First encounters

4th February 2000 at 00:00
Nicholas Lind attempts to sort out his love life.

I am the only single person I know. Not only are all my friends attached, but they are all determined to find someone to share my rainy Sunday afternoons. Hardly a night goes by without someone phoning to discuss my love life and tell me I ought to meet their friend, Emily.

A friend recently gave me the two Bridget Jones books. As I read them, I realised Helen Fielding may have missed out by not making Ms Jones a male NQT.


Cups of coffee 2. Children made cry 0.

7.20: Arrive at school and start to prepare for the week.

8.14: Everything ready for the first lesson.

8.15: First pupil arrives. Start to shake and retire to the office for a cup of coffee.

12.45: Catch a glimpse of my latest crush, Ms Waterman, the new PE teacher. Rest of the day a blur.


Cups of coffee 5. Random trips to PE dept 2.

12.02: Look out of my classroom window. The trees are starting to sway. The sky is ominously black and there are definitely three drops of rain on the window.

12.06: At least 24 raindrops on my window.

12.15: It is now blowing a gale and pouring. Oh hell. I've got 8C5 this afternoon. 15.00: 8C5 prove that pupils get high on wind and rain. They enter the classroom on the ceiling and stay there. I try my "You only have one chance with your lives" speech, but this calms them down for only eight minutes. Why is Adam's pencil case more interesting than the Crusades?

19.00: Arrive at rugby training still mad with Year 8. Decide to imagine their faces on the tackle bags. After five minutes, the coach calls me out because I have become too vicious. Still, I feel better. Mayb I should take up voodoo.


Cups of coffee 9 (bad). Trips to PE dept 0 (v. bad).

13.00: Tutor time in 25 minutes. No idea what to do.

13.03: Make a pot of coffee to help me think.

13.10: Pour another coffee.

13.15: Still no ideas.

13.25: Shit. The bell has just rung. Only one thing for it. "OK 7NPL, write a diary of your experiences at school." "Not that again, Sir. All the other tutor groups do fun things. Tutor time is gay, Sir." Karl will be the first victim of my voodoo experiment.

Fail to find an excuse to go to PE department. Is it unprofessional to bollock a kid in her tutor group just so I can speak to her?


Cups of coffee 3 (OK). Pupils made cry 1.

8.35: Despite my spending an hour last night sticking pins into Plasticine, Karl appears bright and breezy.

10.45: Zo , the sweetest girl in Year 7, walks in giggling. Tell her to calm down outside. Start the lesson and find the group on top form. Great Qamp;A session and then on to the group work.

11.12: Kids really engaged. Teaching is great.

11.25: Nagging feeling something is missing.

11.30: I forgot about Zo . Pop head round the door and find her standing in the corner. Decide to blag it. "I trust you won't behave like that in my lesson again?" "No," she sniffs, bursting into tears. I need a coffee.



10.35: I catch two Year 9s throwing stones in the ecology pond. Usually I might let this go, but it is the end of the week and I'm tired.

"You two come here. Who is your tutor?" They reply in unison: "Miss Waterman."

There is a God.

Nicholas Lind is an NQT at Ashton Park school, Bristol

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