Friday, 1 April 2011

April 1 aghhh

April Fool's day always brings back memories of a very bad day in teaching. We had moved from North Wales to Essex and having been there a month I put my name down on the supply list for the county. One evening I got a call from the head of a very prestigious comprehensive on the other side of town. They had a sudden emergency could I go in please?
It was at the time of transport strikes and my husband had to go to London by coach. I drove him to the coach pickup at 6.30 every morning so  I arrived at school  feeling as though a days work was already behind me.
The assembly was different. The head played a verbal joke on them all, roared with laughter, wished us all a Happy April  Fools day and off we went.
My first lesson was in the library. This suited me fine. I had been in charge of the library at my last school. The children came in and never settled down. The shelves were arranged so that it was impossible to see them all at once. I struggled and was very glad to find my next lesson was in a classroom. There seemed to be a lot of children in the class   but books were given out and some sort of order established when a very irate teacher arrived to ask why I'd got his class in with mine.
The culprits went out laughing, shouting April Fool as they went.
Next was break time. Over a coffee I was told what had happened to the previous teacher. She had tried to get order in the library and failed and the head had gone in to ask about the noise levels. She had taken a mug of cold tea from her desk and had poured it slowly and deliberately over his head.
I thought this might have been another April Fool  but no it turned out to be the truth.
The next two lessons were marked by first year and fifth year children turning up to the same classroom but by this time I'd acquired registers!   We all blamed the head. He'd started it!
By the end of the day I could quite appreciate why she had had what was being described as a nervous breakdown.  It looked like my turn next!
Moral of this story is simple. Never start a career in a new school on April the first. And never throw a cup of tea over the head. That particular teacher never came back.

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