Thursday, 29 April 2010

My Left Foot

After three years teaching at the School of Hard Knocks I am still frequently astounded by the sheer, unbridled lunacy of our parents. I had a meeting with J'Lo's mum yesterday. J'Lo is hysterical - she is as mad as a box of frogs. I dearly love her to bits, but she is the laziest child I have ever met. It takes J'Lo 45 minutes to write the date and title on a piece of work. This means EVERY piece of work goes unfinished. Hell, most pieces of work are not even started. J'Lo misses games, PE, breaks, art, class trips, parties . . . all because she simply will not do any work within the lesson. I have tried every sanction in the book and every reward in the book. I simply cannot make that nitwit girl pick up a pencil.

Yesterday, for the 26th time, J'Lo's mum came in to discuss the problem. The meeting was straight after school at 4 o'clock. Mum was sporting pink flannel pyjamas and was eating a jumbo bag of pork scratchings. I thought that a bad sign. She balanced precariously on one of my teeny child's chairs (J'Lo's mum is the size of a small semi-detatched bungalow). Her numerous bags of Poundland shopping were scattered around her, arctic rolls and Findus Crispy Pancakes were slowly defrosting on my classroom floor.

Mum: Aye. I think I knaa what the problem is with our J'Lo, like. I knaa why she's not deeing any work. It's cos she's waiting for an appointment for the clinic. She's been waiting for months.

Miss Underscore: Oh really. What is the appointment for?

Mum: Physiotherapy

Miss Underscore: Physiotherapy for what?

Mum: Why, have yous not noticed, like? She's got flat feet.

Miss Underscore: Flat feet? (pause). Flat feet are why she hasn't written more than 10 words since Christmas? We have taught J'Lo to hold her pencil in her hand you know!

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