I’ve outlined the activities once, and then again. A child has successfully re-explained them to the seething masses and there does seem to be a more than equal chance that at least some of the class will know what to do. Though with Reception, of course, anything might happen in the next half-hour.
“Right,” I say. “Go back to your constituencies and prepare for government.” And up they get and off they toddle despite the fact that they have a fairly limited working knowledge of the 1981 Liberal Party Conference.
Mrs Berry tells me she often uses the same phrase when setting children to work; and with the same results. Which goes to show that, in school at least:
- context and expression override actual words
- children are pretty adept at operating successfully in a world that makes no sense at all anyway
- some teachers are idle, shallow beings, grabbing their amusements where they can to get through the day. (I’m talking purely personally, Mrs Berry. I know that every word you speak has immense educational value and you use the cited phrase entirely as a lead-in to teaching your children about Great Reform Act).
Other proof of my idle, shallow nature is the delight I take in having a George in the class, particularly one in occasional need of correction; in spelling out for Lola the letters of her name and in telling Eileen to hurry up.
I’ve always yearned to teach a Sidney so that I can tell them that a horse is not a flower. Alas, I never have and now never will, as I am currently teaching what will positively be my last group of children.
Yes, I retired in the summer, leaving Thrush Woods with a barn-dance, a bench and a beautiful iPad. But sickness is scything through the staffroom at the moment and I’ve been asked to cover Reception until Mrs Acorn is vertical. They are a lovely bunch of kids but Glory Be, I’m tired beyond and through exhaustion. Ten hours sleep last night and already contemplating a nap. Teaching four year olds five days a week, including matinees, is not a job for the faint-hearted. Mrs Acorn’s Facebook page is full of get-well wishes but mine are not meant as an exhortation but an order.
Still, in compensation, there is the joy of being able to revisit my favourite counting song: the one dedicated to Tony Blair’s spin doctor and his perennial back problem, as retitled by a Reception child a few years ago. Would you care to join me in a few choruses? Altogether then: one, two, three…
“Alastair Campbell has five humps, Alistair Campbell has…”
Ma bought a pair of shoes online this week (having tried them on in the shop first, natch) and earned another 45p for Parkinson’s research through GiveAsYouLive. Link to the scheme is here.. There’s a real feeling of optimism in the Parkinson’s community about the results coming from the research at the moment, so many many thanks to those who are popping their pennies in the tin.