For some reason I always seem to have eventful parents' evenings. My first one, as a newly qualified teacher, ended with a punch up between two sweaty, neanderthal fathers. I soon learnt that the only thing irregular about this Brookside-esque debacle was the fact that two fathers had even attended a parents' evening. Anyway, this year I had to explain to parents that my class was being split. That the academic, gifted and talented kids were moving up to a class with Year 5, and that the more 'special' were being moved down to a class with younger children. This required diplomacy, tact and understanding. Something I think I am actually pretty good at. I thought I handled the situation well, and no parents seemed unduly concerned with the news. However, in true School of Hard Knocks style, everything kicked off in the school yard the next morning. Mums of the 'gifted and talented' children found themselves publicly abused by the mums of the kids who were being 'held back'. Things were getting very heated, language was vile, threats were made. This situation simmered on unbearably for a few days. I tried to get Pompous Pilate to take some action, but he seemed reluctant to get involved. For once, he had nothing to say and no words of advice. Eventually things calmed down, but only when 3 parents decided to remove their children from SOHK, rather than face the nightmare of the school yard.
Also, in the last week of term we had our thrilling Leavers' Assembly (tellingly Pompous Pilate's Order of Service missed out the apostrophe - further evidence, as if any were required, that the man is an idiot.) This is a ceremony where our Year 6 children are presented with certificates and awards. The clever children compete for 'Mathematician of the Year' or 'Most Gifted Poet' awards. The children who are sweet, but thick, receive 'Beautiful Manners' or 'Kind Friend' awards. The hellions, who are neither academic or nice are publicly humiliated by simply being awarded their Cycling Proficiency Certificate.
On Thursday night I came home from work absolutely exhausted. In the midst of teaching all week I was also expected to find the time to move classrooms, packing up all my stuff, putting up new displays, making labels for my new class's exercise books etc etc. So, on Thursday, I was in need of a restorative nap. I went to bed at 5 o'clock. I awoke at 7.15, still shattered and groggy. But, for some reason, I thought it was morning. I leapt out of bed, cleaned my teeth, got dressed, applied my make-up. I was convinced I was late for work. I was ready to set off back to SOHK when it occurred to me, I was 12 hours too early. End of term gets you like that. Bonkers.
Our last day was Friday. Torrential rain, I mean almost monsoon-like downpours. We passed the time with party games and cocktail sausages. I do love a sausage on a stick, don't you? I even let the kids have a few. That evening there was a Stepford get-together planned at a local Italian restaurant. To be fair, by that point in the term, an evening with P.P. and the Stepfordettes was about as welcome as a bikini wax. But, I showed my face. I noticed PP shuffling with some hand-written notes at the end of the meal. Dear God. A speech. I guzzled my tiramisu like a starved lurcher, and stealthily made my get-away. Perfect timing, I avoided a 20 minute monologue about his school days, with lots of cricketing metaphors thrown in for good measure.
So, I am now foot-loose and fancy-free. For 7 weeks. It is Tuesday, week 1 and I am ever so slightly bored already.
Now, my dilemma. I have mentioned before, Pompous Pilate has asked me to work on a 'Creative Curriculum' project. The objective is to end our dogged following of the dreary National Curriculum, and come up with something more relevant and motivational. When he first approached me about this he made it clear it would be a long-term thing. That schools spend years getting this right. However, last week he announced he wanted our curriculum written, tested and implemented by Easter. Hmmn. And did I mention, we do all of this and teach full time?
There are 4 Stepfords on the project. The other 3 are very ambitious, but slightly dense and unimaginative. I am not dense or unimaginative, but am as ambitious as a sloth. I became a teacher to teach, not to fanny about, swanning round the country visiting schools and writing things on flipcharts. To be frank, I don't want to do this project. All evidence suggests my next class will be very challenging (16 out of 24 of them are "special needs'). I work every weekend and evening as it is, just to keep up with planning and assessment. To be honest, for £24k, I am not paid enough to also fit in writing a whole new primary curriculum. PP seems to think I should feel honored to be asked. I just feel like telling him to 'fuck off'. But, that would look bad. What do I do???