Diary - My worst parent - Carry on, and on and on ..

11th December 2009 at 00:00

The Year 10 parents' evening in May was always going to be busy. My classes were full of ambitious, bright pupils and I knew parents would expect me to understand their offspring very well and have professional advice to offer about progression in my subject, biology. I had every test result and homework grade in my register. I even had my observations of pupils' investigations (or practicals, as we used to call them) to hand, so that parents would get a flavour of their children's hands-on expertise. After all, some of the parents may have aspirations that their cherished sondaughter could one day be a prominent surgeon.

Armed with all this information, I took my place in the crowded school hall. I could see that there were already parents eagerly queuing for their appointments, even though it was early and parents' evening hadn't officially begun.

Before I even knew it I had seen five sets of parents and reassured them that their child was diligent and doing them proud. The next dad was on his own and he introduced himself with a cheesy grin as Mark's father. Mark was a lovely lad - always in a pleasant mood, well-behaved at all times and his homework was reliably thorough and on time.

His test results showed that he had ability. But before I could launch into any of this, "Dad" struck a pose that reminded me of an old Carry On film and said, in a perfect copy of Terry Thomas, "I say, haw haw, I now know why Mark is enjoying his biology lessons ... with a lovely teacher like you."

Middle-aged married ladies with three children of their own neither expect nor want such comments and I was acutely embarrassed by this man's behaviour. I quickly checked that no one near me was paying attention to my visitor and was relieved to see that this was the case. However, for his next trick, Mark's dad went into Harry Enfield, reliving the sketch where a lad and his father drool over a pretty young English teacher.

The next day, in our lesson, Mark looked up and grinned. "I've been thinking, Miss. I would like to do biology A-level." My heart sank.

The writer is a science teacher in Yorkshire.

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