It was the day of the staff photograph and as a group shot was intended to create a sense of unity, closeness and harmony. Unfortunately due to a balls up by the photographers I was cut and pasted into the middle of the photo, away from the numbers, like a quarantined leper.

A fellow teacher kindly suggested this made me the ‘centrepiece’ of the picture. I must admit if I squinted I did sort of resemble Jesus at the Last Supper, which made a certain Mr Bonapart the Judas character. I must admit to shedding fewer tears than most when he announced he was leaving. I still wished him well although secretly enjoyed regaining my most fanciable male status (there’s only two of us left).

The other male at the school is the inevitably creepy caretaker. He’s started loitering around my classroom. It began with him fixing the blinds in my classroom. I made him a cup of tea as thanks. He took that as an opportunity to go into a half hour rant about his sudden impulse to one day crash head-on into an oncoming car. This will all probably end with me being found one day in a bin liner so please take these words as evidence that the caretaker did it.

It’s SATs next week and while I’m pretty ‘hey-ho’ for most of my class, I’m ‘uh-oh’ for a minority. One child answered every question in a practice test with a long line of letters, such as to the question ‘Why was William sad when he sat down and looked at his feet?’ with (and I’m paraphrasing) “aheomflodspasakakqazi”.

One child was so determined to avoid the SATs she knocked both of her front teeth out. She sounded like Daffy Duck, but while I was devising ways for her to say “suffering succotash!” she also developed chicken pox. I wanted to give the poor thing a hug, not just out of pity but because it’s highly contagious and a week off would be very welcome. Another child had to peer assess her classmate. For someone so young she has an obnoxious streak and pompously wrote “All of your spellings are rong”. Kids in glass houses…

To paraphrase again, this time from ‘Trainspotting’, “Choose Teaching. Choose No Life”. I always remind myself though that it’s a privilege to work with children and it should be better next year. Oh, and if this is being read by the caretaker I’m kidding. I Choose Life. Please…


5 thoughts on “Wheels

  1. Jo

    Tim..what are you going to be doing in September because I remember you mentioning the teacher on maternity leave may be coming back? x


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