“You’ll be on your knees by half term” a teacher told me today. I’m not sure if she meant exhausted or begging to keep my job. I seem to be in constant motion, if I wore regulation male teacher clothing I’d resemble a beige blur. I’ve developed a kind of speed walk, not fast enough so I could be accused of running in the corridor and setting a bad example, but a kind of lolloping quick step powered by my long, rangy legs. I’m beginning to suspect the teacher in the opposing classroom thinks I have a daily case of the runs.
An elderly woman on the tube, spotting my bag of books to be marked, smiled and said “aaawww”. I’m not sure of the exact reason, sympathy? empathy? psychopathy? you can never be sure in London. Equally as unpredictable are the children. One child I had earmarked as gifted and talented told me how he’d coloured a tooth black to “trick the tooth fairy”. Another, previously wholesome type turned up one morning looking as if she’d embraced Satanism. “I cut my own fringe!” she beamed. “Yes you did” was all I could manage back.
All things considered the rapport between me and the class is good. Picking them up at the beginning of the day, I was suddenly locked out as the door slammed shut behind me. Without a security pass to let me in and with the teacher now too far down the corridor I was stuck. Her passing class mistook my desperate attempts at asking them to let me in, as some kind of loon out by the new guy.
“Oh well” I said, turning back to my class “we’re locked out of school, you can all go home”. The teacher’s pet interrupted the cheers “No, we can all just go the long way round!” She later told the class she refuses to eat breakfast because she fears attack by a monster (the Honey Monster maybe?). She wasn’t met with much sympathy.
I’m also not afraid to be occasional ‘bad cop’. I told off twins for fighting in the playground. It had started over a disagreement over which one of them was older by two minutes. I also had to ‘deliver the rocket’ to the class over the lack of consideration to class furniture. I didn’t mention it’s because one knock against our asbestos lined walls could result in thirty little toxic avengers.
My rocket ended with my informing them they were missing the first five minutes of their break time; although this was told to them five minutes before they were due to go. It’s handy having a class that can’t tell the time.
To celebrate World Peace Day next week we have a Ghandi impersonator visiting the school, or a ‘Ghandi-o-gram’ as I prefer to call him. Let’s hope he doesn’t get his gigs mixed up and starts stripping off his loin cloth.