San Miguel – continued

At last, the mother had a few valuable seconds to look for the teachers notes. However, the lesson plans, a lot like the mothers knowledge of Ancient China, turned out not to exist. Great, Google it is then, thank God for the internet,” thought the mother. Now, she reckons she had about three minutes to learn everything there is to know on the subject. She couldn’t very well wing it with this lesson.  

“Miss, why did so many Shang clans decide to migrate northeast during the Western Zhou period?”  

“Well, why do you think so many clans migrated to the northeast?” it worked sometimes, but it wasn’t going to work today.  

The Mother managed to read up to the Shang Dynasty artisans’ use of piece mould casting before she got distracted. The talking in the classroom had got louder and louder. Now the noise level was somewhere between foxes shagging and the crowd at an Arsenal match.  If you’ve never heard the screeching sound foxes make when there copping off, then think yourself lucky. She stood up, walked over to the behaviour chart and moved two names up to the sunshine. In truth she had absolutely no idea who Mohammed and Eva even were, which could mean only one thing – those two children were behaving themselves.  Actually, It could mean two things, It could also mean they weren’t in school today, in which case this act was going to massively backfire.  Luckily, It seemed to do the trick, at least for about 45 seconds. Then she had to give the class a warning.  

“Children this is a warning, and I’m not going to say this again, you need to keep the noise to a minimum and focus on your work.” But she did say it again, and again, and again, and again. She said it so many times that by the end of the day it felt like these were the only words she was capable of saying.  

By four o’clock, all the children had gone home, and the Mother was busy marking the history books. George and Davonte had only managed to write two sentences, and Samuel had just written the date, well partially written the date. Courtney on the other hand had written absolutely nothing at all.  

“Well, that’s four books I don’t need to mark,” thought the Mother happily. She began to write the words “’could do better’ in each margin. On closer inspection of Courtney’s books however she stopped. This child had done some work, although it bore no relation to the learning objective, it was pretty good. Courtney had drawn a horse, ok, it was a horse with only three legs, but still, it was a surprisingly good likeness. The proportions and shading were excellent.  

The mother suspected if Courtney hadn’t spent quite so long pissing about in the toilets with her mates, trying to block the sink with toilet paper, she’d have finished the final leg. But in all the fuss and stress in class the mother had forgotten the first rule of teaching, never under any circumstances should you allow more than one child to go to the toilet at a time. Jesus even an NQT would not have made that novice mistake.  

The mother wrote the words, ‘fantastic drawing Courtney,” next to the picture and then placed a large glittery sticker on the same page. Praise did not come much higher than this in year five. She probably had an equestrian theme sticker in her bag somewhere, under the scissors, glue sticks, Tampax, sweet wrappers, plastic money, papers, letters, headphones, Nurofen, and numerous oyster cards, but she was far to tired to start looking for it now.   

And who cares if the school didn’t approve of her relaxed attitude to learning or her style of marking, she’d be somewhere else tomorrow? Anyway, they probably wouldn’t even remember her name.  

An hour later, the Mother had finished marking the history. Just the literacy, maths, and science to go. That shouldn’t take too long, thought the mother as she reached for her Nurofen.  

Finally, the Mother had finished all the marking and it was still early, only six o’clock. She signed out. As she left the school, she instantly felt a sense of freedom, like a hamster who’d finally managed to break out of his cage.. On her way home, she reminds herself to buy pudding, Coco Pops and croissants. This will prove to her children that she loves them and ease the guilt of having a childminder pick them up. She walks into Nisa and sees a can of San Miguel, it’s £1.29 and all shiny. Shiny things make the mother happy. “Well, it’s cheaper than a diamond,” she thinks.  

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