She didn’t even wait till the end of term. The woman whose classroom I took over, was back. She worked busily around me pulling her resources off the wall, emptying drawers and raiding the cupboard. I felt like a bitter divorcee as she took it all.
I had my new class to meet anyway. Their current teacher had briefed me beforehand for the ones to watch. One child, in particular, has all the hallmarks of what the most liberal teachers would describe as a ‘character’. He had openly jumped and shouted when she’d told the class she was leaving the school. For a leaving a present he’d bought her hair removal cream. I admire his sense of humour at least.
I told the smallest of white lies that the letters they’d written for me were thought of as either Year 2 or Year 3 works by my current class. I had in fact just relayed the funniest bits to them, from the child that likes ‘winging it’ to the one that ‘wants to learn his 12 times table while zipping up his coat’. I also met the parents of my new class and inexplicably found myself telling the same lie to them. I’m too eager to please sometimes.
My classroom cleaner is permanently tired. She is prone to melodramatic outbursts such as “I’m so tired, oh Lordy take me now!” but her languidness is thankfully contagious with my class settling into a neat end of term listless groove. They didn’t even react hysterically to a pigeon flying into our classroom. My ability to guide it out with the minimum of fuss has earned me both the nicknames of Dr Dolittle and the Pigeon Whisperer.
The one thing to break their torpor was an improvised visit to a playground they had not visited since their reception days. I sat back and watched them jump up and down, shout, scream and run in every direction…mind you, how were they supposed to know I was only firing blanks? (That’s a joke NSPCC).