Monday, January 11, 2010


In light snow, I drop-off The Boy at his school. He is excited at today's visit to a local theatre, 'We might be there all day' he mentions. I feign jealousy, remind him that I'll be away for a couple of days, and say that I look forward to seeing him on Wednesday. Super-efficient, this morning, I dodge all manner of trendy mums and wholesome dads, as I make a quick get-away for a dart across the city.

A different school:

The reception area, a 9:20am whirlwind of children and their parents (or folk assumed to be their parents):

There is some confusion as to the identities of one or two late-comers. In the office, someone questions whether at least one of the children may have just returned from a lengthy spell overseas. Recognising the challenge and the absence of the regular home-school liaison (translator, to you and I), the headteacher steps up to the hatch, to help out a couple of stretched secretaries:

Headteacher: (pronouncing clearly) Has he been away?

Parent: (frowns, not understanding)

Headteacher: Have you been on holiday? Pakistan?

Parent: (pause for processing) Lost jumper.

I move off to speak with twenty or so of their colleagues, with whom I have business on Friday.

Later, as I depart, one of the secretaries is taking a list of names from a girl, who has just led her three younger siblings into school. Again, there seems to be some confusion as to who and where these children should be.

Secretary: How do you spell that?

'Four-day week' I chime to this secretary.

She smiles, 'See you Friday'.

Driving away, I think ahead to discussions that I'll be having later this term, about tracking pupils' progress - an action not without hurdles, especially where the tracking of names is not to be taken for granted.

The light snow now seems to be mixed with rain.


Pat said...

I hardly dare open my mouth but are you starting a new job? If so best of luck.

Anonymous said...

it is incredible to me as a not a parent the difference between schools. I wonder what the issue is? I'm guessing it isn't 'an' issue but many....

Shane said...

Pat - oh, tish and verily - you must visit here, whenever you see the light on. And you must share. No new job, just a peculiar hop, step and jump through the start to 2010.

Hils - those differences exist on more levels than many people could ever imagine. I drove 185 miles today, and spent much of that time wondering about 'human nature' and what my thoughts and feelings were about the concept of 'self-interest and the invisible hand'. Blah blah tiddly pop, eh.