English (Mrs. Hird of Cowes)

A few weeks ago, a fellow blogger mentioned that as an English teacher he looked for innovative and creative ways to engage children and develop their language skills.

It brought to mind my own English teacher who, when we were about fourteen, hit upon the idea of using the school’s brand new reel-to-reel tape recorder to stimulate our creativity. Each of the two classes he taught in our year group would prepare and record a tape for the other to listen to. It would be like a radio programme. Each person or small group was allowed a slot in which to present something: perhaps read a poem or piece of writing, perform a short sketch or sing a song. Almost anything went. The content was not necessarily original.  

Ron and I said we would read the news – Two Ronnies Style (in fact I swear they stole the idea from us).

We began with the latest news about The Great Train Robbery – according to our latest reports the Great Train is still missing. Fighting off a small amount of corpsing we just about managed to keep going.  

We struggled on to the second item, about the winner of the Isle of Wight cattle show which was owned by a Mrs Hird of Cowes.

That did it. I am no longer sure who started it but the rest of our slot was filled entirely by painful, uncontrollable giggling, both from us and the rest of the class.  


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