Cometh the hour, cometh the last month before the endeth of termeth. There was a perceptible change in atmosphere and behaviour, as if the ‘supermoon’ was making everyone batshit crazy. One child was heaving tears as I arrived to collect the class. “What’s wrong?” I asked. “Everyone keeps asking me what’s wrong” she sobbed. We never did get to the bottom of that one.
Nobody was immune to the supermoon. A teaching assistant howled at me and waved her arms around like that bloke from Channel 4 racing. The builders next door upped the number of colourful metaphors they are teaching my class and a parent turned up to a meeting about the welfare of his child wearing a t-shirt with ‘I’m up, I’m dressed, what more do you want?’.
A letter pertaining to be from ‘Grandma’ was on my desk. “Dear Sir” it read “A million, billion kisses from your Sexy Grandma”. We didn’t find the culprit and my Grandmother steadfastly refused to admit it was her, even after 14 hours of police questioning. Another letter was left by a supply teacher following a PE Lesson ‘some children were tired after releasing energy and needed time to recover, others found the activity over stimulating and needed support to regain control’…
We overcame the moderation (the principle moderator was someone who had originally employed me to the teaching pool, so any mistakes I made were ultimately her fault) and an observation (a bemused guest observer drifted from a desk where a child could not count beyond 8 to another doing simultaneous fractions with equations. He gave me enough of a sympathetic look to know that I could have taken a dump on my desk and still be given a pass).
We also went for a day trip to the farm. The emphasis was on the washing of hands. This is second nature to me; the autistic child in my class often scratches his arse with his hand, before giving it to me to hold. I was more concerned about the devil child to the extent that I’d mentioned in the risk assessment form that he might ‘punch a goat’ or ‘choke a chicken’.
Although the livestock escaped any of his happy slaps, some of the children did not. At the end of day the father came to pick the devil child up but allow me to digress…when I was a kid I did a work placement at a vets. I was once asked to hold a dog while the vet stuck something up its arse. Why do I mention this? Well, the face the dog pulled was now the same face I was seeing before me.
As the father tore into him, the child naturally began to cry. “Don’t you dare cry in front of me!” the father roared. The child stopped. The desperate expression on that Yorkshire Terrier’s face was now mirrored in the child’s. Straining to hold back the tears, he used a technique he’d probably used a thousand times before. It worked. He didn’t cry.
Sometimes something happens which just makes everything fall into place. The tantrums, throwing of chairs, punching of random children, well it doesn’t take an expert to know why this was happening.
I have one month to finish my hardest year of teaching, yeah I know I’ve only taught for two, but allow me to dye cress…yeah it’s a weird hobby but it’s all I have.