The good news is that Zak’s behaviour improved today. The bad news is, it’s driven by the fact he no longer wants to work with me. I don’t take it too personally, it’s frustrating and exhausting for us both. He must feel self-conscious in class, having me sat next to him and at playtime it’s like he’s under surveillance.
I took the cause of Zak’s first temper eruption slightly more personally. A child innocently asked him if I was his Dad. I can think of worse insults and when I was dealing with my own familial confusion too. My Doppelganger, a supply teacher, had turned up and we were both being bombarded with “Are you brothers?”.
At lunchtime, I entertained the children by chasing a pea around a plate with a fork (who needs an Xbox 360?). Afterwards, I asked them where they were from ;
Me: So where are you from?
Child 1: Lebanon
Me (with knowledge of Lebanon limited): oh wow! and where are you from?
Child 2: Albania
Me (with knowledge of Albania even more limited): Oh I’ve heard its lovely there, and you?
Child 3: Afghanistan
Now while my brain blurted “oh that’s been in the news!”, thankfully my mouth took its time and said something more appropriate.
To put a halo on the day, the class teacher asked me to take the children to the playground, to be collected. I asked them all to greet each parent or guardian as if they hadn’t seen them for weeks. They were to rush towards them and embrace them (with a minimum two armed hug). Thankfully, they all saw it as a worthwhile game. I just sat back and enjoyed 28 wonderful moments.