Mrs Porteous is Head of Year 7 and a biology teacher. Mr Porteous is also her husband. One time she let us watch Twilight because it has that one 30 second scene about the science teacher talking about mitosis in the background and so therefore was considered educational.
Saved the day with her scones after the eagerly awaited chocolate cake from Mrs Bowdler turned out to be Bowdler Junior's cheese sandwiches.
Knows a disproportionate amount of Rachels.
Has met Dame Judi Dench in a tea room on the Scilly Isles.
Mrs Porteous is a brilliant story teller and tells an average of 3 stories per lesson. Some of these are recurring, such as each lesson that requires students to use a scalpel she will tell you the story about the time her son was little and went to A & E because he cut his hand whilst cutting an apple because she would rather read magazines than help him. Other stories may only be told because they relate to a certain topic - like when you do the disease topic in Year 10 and cover measles she tells you about the time she had measles as a kid and the doctor thought she was a boy (to this day she still bears a grudge). Other, rarer stories, only surface when a class strays to somewhere very off topic - such as her hate for her high school chemistry teacher or her mum's recipe for cheese sauce.
During the lockdown, when we were studying plant defence mechanisms, Mrs P filmed around the garden with a running commentary - and although she herself says that it was "not quite up to Attenborough standard" it certainly wasn't far off. Some highlights of these videos include:
Mrs Porteous is no small fan of seaweed, and upon being showed pictures of some she can list the Latin names for it. Mrs Porteous is a self-acclaimed 'seaweed geek'.
On a PowerPoint that was supposed to be about counting daisies she still managed to add in at least 3 slides about seaweed.
“They make the girls all jealous - they don't need mascara, not at all. They have these fantastic big eyelashes.” (camels)
“Your body's gonna say ‘come on body breathe faster’.”
“You're not in the sprinting section yet, you're not like the clappers, you're still jogging with the pack.”
“Whatdya mean by BOD marks or am I being thick?”
“Imagine you're just a measly little embryo."
“They're puny little ants; we don't need to bother with them.”
”It’s like in that film with the blue people… where he starts exploring then he finds those plants and then there’s that rhinoceros thing. You know, the film with the blue people.” (Avatar)
“Just put the testes at the bottom there.”
“They’re quite small testes.”
“Ah yes you have no testes.”
“You do that thing in physics… you know… the longer the thing the more whack it has.” (momentum)
“I just got a call from Burnley hospital before I set off for this lesson in response to my complaint but they're going to call be back now at lunch - (excitedly) I wonder what they're going to say!"
"I didn't really want to complain I just wanted that doctor to know next time what shingles looks like so he doesn't get it wrong again.”
“Oh yeah I remember lots of times the kids being sat at the dinner table after school getting maths lessons from Mr Porteous - ‘cause he used to be a maths teacher in a past life - I know… poor kids. Don’t worry though they sometimes got biology lessons from me too which were always much more exciting.”
“One time when my son, Alex, was in reception the teacher asked the class if they knew a number lower than 10… anyway he stuck up his hand and said… this story always gets told in the staffroom at that school - a bit of Porteous staffroom gossip for you all - so he stuck up his hand and then said ‘minus 14’ - four and a half years old… He wasn't being facetious he was being clever!”
“Now this is where the fungi reproductive cycle begins to go wacky.”
“What's the independent variable? My year 7s could do that.”
“If someone else marked it then it might not be in my normal hieroglyphics.”
“Some of you thought this was 0.5m squared, noooooo.”
“Whack it in a boiling tube of water.”
“You should have all known that was foxgloves because last summer I crawled under a holly bush in my garden to find some foxgloves and made a nice little video of it for you.”
“I'll be able to impart some words of wisdom about exam technique.”
“How do I draw Darth Vader?? Does he have a big grin across his face?”
“We're clever little apes.”
“Having 5 babies at once is a bit dangerous.”
“I made my Year 7 lesson run 10 minutes into their art lesson, because I thought… well science is better than art.”
(Whilst crashing a Morris Meet) “Keep working hard Year 9!!! Miss Morris why are you snorting? They're working hard I'm sure.”
“I only got 5 out of 6.” (sad sigh)
(with more passion than necessary) “Hoover is a make. We should call them vacuum cleaners.”
“Good ol' Anakin… very unscientific…”
(Mid Google Meet) “Ooh the doorbell's just gone off - must be an Amazon deliverer - wait here! (running footsteps, pause as she answers the door) …HI! (running footsteps back) Someone can't read the numbers on the houses properly.”
Mrs P: You need a close tissue match such as a sibling or identical twin.
Student: Miss, would you give one of your sisters a kidney?
Student & Mrs P at the same time: Depends which one.
Mrs P: You’ve been reading the meme pages!
Talking about cats: “Just shoot them both, cats plague the earth.”
