Whan that Aprill with his showers sweet
Is watering the sod aronde my feet,
And weedes do sprout and gentile seedlings harden
Thanne longen I to go and dig the garden
And pick the hyacinths and prune the pentas
And wander lustilly round garden centas.
And this is why my blogging’s gone to pot
And furthermore hath schoolwork been forgot.
But now, alack, I reape what I have sown
And over empty planning folders groane
The thought of class tomorrow mack me shiver
With so few arrowes ready in my quiver.
“It serves you rite,” my inner Ofsted’s chanting,
“For Easter spente in planning not, but planting.”
94. The Parent Trap…
“Libby, did you want to share your news?” Libby puts down her hand, wades to the front of the carpet and faces her audience.
“I’ve got news about my mum and dad,” she announces.
“Is it happy news?” I ask. Some things are probably not best shared in show-and-tell.
“Yes it is. Sometimes, my mum takes all my dad’s clothes off and then she laughs. Any questions?”
92. It was the spring of hope…
You might have come across the ‘boiling frog’ model of how people cope with change.
The idea is that if you put a frog in a deep pan of water, it sits around doing happy frog stuff and saying ‘it’s not so bad once you’re in’. Then the pan is put on to heat. The frog adjusts to the gradual rise in temperature – sending out for the odd Ben and Jerry’s perhaps, but basically staying put. It adjusts and adjusts. Then it can adjust no more but, by then, it is no longer physically able to jump out of the pan. And so it goes to the great lily pad in the sky.
No frogs were actually harmed in the making of this metaphor. Hold that thought.
87. Always something there to remind me…
Thursday afternoon saw me tucked away in the non-contact room, ploughing through assessment results. Depressingly, half the children still remain below the class average, despite Mr Gove’s exhortations. I fear for my salary.
Entering results onto a spreadsheet is a mundane job, so I switched on the wireless; partly to drown out the sound of children in the playground – they do keep turning up at school – but also because I knew that Clare Balding was going to be talking to Tom Isaacs as part of her ‘Ramblings’ series on Radio 4.
84. Know what I mean, jellybean?
Even at four, Terry is built like a Great Dane who works out. So when, on his first day at school, he barges into wee Jack, there’s no question of who will be sent flying. Terry stands in front of me, sheepishly.
“Terry,” I say, gravely. “You knocked over Jack and he’s hurt.” Jack howls to underline the point.
“I didn’t mean to.”
“I’m sure you didn’t. You know that it is wrong to hurt people on purpose, don’t you?”
Terry nods. “It was an accident,” comes the gruff reply.
“Well, even if you didn’t mean to, Jack is still hurt. See how upset he is.” Jack is currently working towards a nomination for Best Actor in a Playground Incident. Terry himself now looks on the point of tears; the classic gentle giant. “Now, what do you think would make him feel better?” I ask.
Terry’s face brightens. “Flowers?” he suggests.
83. Pretty Polly…
“It’s my mum’s anniversary today,” Violet yells above the playground buzz.
“That’s lovely, Violet.”
“She’s been married eight years. I wasn’t even born then!” There’s a gasp of amazement from the giggle of girls around her, which swiftly moves into a conversation about frocks worn at various parents’ weddings.
81. A horse isn’t a flower, Sidney.
I thought that she was in the outdoor area working with Miss Sugarsprinkles. Miss Sugarsprinkles thought she was in the classroom, working with me. So, we instituted a search. Not in the toilets. Not in the Welfare Room. Not in the Office.
At last I found her; huddled in the corner of the small resources room: headphones in ears, gum in mouth, mobile in hand.
She shrugged. “Those f*cking kids are doing me ‘ead in.”
“Then perhaps,” I suggested, “a career in education is not for you. I’ll ring your tutor.”
78. Tales of the Riverbank
“We don’t want the Reception children to think that we are saying the F-Word,” Oliver tells me earnestly. “So when we get to the word ‘fox’, we’re going to say it like this…FOOOX. Very clearly.”
“Good thinking, Oliver. I’m quite sure that, um – Ylvis – would be horrified if anyone thought he was swearing. Off you go, then.”
76. The shape of things to come
For Mrs Karma and Mrs Auld-Syne
Partners in Planning Par excellence
ideas for a blog
Other things I don’t
written cards; bought presents;
baubles (taken to
work as a prop for teaching
division); plans for the Christmas
dinner we’re cooking in
75. But me no buts…
Secondary school bus conversation of the day:
Girl: does he know I like him?
Boy: everybody knows.
Girl: but does he know?
Boy: everybody knows.
Girl: but does HE know?
Now, by Leibniz’s laws from logical papers 1690, she already knows her answer. Her question is obsolete.
Facebook post from the InfantPhenomenon.