It’s week three in the ‘Big Brother’ B & B. I don’t expect to be believed that I heard a low grumbling sound coming from room 101, but the hell I did. Dashing any hopes of a town crier job over the summer, my voice has gone.
It’s happened before and my voice became a husky Barry White drawl, this time it’s gone squeaky. It’s difficult to reprimand an 8-year-old child when you sound like a younger sibling.
It’s a shame it’s nearly over, as I was beginning to come out of my shell. I spent less time lurking around quietly in the background, like an anti-social ninja. I helped out with film club (although I can’t tell you how it went, first rule of film club, you don’t talk about film club) and the relationship with my mentor was less mental.
My conscientiousness and positive demeanour at least meant she could look me in the eye when we talked. She was particularly defensive though, when I remarked about a child’s behaviour which I felt was getting a little wayward. I understood that this was her class and she may feel naturally protective towards them, but to suggest he was an angel was pushing it.
Right on cue, the child in question was frogmarched into the class by a lunchtime supervisor for fighting. I felt so vindicated I nearly high-fived him.
Even the lessons are becoming incrementally more successful. There is the occasional hiccup (one child added a chocolate fountain to a ‘healthy eating’ plate which suggests it’s not always sinking in) and there was nearly a mutiny when I told the class that if they kept describing everything as ‘random’ I would give them a physics lesson to prove it.
I even had my face painted at today’s summer fête. The original idea was considered inappropriate, especially as I was teaching that afternoon; it would have been on my forehead if that’s any kind of clue.
One week to go. I walk through the school now with a barely suppressed grin. I will happily walk the length of one of the largest, smelliest schools in the country when the paper runs out, to get a signed letter from the office, to give to the woman with the key to the paper storage room, who will sign it off to say she has given me the paper and then give the letter back to me to sign to say I’ve received it and return the letter to the office, without my smile cracking.
It was a different story on the previous occasion it happened, just before my last observed lesson. “They use paper like it’s going out of fashion” the woman in the office slowly explained. “Then why don’t you f******g recycle like it’s going out of fashion?” I nearly blurted out. I was under pressure you understand.
Today I slipped on a wet floor and managed to avoid breaking my neck just after hearing I had passed the course. This afternoon a Head teacher contacted me asking me to interview on Monday. Somebody up there suddenly likes me.