Elizabeth popped up in my dreams last night; just as Hale and Hearty, Stuff and Nonsense as she was the week I started teaching in the adjoining classroom at Thrush Woods. Middle Infants – me, and she had Tops. We bonded a couple of days into my first week, when a passing ‘what are you doing with your lot this afternoon?’ revealed a shared love of Schools’ Television.
We were made for each other: she had a wide collection of ‘Words and Pictures’ videos, I could put my hands on the accompanying teachers’ booklets with two different levels of photocopiable activity sheets.
We wheeled the television into her room – it had a bigger carpet and took sixty four infant bottoms at a squash. Elizabeth had already lined the video up at the start of the programme, which counted as exemplary preparation in 1993.
We watched Helen Sharman talk about going into space; some video of her floating around inside her rocket; Stuart with the 80’s moustache reading Whatever Next by Jill Murphy; the letter ‘r’ for rocket – see how Magic Pencil writes it. Twenty glorious minutes.
“I’ve got some loo roll tubes, if you fancy making rockets,” said Elizabeth.
“I see your loo roll tubes and raise you got a Police CD if you fancy Music and Movement to Walking on the Moon.”
Ah, happy days. And not a fronted adverbial to be seen.
It’s unusual now for me to dream about school. Time was that teaching filled every dream – and pretty much every waking hour too. It’s taken a few years to get out of my system but my dreams now have a more exciting random element. The other night, having spent the evening researching how to prepare the living room floor for laminate, I dreamed about concrete. I’m living the dream, me.
I guess school will pop up time to time, though. The Infant Phenomenon (M.A.) dreamed the other night that she was put back in the Infants and was being made to retake her Key Stage One SATs. The school were very insistent about this, despite her protests. However, when she was given the question paper, it was all about Nazi Germany, which is the subject of her dissertation. The rest of the class were a bit miffed though…