Wednesday, 22 April 2009

In sickness and in health

For the first time ever I have taken a sickness absence from teaching. It seems almost indecent after having a 2 week Easter break. I went back on Monday and had a lovely day. I'd missed the cheeky urchins in my class (well, most of them) and it was wonderful to see them all again. However, even then I was feeling rather shaky.

Monday is the day of the much loathed after-school staff meeting. This is the torturous platform where we wrestle with thorny educational issues such as the nutritional value of custard creams vs digestives (for our children's afternoon snack), or whether we mark books in green or red ink.

Pompous Pilate (our headteacher), knowing I was poorly, promised me that this week's meeting would be over in two shakes of a lamb's tail. Well, 5 minutes was his actual estimate. He also proclaimed that I looked 'frighteningly pale.' Which just goes to show how self-absorbed he is, as I am permanently ghostly white (although, creamy and ethereal are my adjectives of choice).

So, reassured that the meeting would be brief, I agreed to attend. Of course, once the pompous buffoon got in front of his flip chart and started his monotonous monologue his promise was as soon forgotten. I was held there for almost 90 minutes against my will, like Terry Waite, chained a to a radiator in Lebanon. I can just imagine the hostage negotiator with his megaphone.

'Pompous Pilate, you are surrounded. Slowly put the marker pen on the ground and kick it towards me. Now hands in the air and step away from the flip chart.'

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