Saturday, 28 November 2009

A sprinkling of School of Hard Knocks magic.

1. 2 mums of boys in my class got involved in a catfight in the packed school yard today. The cause? One was alleged to have called social services on the other. When I say it was a fight, I don't mean just a row. Hair was pulled out, eyes were gouged, Primark polyester was ripped to shreds, the air turned blue with screams of 'as ganna kill ya, ya fat cunt.' In the end police and solicitors were involved. A great start to the day. In fact, the behaviour of the parents is so dire before and after school that the Head and Deputy now patrol the yard.

2. another mum calling me a 'bitch'. I had arranged several appointments to discuss the progress of her special needs son. All at her convenience of course (not sure what pressing social engagements she had that were more important than her son. Not work, obviously - bingo, off-license or pub would be my guess). Tonight, after failing to turn up for the 4th appointment she said to my teaching assistant, who asked if she was coming in to see me.

'I'm not gannin in to see Miss Underscore like, she's a fucking bitch.'

I wouldn't care, but her son is a lovely boy. She boots him out of the house at 7.30am every morning with 20p for a Costcutters' breakfast (pickled onion Monster Munch usually). Poor mite ended up shivering outside the school gates for over an hour each day. Feeling sorry for him I had started letting him in class early. Now I am wondering why I bother.

Can I also say, that other than trying to book appointments with her, I have had no dealings with the woman. I think many of the SOHK parents have a problem with the very concept of teachers or authority. At the start of term Pompous sent a letter to all parents banning 'extreme hairstyles'. The very next day this same nicotine stained harridan deliberately marched her 3 sons into school with elaborately shaved heads and mini blonde mohicans.

'What ya ganna de about it like?' she snarled at Pompous as she passed.

I was disappointed that, despite his arrogant bluster, he did nowt. (He claimed that legally he didn't have a trotter to stand on.)

What's the point of being a Headteacher if you can't enforce random and arbitrary commandments? Oh yes. I forgot. It must be the £75K salary. And the days spent tucked away from the violent chaos of school-life in a cosy office dreaming up fucking 'mission statements.'

3. Last weekend was entirely devoted to writing reports (and watching QVC, L'Occitane a-plenty). I had 48 to write. Each report took about 20 minutes. That is a lot of work.

My first dilemma was Forrest. The child has only attended 10 out of the 60 school days of this term. You may recall that Forrest is the boy with a cat called Spliff. I think his mum has that Munchausen by Proxy system. She gives numerous bizarre excuses for his absence: pneumonia, appendicitis, blue tongue, PMT, rabies. I have taken to recording all these excuses. Possibly due to mum's drug-addled brain she can't recall what she said last. So, on Monday he may have a broken leg, but by Tuesday that has developed into a ruptured abscess in his stomach. The oddest thing about the whole situation is that she drags Forrest into school at 8.30 every morning to parade him in front of us, saying

'aye, yus can see how bad he is like. . . . pneumonia it is.'

At which point Forrest adopts his much rehearsed hang-dog expression and starts moaning.

So, the dilemma for Forrest's report is that he is just never in, so what to write about his attainment? A friend suggested I simply put 'Forrest who?' In the comments field.

Now, on to Jermemiah. An entirely different issue for his report. He is 8 and still struggles to write, read, count or indeed use his pencil the right way round. He is a sweet, sweet boy, but just hasn't got a clue. So, what to write in his report. . . another dilemma.

'What is 2p + 2p Jermemiah?'

'Errrr . . . .a circle, Miss Underscore'

One of his problems is his dad is in prison quite some distance away. J. misses at least 2 days every fortnight to go visit his dad. His dad has been in prison for a long time, serving a sentence for violent assault.

Jermehiah happily piped up in class recently.

'Miss Underscore, my dad will be getting out of prison in time for Christmas! He's looking forwrd to getting my new report!'

Those words rang in my ears whilst contemplating J.'s blank report template. Violent assault. Hmmmm.

Grade A's all round I think!

Oh. Next Wednesday Pompous is assessing my literacy lesson. Last time he assessed my teaching, you may recall, he proclaimed smugly I was 'almost outstanding'. Fuckwit. So, this weekend I shall be:

  • completing paperwork on all my special needs kids. 4 pages per child. 18 children in that category in my class.
  • planning all next week's lessons, including the critical literacy lesson.
  • hopefully baking my Christmas cake (that gives me 4 weeks to anoint it with single malt)
  • Taking Hetty on a blind date tomorrow! She is meeting a whippet called Norman. Very sad tale, he was a RSPCA cruelty case. Very sweet apparently. Hopefully not a rabid, finger savaging screwball like Mabel.If I have time I shall post a photo-diary of the date tomorrow night.
Off to tidy the kitchen now.

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