One of us

The temperature had dropped, the jumper was on but the gloves were off. The school looked for the person who’d allowed 500 timetables badges to be printed off which included an incorrect answer.

I searched in vain too to find the child who’d glued bitten off fingernails onto a desk and another who wrote ‘bitch monster’ onto the wall. My phonics group are looking at the ‘tch’ sound this week and it was spelt correctly, so this narrows it down slightly.

With my blood pressure rising, I tested the blood pressure of a child for a Science lesson. Occasionally I use what I call ‘the lollypop sticks of fate’ to choose a random person. The lollypop sticks chose the one morbidly obese child and I found myself lying to save her the shame of a perilously low score.

I don’t expect to be believed about what happened next in the gents toilets. A colleague, with a streaming cold, mentioned that he’d forgotten to take any tissues that morning. As he reached for the roll he remarked “I’ve been wanting to blow it for ages”. The Deputy Head teacher strolled in at this point and I may as well have been greased up with a bog brush singing ‘The French Mistake’.

The autistic child in my class likes to play with letters and is sending me a series of coded messages. So far he’s made ‘mothercare’ ‘sit ups’ and ‘Mr Bean’. Perhaps this was all a subliminal warning that he would sneeze, fart and then shit himself during assembly.

The assembly topic was ‘Black History Month’ and a child was delivering Martin Luther King’s emotive speech, when it happened. I too was short of tissues, but judged him not by the pitiful look on his face but by the need to get him out of the fire exit before humiliation kicked in. In our own separate ways we both proved that boys can multi-task.

The accumulation of crap continued. Each Inset or meeting leaves me with more useless information. Unless I’m ever asked ‘What is the provisional timetable for the release question level analysis optional test progress’ in a pub quiz, it’s not worth knowing. The Head Teacher showed a short clip on this subject and remarked afterwards how “(Name of teacher) looks sceptical” and “(Name of teacher) looks perplexed”. I thought I was next. “Tim looks as if he doesn’t give a toss either way”.

The finest way to end the day involved being chased around the playground by my class. It was all in the name of Science of course, but for a moment I experienced what it’s like to be their age. They caught me soon enough to remind me of the reality.

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