The announcement of an impending observation, or as I call it ‘finding yourself on the shit radar’, can result in some serious introspection. Firstly you look at yourself. I’d arrived on Monday morning to find some unintelligible nonsense on the board. Had I written it? Was I pissed on Friday? Thankfully it turned out my class had been used to teach Arabic over the weekend.
Next you turn to the class. A new child had arrived. I’d paired him up with another new arrival, forgetting this child had Tourette Syndrome. As I introduced them the child with Tourette’s unintentionally pulled a face as if he’d been sucking on a lemon. The new child was able to say so much in the look he gave me. It said “What are you doing to me?”
Another girl had received an emergency haircut after my pass had got caught up in her hair. Children that age all look a bit boyish though don’t they? The phantom hair licker who’d been terrorizing children in the playground was also found to be from my class. The behaviour in general is such that I’ve had to introduce new sub levels on the reward ladder. It’s for those children that could before not get any lower.
The only redeeming feature for those that are worst behaved is they do seem to love the jobs you hate. It’s a definite win-win that they manage to miss so many break times. Whenever I ask the children to look back at their work from last year to see how much they’ve all improved, they’re all from the table I suggest might want to give this bit a miss.
Academically it’s a mixed bag elsewhere too. Marking their English makes me think I have a classful of Yoda’s. There’s little hope when the parents do the homework for their child and it’s completely wrong. The only hope is the child that wrote a story about Australia upside down in his book. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt he has a Wildean wit.
Just as I was teaching the children the value of ‘little white lies’, the observation was cancelled. What left to do but enjoy our year group assembly? Apart from a last-minute hissy fit by a God with an inferiority complex it went like a dream. Even the child with “oppositional defiant disorder” shone (incidentally I’ve a different and far stronger phrase for his diagnosis)…
As the parents evening dwindled on I tired of the sound of my voice. The remaining parents were not impressed with my suggestion to give their children’s evaluation through the medium of mime. The woman who only communicates through the medium of her baby told me (through the medium of her baby), that she was pregnant again. That should make for some future interesting conversations;
Woman who speaks through the medium of her baby: Can you ask Tim if I can borrow his stapler?
Baby 1: Can you ask him if Mum can borrow his stapler?
Baby 2: Can she borrow your stapler?
Me: Can you tell her I said ‘yes’?
Baby 2: Can you tell Mum he said ‘yes’?
(You get the gist…)
For my efforts I was given £50 by a child on the last day of term. That was before I then had it taken off me by the exasperated mother. I also nearly found love. A child in my class told me that her Mum loves me. Mum then turned up at the end of the day with a new Dad for her. I wish they’d make their minds up.
To finish the day the head teacher sailed past me in her car without giving me a lift (is that a reason to strike?). This could have avoided my fellow commuters seeing the sticker I had on my back which read ‘I was brave today’. Happy half term!