“I was slowly creeping down the stairs, and I could hear someone on the floor below… anyway, I was so scared I had an asthma attack and passed out and it just turned out to be my parents who came home early.”
“I am not an artist.”
“Ooh goody goody, just faffing around with those digital telly screens.”
“I don't like English. I was never very good at English really. I hated poetry, I really wasn't good at poetry. Dropped it straight after GCSE and never did it again. I love stories, but I just don't like analysing them.” (Accurately summing up 97% of students' views on English)
“Lemons are good for nothing other than gin and tonic.”
"I really hate lemons, I just can't stand the citric acid. (Proceeds to put a whole slice of lemon in her mouth)
“Suck not crunch.”
“I remember going into labour and just looking at my watch, thinking ‘yeahh plenty of time still’ so I decided to go to Morrisons and do a bit of shopping.”
(Whilst Mrs P was teaching at the front of the classroom Mr Porteous wanders around outside before just popping his head round the door to say a quick hello and then leaving)
Mrs Porteous, mid-anecdote: Who was that man who just stuck his head in?
Mrs P: Ohhh, right. Oh dear.
“My kids call me ‘asbestos-fingers’.”
“Have any of you ever dropped a baby?”
“Now just imagine you're walking down the street and you happen to stand on a very hot rock.”
Student: Miss, are there any other types of reflexes?
Mrs P: I'll need to find a big stick… (upon realising there was in fact no big stick in the classroom and settled for a textbook and proceeded to pretend to hit the student with it)
(student asks for a story about the Porteii)
"Ah yes, the Porteii... it wouldn't be a lesson without a Mrs Porteous story!"
"You don't need to write any of it down and it does involve my stories"
"It's one of those things for really top notch kiddos."
"You're about the age now where you'll... well I'm not saying you'll all be doing drugs but still."
"Just imagine me on... let's say last Thursday."
"Any other daddy penguin that comes anywhere near is gonna get pecked. Cause this is my little space for my baby and don't you come trampling my baby or knocking it off my feet."
"How do you sunbathe? Do you stand up straight, or lie flat on the ground?"
(Slightly taps whiteboard accidentally and it changes slide) "AUGH! That's not allowed!"
"And he just died of a heart attack on his porch. What a way to go!"
"I think I'm just going to travel everywhere. There'll be nothing left for the kids to inherit at all."
"When I was 17 I had measles for almost a month, and I must have been quite sick because when I went to the doctor he said "oh dear, he isn't looking good with it, is he?" AND LET ME TELL YOU THAT WAS NOT THE RIGHT THING TO SAY TO A 17 YEAR OLD GIRL."
"Here's a picture of Mr Porteous standing in a trench. Here's another one of him standing in a trench. Oh! Here's one of him sitting in a trench! Here's another one of him standing in a trench."
"I took a picture of the moss on this trench because it would make a perfect question for my Year 11 students - for example, why does the moss grow on this side not the other?" (Proceeds to explain why the moss grew on one side not the other.)
"We used to draw straws about who would have to go in his car."
(Repeated every practical we have to use knives) "Did I ever tell you that story about my son Sam cutting an apple? Yes? Oh well some of you wouldn't have been in so I'll say it again." - The gist of the story is she was too lazy to cut an apple for her 5 year old son and got him to do it himself and he cut his hand.
"Have I told you this story about...? Yes? Oh well let me tell you again."
"Oooh I reckon I'm number 17! I bet that's me!" (On the catchphrase competition)
"And I forgot to put the lid on the mixer so I spilt boiling hot soup all down my (whisper shouts) bra."
“Rachel always won at Monopoly, and it was so unfair. To this day I am sure she cheated. She would have Park Lane and then do all these dodgy deals with my younger sisters for Mayfair, and whenever I tried it she would tell them that it was a bad deal and they shouldn't listen to me.”
“My parents would just stick the four of us in the back of the car on long car journeys, and to make us shut up they would give us boiled sweets. And we'd have a competition about who could make their sweet last the longest but the rules were that you couldn't crunch it you had to suck it. I was always wanting to beat Rachel. She was the eldest, and I was the second eldest so we were very competitive. Anyway, I'd always ended up swallowing mine and Rachel would always win. She won at everything. I'm sure she cheated. She cheated at everything.”
"I had a bigger sister Rachel who was really really good at chemistry. And we had this chemistry teacher, Mr Worthing he was called, he would pull on my plaits and go "Rachel wouldn't do that" and I vividly remember "Rachel wouldn't do that" and like "I DON'T CARE WHAT RACHEL WOULD HAVE DONE." He thought he was funny you know. But at my expense it just wasn't fair."
“Jane's kids all go to posh schools down south. She married a rich husband though. She's the youngest and always got everything she wanted when she was little, so always said she'd need a rich husband to get places. And well, I guess she did.”