Doesn’t matter

Interviewer: So what would you say was your lowest point?

Tim: (tugs nervously at sleeve, desperately fighting back the tears) well it would probably be the moment I found myself on my knees clearing up a child’s pool of piss

Interviewer: what was going through your mind?

Tim: For this I went to college

Interviewer: There was no cleaner or janitor around to help?

Tim: uh no, the cleaner starts after school…there was piss everywhere Oprah…

Interviewer: and the janitor?

Tim: have you met our janitor?

Interviewer: No

Tim: (shakes his head as if this is enough to answer the question and continues) So yeah I just started mopping…

Interviewer: (interrupting)...and this was your lowest moment?

Tim: oh no! No that was when I realised I’d knelt in a rotten banana while I cleaned the piss up

This is how it goes in my head anyway. The interview they’ve all been waiting for. Once I decide to publish my tales.

I just need to get through ‘moderation’ first.

I’m still not entirely sure what’s involved in being moderated. I know a team of moderators from the ‘outside world’ will be coming in to check on us. It could involve tests, medical examinations or x-rays; it could be surveillance or a Gestapo-like interview with good moderator/bad moderator.

Good moderator: “It’s OK, we know and understand why you didn’t move this child up to a level 2B in his reading, it’s because he wasn’t able to blend and segment long vowels right?”

Bad moderator: (slams hand on desk) “just admit it! You didn’t understand half of what the reading criteria meant and just kept ticking boxes hoping no-one would ever find out…well guess what asshole? (Moves face threateningly close to suspect) we have…

Either way, it’s made me relieved that some of the children either write in tongues or can only manage a single sentence (including a delightful Christmas recount about receiving a toilet cistern as a present?). It doesn’t help though when some try to forge my marking and use words like ‘ejim’ and ‘amazny’. And I normally appreciate homework early, but one child tried to hand in a diary about her Christmas holidays before the term had even ended.

I just have to be shark-like and keep moving. I’ve learnt that when I’ve been momentarily stopped in the corridor and the person is doing that ‘clicky-finger thing’ to help them remember what it is they want me to do, that’s the time to accelerate.

We’ve had enough meetings with our superiors now, where we’re compared unfavourably with other Year Groups, that I’m tempted to get a T-shirt made that says “What would any other Year Group do?”

“They don’t have my class” I think to myself. Some of them have variously been described as either ‘characters’ or ‘head cases’. I describe the worst child in my class as the ‘human shield’ for reasons I can’t quite readily admit to myself yet. Others continue to mystify “I got chicken pox when my cousin kissed my back” or are predictably predictable. This discourse from a brief lesson called ‘Collective Worship’:

Me: does anyone else have anything else to say?

Autistic child: Yes!

Me: it has to be about a visit to a recent church or temple, is it about a recent visit to a church or temple?

Autistic child: Yes!

Me: are you sure it’s about a recent visit to a church or temple?

Autistic child: Yes!

Me: off you go

Autistic child: who likes Peppa Pig?

Apparently they heard the forehead slap from the classroom next door.


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