It’s frustrating to have a child in your class who, like a cow, can’t walk downstairs. It’s not his fault but as the fire bell rang loudly, and with only small painful progress being made, I wondered if I could get him to crowd surf across the class in front of us.
“Tell the children to keep quiet behind you” I asked the first child up the stairs on our way back, with order now restored. “Keep quiet behind you!” she bellowed. You forget just how literally children can take requests.
The first week back is about suppressing your teaching rustiness from the kids. The week looked to be heading for a swan dive shitwards with news that the Head Teacher wanted to see me. I wondered if Bonaparte had grassed me up for licking a set of house keys.
I nervously entered her office regressing back to a naughty schoolboy, all awkward limbs and crumpled body language. She began “I’ve been giving it some thought and think it could work, although you have to make sure that all parties are effectively communicated with”.
I didn’t have the slightest idea what she was talking about. What to do? Pretend I understood, smile knowingly and look smug? Walk out backwards, hopefully confusing her? Feign a heart attack? I decided to confess. “But the note you passed me…?” she looked at me as if I was the stuff on the pavement outside our school, that I’m never sure whether to step over or attempt to communicate with.
I then remembered that a few days earlier, she’d dropped a note that I’d picked up and given to her. She’d assumed the note was from me. Thank God it didn’t have “I love you” written on it. As it was, she laughed. She has a laugh like an exotic bird. I smiled until it hurt and waited for her to tell me I could go.
Our paths would cross again though. This time she came into the classroom mid-lesson to tell me two of my children had visited her. These “adorable girls” had helpfully told her that two boys in my class were not listening to my instructions. I shot the girls a look as the Head Teacher told the two boys off. She told them they could not be part of my ‘Groovy Group’.
I set up ‘Groovy Group’ as a lunchtime club to help some of the children who find Literacy and Numeracy difficult. My original name for it was ‘Groovy Gang’ but the word ‘gang’ was considered having violent undertones…
These boys, while not entirely innocent, didn’t deserve this. What to do this time? Pretend I agreed with her? Burst into song? Feign another heart attack? I decided to tell the truth. The boys were redeemed and the girls were instead told off for being vindictive. They were asked hand in their Groovy Group badge and gun.
The teacher in the next door class found the tales of my indifferent week hilarious. I wanted subtle revenge. What to do now? There was only one option this time. She has OCD so I crept into her room after she’d left and moved one of her wall displays to a slightly different angle.