Crash and burn

The shadow of observations hung over the fun to be had as part of World Book Day. The shoulder pads on my alien outfit were so wide I found it difficult to manoeuvre. I had to turn sideways to go through doorways and gave up on any idea of going to the toilet. The green face paint proved irremovable and I attended a course in the afternoon looking like an emaciated Hulk.

There were some unusual coincidences though that day that suggested a sense of the paranormal. My PC went into overdrive, spitting out line after line of weird binary numbers. It was the perfect cue to suggest to the class alien’s were communicating with us. The child, who has been given the role of Jesus in our class assembly, fell over and received heavy cuts to both palms.

Next year I might stop washing for a few days and go as ‘Stig of the Dump’. I did at least manage to avoid being observed this week. This was a relief as the classes behaviour naturally went into overdrive as the timetable was shot into space. Excitement from the alien spaceship which crashed into our playground was at fever pitch. Surprisingly even some of the parents were completely fooled.

I regularly choose children to be my ‘ears’ as we wander through the school. Their job is to report on how many children may have talked on our way from A to B. The incentive is to get golden time. With the spiralling hysteria I had to introduce some serious measures. The idea was ‘spy ears’.

Certain children were designated to listen out for voices and yet never reveal they were the ‘ears’. It was a nice idea I’d initially thought, but soon suspicion abounded, nobody trusted anyone and I had thirty paranoid, double-crossing Gestapo-like secret police on my hands. I knew things had gotten out of hand when one of my children, a suspected transgressor of the no speaking in the corridor rule, was interrogated then taken out to the playground and shot. Still, I at least cheered up the boys with a capacity lesson that proved that ‘size doesn’t matter’.

So the dreaded observation drags into next week. I am nothing if not ambitious with a lesson involving flour, condensed milk and pastry cutters. Another teacher in my year group is to be observed earlier in the day conducting the same lesson.

I imagine hers to be delivered in a Nigella Lawson-seque swirl of perfection and charm. Mine will be a mash-up of confusion, spillages, tears and a classroom that resembles the aftermath of the Nagasaki bomb. At least if the end product is too putrid to eat we can always have a food fight.


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