Friday, September 08, 2006
I’ve inherited another classroom as all our teachers move about due to new building. My classroom has also received a new coat of paint – the first in over thirty years.
The process of changing classrooms can be quite traumatic, it’s a bit like moving house except this time the previous owners leave most of their junk behind. My worst experience was taking over a classroom that had had a succession of NQTs, supply and teachers on temporary contracts. It was a bit like an archaeological dig, except there was no ‘Howard Carter moment’ when the buried treasure was discovered. I found a packet of digestive biscuits that could be carbon dated to the time five years ago when there was a child with diabetes in the class. There were old textbooks that quoted the new popular music group ‘The Beatles’ and extolled the virtues of Lancashire’s coal industry. There were minutes of staff meetings from the dim and distant past and resources from long abandoned skills like sewing and knitting.
Teachers are dreadful hoarders, our former head wouldn’t allow us to throw anything out, so once she was out on one of her many ‘training days’ you’d surreptitiously lob stuff in the skip and cover it with mountains of paper.
In my classroom the painters have thrown all the computer wires together in a knot of Gordian complexity and there’s dust all over the files. The worst part are those draws that contain the following – three marbles; staples (loose); felt tip pen (dried out); coloured pencils (blunt); a sweet (wrapped); bits of Lego; a rubber (incredibly dirty); a protractor (dusty). Overcoming the temptation to bin everything you have to sort it into the correct place.
Tina the Nursery Manager comes into class and gives me a big hug, she tells me she’s getting divorced. She’s had a really hard time, her pet dog drowned in her pond, Ofsted came in during the building work, the hunky TV star she was drooling over moved in with his gay lover and after thirty years she’s bin-bagged her husband. [Bin bagging: A woman dumps her male partner’s clothes, artefacts and Nuts magazines in bin bags and places them outside the front door to signify the end of the relationship.]
She was a bit tearful when she went to see the lawyer, but instead of getting out the paper tissues he went for the jugular. “Ditch the bastard, it’s the best thing you’ve done, let’s do him for everything, this is the start of your new life.”
So if anyone WLTM blonde vivacious F for TLC GSOH photo essential GOOP get in contact below.
Meanwhile the launch date for the book is September… or possibly October, I’m getting past caring now.