An anecdote from this morning that perfectly sums up the side of Zak I loathe. We begin each day sat in the main hall, away from the other kids. He told me the previous night a boy had said something to him he didn’t understand. He’d told Zak that ‘his trainers were from Oxfam’.
I explained that Oxfam are a charity trying to end world poverty. I also informed Zak that the boy was being mean. I emphasised this was not a nice thing for him to say. Zak absorbed this information and as soon as the next kid passed us, shouted “your trainers are from Oxfam!” My head did not leave my hands for a good five minutes.
My bad luck persevered into break time. It had to me, responsible for breaking up a fight between the two girls in the School who speak the least English. Both of them babbled so incoherently I wondered how they’d even discovered they had differences in the first place. I got them eventually to shake hands and say something as close to ‘sorry’, as possible.
Morning Assembly featured one of the most disconcerting things I imagine I’ll ever see in a Primary School. The builders, who are on site at the School, gave a talk on Health and Safety issues. To close the talk they introduced their ‘mascot’ to the kids. It was a lumbering, menacing, dome headed, jet black-eyed Teletubbie, with a high visibility vest and hard hat.
The kids recoiled in fear, to the point where I wondered if the guy inside the outfit was developing a complex. Ironically, for a talk on Health and Safety, the mascot’s unsteady footing nearly saw it take out the entire first row of kids. It was no surprise there were no volunteers for a photo opportunity afterwards.
An expression I’ve heard banded around School of late is ‘Restorative Justice’. It encourages those who have caused harm to acknowledge the impact of their actions. Now I wouldn’t say Zak was compensating for any earlier incidents, but he did suggest making a nice card for the caretaker. The caretaker had fixed the wheel on his scooter and was genuinely pleased to receive his gift. We kicked a ball around in the afternoon, while another boy ran after screaming girls. It was an almost unbearable reminder of my teenage years.