drowned out by the laughter of the children as I spent five minutes running around the classroom trying to scoop up the lamb, with its mother now peering worriedly into the classroom window.
One student even had the gall to call out: ‘Careful Sir – you’ll cause an earthquake in here with all that running around!’.
My self respect and dignity was eventually rescued by a quiet lad from a large local farm, who clearly already had many years of lamb-handling experience under his belt.
He calmly got up from his seat, darted forward a few paces, grabbed the lamb by its back legs and within seconds it was back outside with its mother, having a reassuring suckle as the class erupted into a round of applause.
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