Nerves were perceptible. My class were sitting their SATs and I was awaiting an interview. I felt better as I was wearing my lucky pants. I also felt vulnerable as I’d forgotten to wear anything else.
We had a shift around which meant we were in another classroom. Our own classroom is so small I imagine it was once used as either an asylum cell or interrogation room. The extra space was liberating. I found myself teaching in an extravagant style, with lots of hand waving and walking around the classroom for no clear reason. I even laid down in the library corner, just because I could.
In the Science lesson that followed we looked at changes that occur from children to adults. One child remarked that when you’re an adult “your craziness grows”. I thought it was an odd remark until I sat in on her Child Protection Meeting and heard just how crazy her life had become.
I remembered her once recounting a dream in which an alien had entered the classroom. This was a chance I felt to assuage any concerns and make her feel safe. “I bet I got rid of it” I said, looking at my most assertive and determined. “No” she replied “you ran around screaming”
I felt like I had ants in my lucky pants as we then sat through the most interminable of class assemblies. It says it all that when we got back to class I asked them what it was about. One hand went up. “It was about eggs, I think”. I would have turned a deaf ear if my class had started booing them. At one point I hoped a giant whisk would appear.
Messages then started to appear on my whiteboard. They began innocently enough, then gradually got weirder. I’m expecting by next week to have a message asking me to raise a million pound and hide it in a hollow tree trunk in Hyde Park. I’m less concerned about raising the money as I am about getting a hollow trunk onto public transport.
The interview was a protracted affair. If I smile for too long, I eventually look like I’m being coerced into doing it at gunpoint. The lesson I taught involved me telling the class they were designing a climbing frame for the playground. Their responses were so enthusiastic it occurred to me they thought I was from the local council.
When the news reached me that I’d been successful, I felt a bit like the hollow trunk. The truth is I’m only moving schools because I’m moving away. I was very relieved to have it but this was no time to run around screaming.
As I arrived back in school, I was greeted by my class with such an enthusiastic group hug, I felt even sadder that I would soon be gone. I wondered if the children in my next class would one day do the same thing.
I somehow doubt it. Their first words will be “Where’s our f*****g climbing frame?”