When I was a newly qualified teacher, I was always shocked by a statement which my experienced colleagues used to make:
“Teachers’ kids are the worst.”
I found this to be quite bizarre. How could this be? Surely they’d be the best? Having gone on to teach some progenitors of educators (not a phrase I’d ever thought I’d write), I started to believe this hypothesis was indeed true. Lazy, arrogant, above reproach. However, this was generally the case if the child was a pupil at the school where their parent taught. Not always, but often. So maybe it wasn’t the case if you sent your own children to a different school? I’d be damned if my children were going to be despised by their teacher. Sam and Abigail have turned out to be quiet and conscientious. 2 out of 3 isn’t bad, I suppose. Which leaves Joel.
Joel went back to school today and my relief was impalpable. After eleven weeks of failed homeschooling, all those parents’ evenings now make sense. Here are his top ten moments in education.
1. On accidentally tripping over a key worker’s legs in preschool, he proceeded to apologise by kissing her bare feet.
2. Putting his hand down a teaching assistant’s top when he was in Reception. Just because.
3. Kicking another child in the head because the poor child had distracted Joel when he was counting dolphins on a poster.
4. Head butting a wall in the playground because an older pupil had told him to, then grinning inanely because it meant he had to have a big plaster.
5. Deciding to ruin his mother’s last day of freedom before the summer holidays for three consecutive years by requiring a trip to casualty.
6. Driving his teacher to despair by trying to answer every question.
“What’s an adjective?”
“I went to McDonald’s last night.”
“Who knows 7×8?”
“It’s my dad’s birthday today.”
“What’s a fair test?”
“I think I’ve forgotten to put underpants on.”
The teacher went on to create the expression “Is this a Joel?” every time he volunteered to answer a question. The boy can’t lie. He soon learned to put his hand down when he knew he didn’t have an answer, just some random piece of information.
7. Winding a teacher up to the point where she told him to stick his ruler where the sun didn’t shine. He probably spent the next ten minutes thinking of a place in the world which doesn’t get any sunlight.
8. Struggling in an History exam so deciding to fart loudly then everyone else would be distracted and maybe drop a few marks.
9. Answering an algebra question in Maths just recently.
“What does ‘p’ stand for?
10. And today’s gem as I was reminding him of the dress code.
“You can’t wear anything with slogans on.”
“What’s a slogan?”
“Like ‘Just Do It’ or ‘Be Kind’.
“How do you wear kind clothes?”
So, like former colleagues used to say. Teachers’ kids are the worst.
There’s more. He’s also a hypochondriac – read Calamity Joel