The Boardwork

The other day, I opened the door for my Year 9 English class and saw something unusual. The students saw it too. We all stood around and gaped at it.

Boardwork. The whiteboard was covered with boardwork.

That particular room has a generous expanse of white board: two white boards, filling almost the entire front wall. They were covered in notes about precipitates.

In most Australian high schools, teachers do not have their own room; we move around a fair bit. I see a lot of rooms and a lot of boards. Often I’ll look at a board and think: that’s interesting, or that must be some Module A vocab, or – sometimes – can you not rub the board off properly? But I can’t remember the last time I’d seen a board like that.

One of the students said, ‘I really like that.’

I said, ‘I really like it too. Isn’t that funny. Why do I like it so much?’

Another student said, ‘Can I take a photo of that?’

‘Sure,’ I said. ‘Why?’ I thought perhaps she was studying precipitates and wanted the notes.

She shrugged. ‘I just really like it. It’s cool.’ She took out her phone and snapped it.

‘It is, isn’t it,’ I said. ‘I wonder why?’

‘Don’t rub it off, Miss,’ another student said.

‘I certainly won’t.’

And I didn’t. I wrote my own paltry contributions (tricolon, anaphora, endemic) in a little blank space at the bottom of the board.

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