Square One

I should have guessed it was going to be one of those days. An enraged kid approached me, as I entered the School. “Some kid just did this!” he wailed, then tore off a mouthful of food, chewed it up in his mouth and showed me the contents “it’s disgusting isn’t it?” I had to agree with him.

Zak then bowled up, to tell me he’d had “so much fun bullying last night”. I swear I spend most of my day frowning. He was in a self-destructive mood and a morning of class disruption followed. Even the children were growing exasperated. After his latest explosion of bad behaviour, one of the children rose from his seat, picked Zak up and calmly carried him outside. “Where to?” he casually asked me, reminiscent of a cab driver. “Roisin’s office” I replied.

The sense of aggravation was palpable in the office. Roisin gave Zak his second internal exclusion in two weeks. Back in our secluded classroom, her decision prompted a level of fury I’d not seen in Zak since news of his last exclusion.

According to Zak, there are people at the School “possessed by the Devil”. The true identity of the afflicted staff will not be revealed until the last day of term, when horns will sprout from their heads. Thankfully, I was not included in his ‘hit list’. Shame, this may have explained the reason for my recurring headaches.

To the question “what are they teaching kids these days?” I taught Zak that Greenland moves about an inch and a half a year. This was a mistake on my part. Having showed him where Greenland is on the World Map, it took over half an hour of innumerable questions, before he’d accepted we weren’t about to crash.

At lunch, a kid accidentally picked up two forks instead of one. Despite the several times he relayed the incident, not one child had the quick-wittedness to say he/she “couldn’t give two forks”. During Science, a kid was playing with a magnifying glass. “I need to find something really small to look at” he said. Again, not one of his classmates thought to suggest a particular part of his anatomy. Now I’m sure that, even aged 11, I would have pounced on both of these opportunities. “What are they teaching kids these days?”.

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