Friday, 19 June 2009

Pigeon holed in one

Since the swine flu episode, there are tell-tale signs that my popularity, never high with those at the top, has waned even further.

My pigeon hole has been moved. It's now right next to the inward opening door.

It's also so low down that anyone entering the staff room in a hurry stands a real chance not just of decapitating me but, with a little effort, favourable draught and suitably placed receptacle, achieving a hole in one.

Then there are the memos. Hate mail I could deal with. For one thing, I could mark it out of ten, write 'Next time, don't forget to include your name,' and then blu tack it to the notice board, in the sure knowledge that the offender would be pathologically unable to resist writing out any spelling mistakes three times and thus be unmasked.

But anonymous hints and tips on report writing is another thing altogether.

'"Sings well unaccompanied." "Enjoys performing to an audience."' I read out to the deputy head. 'Am I really that incompetent?'

'No.....' she says, though with her eyes cast firmly downwards as if hoping to find her next cue woven into the heavy duty carpet fibres along with the biscuit crumbs and tea stains. 'Though I do think you might consider checking that all the children you do actually write reports for are still at the school.'

This is in reference to my glowing tribute to a pupil praising his inate musicality, impressive vocal range and prodigious recorder skills. It was written at speed just as the second bottle was taking effect and despatched to the relevant class teacher with a glowing sense of a job well done. As, indeed it would have been, if only the child hadn't turned out to have left after only one term.

I look through the latest sheet of photocopied comments again, and a pattern seems to emerge.

'Oh, my God,' I say. 'Listen. "Needs to spend more time practising to improve performance skills. Needs to develop sustained listening skills" I don't think these are about the children at all. They're about me.'

The deputy head stares down at the list. 'I think you could be right,' she says. 'Especially this one. "Needs to listen more carefully to instructions and respond more positively."'

'What rubbish,' I snort. 'What did you say, anyway?'

23 comments:

Iota said...

These days, don't the kids write reports on the teachers anyway?

Thumbelina said...

I think you have honed your performance skills to a T. I mean, they only have to look at this blog to know... then again, maybe not such a good idea. Unless you want your pigeon hole to be IN said receptacle.
I think I would point to your expert retorts posted on the notice board to support how you have honed your skills. Patience, tolerance and an ability to respond positively to hate mail should definitely score points for you, don't you think?

Expat mum said...

How many weeks till the summer hols?

The Gossamer Woman said...

You mustn't think it's about you. You'll get a persecution complex. Just assume that you're well loved and that they all look at you fondly for your slight eccentricity and your less than usual ways. It is probably endearing to them. They've never had someone like you on the staff and to them you are an endless source of fond amusement. As you are to us. I can see it no other way. How is Sasha? Is she still around or has she left the scene?

dulwichmum said...

I beg your pardon sweetie? Oh dear, it is like this for us all. All of this multi-tasking is taking its toll on my brain. Can I offer you a drink? Damn, too early...

Grrr

DM

Omega Mum said...

Iota: Kids everywhere are gagging for the chance to snitch on teachers. Just as well we're ensuring that their education is so dire that none is capable of stringing a sentence together. Cunning or what?

Thumbelina: You're supportive and lovely. Come and work here. Light firearms and body armour standard part of teaching kit (to be used only on collagues).

Expat mum: Not many. But then have own children all the time and frankly prefer school, even with Sasha.

The Gossamer Woman: What!!! It's not about me after all!!! I'm leaving.

Dulwich Mum: Is it too early? Really? Oh, God, failed again.

Iota said...

My husband has to have all his 'college kids' evaluate his courses, and it's just ridiculous. If he sets work, tries to make them think, enforces deadlines, gives grades that vaguely appropriate to the standard of work handed in, etc etc, his evaluations aren't nearly as good as if he cancels lots of classes, gives them all high grades, tells a joke at the beginning of class, and generally tries not to interrupt their hangovers too much.

Don't get me started.

Thumbelina said...

What no grenades? There has to be grenades. What about when the school is over subscribed? What do I do then without grenades? *sigh*
I blame the government.

Around My Kitchen Table said...

Great post. It brought back (shudder) memories of school reports. Among all the "talks too much", "not reaching potential" blah de blah de blah, there was one I will always treasure and, whatever its intention, I will take as a compliment.It said, "Patricia has a misplaced sense of humour."

Thumbelina said...

Look it is almost the end of term. I am on tenterhooks here. Have they stuffed in a pigeon hole? Have you survived to the end of the school year? I simply can't cope not knowing so do post again soon. There's a dear. ;0)

elizabethm said...

I have come back here after far too long and am not sure whether you are still blogging - hope so! Love this one, especially the idea of the hole in one.

Iota said...

Hon, do you have an email address? I want to email you about something. My email is on my profile page.

lady macleod said...

Of course it's all about you my darling. They are all stupid or jealous, as is anyone who does not admire you, who does not agree with you,... You get the idea.. :-)

lady macleod said...

lol You are an inspiration to working women everywhere!

Thumbelina said...

Still pigeon holed?
I'm swapping shelves. Got cramp.

Elise said...

I'm sure it's not you !

Ladybird World Mother said...

I remember awful parents evenings sitting in front of parents trying desperately to remember who their child is... and enthusing massively only to realise half ways through that have wrong parents, and that their child is indeed the devil incarnate... and how am i going to back track.
Joy. have a drink, I say.
Now, off to read more posts... love your blog!

seo uk said...

brilliant blog...lmao. Will be back :)

SEO UK

Anonymous said...

Where have you gooooonnne???

private boarding school said...

Nearly summer holiday time :)

Maddy said...

And yet another term and school year begins.

Gary@Soft Leather Baby Shoes said...

You should just stick to the old favourite, "could do better", it's applicable to everyone and who can disprove it?

Stay at home dad said...

Where are you?!

Sahd