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A short lesson about love

SHOCK, horror. A sudden crop of engagements has caused general amazement in our school. The children simply can't believe that their teachers know, and are even romantically attached to, adults who have a life outside the school. I swear half of them thought we lived in the staffroom, only to emerge bleary-eyed at the start of the day. My Year 4 planning partner was the first to become betrothed. When she showed off her engagement ring, her class yelled: "Who are you getting married to?"

Sensing a chance for a giggle, she asked: "Who do you think?"

They went through every male member of staff - all eight of us; including those already married and the odd confirmed bachelor. When I announced my engagement, my kids thought I must be marrying the school secretary - who had actually walked down the aisle round about the time I was getting down on one knee.

I don't blame them. Even when I was at secondary school, we were convinced the best-looking male teacher would be going out with the best-looking woman teacher; the number two bloke with the runner-up female and so on in a sort of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers arrangement.

When the rather gorgeous PE mistress shacked up with Mr Ford, our boyhood hero PE master, that confirmed it.

All of this talk about marriage has really got my Year 4 girls thinking about wedding dresses and lurve. Nuinda (as I shall call her) was awfully upset when her best friend announced during afternoon registration that Nuinda wanted to marry Ramin. She denied it in floods of tears.

But come home time, the truth emerged.

"Mr Ogle," she whispered coyly, as we walked over to say hi to her mum, "you know the boy I said I didn't love? Well, I do really."

Sadly though, it's an unrequited emotion. Aged nine, she'll have to wait a good few years until the boys think less about football and more about girls. Marriage? Leave that to the teachers.

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