A week before the end of term and I cut a strange shape. I’ve been buying rewards for the children who’ve reached the top of the reward ladder and tissues to ward off the kids germs. Struggling out of Poundland with my goods, I resemble a crap toy enthusiast with too much time on his hands. I head home to work on my IEP’s, APP, ECM, AFL, CPD when I long to spend my weekends doing sweet FA.
We spent a wet Tuesday morning burying a fake dinosaur bone on the school grounds. It was for a writing exercise and despite our best efforts the most perceptive spotted the words ‘Made in China’ written on it. Thankfully most of the class bought enthusiastically into the scam.
To encourage the class, the teacher joins in with the writing exercise. 15 minutes in and my wrist began to ache. “Is your hand hurting?” asked one of the children. “Yes it’s from all the digging this morning…” I said before realising my mistake. 30 pairs of eyes looked up, registered their feelings of deceit and returned solemnly to their work.
They still managed to produce some consistently good stuff, with the exception of one child. His story went off into the weirdest of tangents, including a visit to the peehole (which I assumed was slang for toilet, till I realised he meant PE Hall). This was the same child who has started putting the superlative ‘Super’ before his name on written work. Undermining this are two reasons 1) super is spelt incorrectly 2) he was once absent from school for “choking on part of a trampoline”. For his ‘wish’ I was going to suggest not dropping acid before writing.
My first observation almost didn’t happen. I placed a chair for my observer by the carpet and then forgot to warn the children it was there. Two of the most enthusiastic of children decided to speed walk into class and one went flying. My observer was on her way and I had a child writing around on the carpet, with a black eye and making a noise reminiscent of a startled giraffe.
Never before have I been so grateful for a teaching assistant’s help. By the time the observer arrived it was almost as if nothing had occurred. The only clues were the slight tremors in my hands and a suddenly very quiet class who were wondering which one of them I was going to inadvertently harm next.
The children’s revenge arrived during assembly. We were watching the Year 6 children perform a show based on Victorian waifs and strays. One of my class was holding and rubbing a piece of material, long enough for me to decide to take it off him. What I didn’t realise was that he had managed to accumulate just enough static electricity so that when I grabbed it my hand snapped backwards. Kids are perceptive to stuff like this and I garnered even bigger laughs than the name Dr Barnado was getting. I did at least use the incident for a science lesson.
The next best excuse for absence from school, followed a vist from a bird show. It arrived a clear two days after we each had our photograph taken with one of the birds.
The excuse didn’t even come from one of the children who discovered to their cost that birds have a high fibre diet. It was from a parent who had taken their children to the hospital after noticing a rash. The theory put forward was that it had resulted from contact with a bird.
I amused myself with the idea that the suggestion had been made by the doctor and not the hysterical parent. “Well Mrs Smith we’ve run a series of medical checks on your daughter and I haven’t seen anything like this in all my years of professional experience…now this is a long shot but…your child hasn’t had a barn owl placed on her shoulder in the last 48 hours has she? Really? My god, it’s what I feared”.