‘The Donald’ may have all but secured the Republican nomination and ‘The Gibb’ may not have known the answers to the grammar questions that he has set our 10 and 11 year olds, but I felt the summer sun on my back for the first time this year as I strode into school. As I did so, the earnest chat of a group of year 5s wafted across the playground, ’I wonder what it’s like to be slapped by a big-fish?’ It was a privilege to hear the range of opinion as the weighty question was debated. I couldn’t help wondering myself!
So, into school and a high-five from Des, the caretaker from Leicester. He’s been doing it all week, apparently. Into the staff-room and not one, not two, but three cakes. It’s Denise’s birthday. The staff-room is already a hive of activity as the plans for the post-assessment Year 6 residential are being finalised. The birthday girl (mid-fifties in body, mid-twenties in spirit) summed up the mood: We go to places of our choice, sharing the excitement of an educational adventure with children who are thirsty for knowledge and it’s paid for by someone else. Honestly, what’s not to like?!
Year 6 are awesome in their class assembly: The culmination of a topic about asylum seekers; it encompassed a mock game show where winning asylum was the prize and there was an incredibly moving presentation that followed. At times hilariously funny, hard-hitting throughout and in the end there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Such well-rounded, caring, amazing children. Their respective Senior Schools will be very lucky to have them.
My teaching spider-senses started to tingle mid-morning when the Rowling group suddenly went very quiet as they were making the chocolates they had designed. Most of the melted orange chocolate had disappeared. Where had it gone? Another mystery for Poirot to solve.
I want to be able to tell you that it was Fish and Chips for lunch. But sadly, this recount is grounded in hard facts and is no flight of fancy. This was Thursday, sadly, and not ‘Fishy Friday’ as the children call it. It mattered not. Thursday is treacle sponge and custard day. And yes, there was still room for an enormous slice of Denise’s lemon drizzle cake. Or two.
After lunch it was time for science, and time to explore what one child initially kept calling ‘elastic-trickery’. Wonderful! I also really enjoyed clarifying that, ‘no, they weren’t called the dark ages because there weren't any floodlights.’
The after-school lower key-stage two football training was very satisfying. Real progression with positional awareness and one-touch passing. The Head, though, was very direct during the post-training cup of tea (and slice of carrot cake - don’t mind if I do). ‘It’s been 3 years without a trophy. I’m not a man of infinite patience'. Said with tongue in cheek, though not without feeling, before bursting into a fit of giggles. As a Plymouth Argyle supporter and headteacher, he is a beacon of perpetual hope!
And so off home. Another high-five from Des. Getting into my car I overhear one of the football boys excitedly telling Mum about the final match of the year that is coming up and how important it is. He could be talking about the World Cup Final.
And there it is. Why teaching is the greatest profession of all, summed up in one day. And there are four other days just like it every week. And the holidays aren’t bad either. Though life has carried me on to other exciting projects, I can't imagine ever losing the teaching bug.