My worst parent - Ghost of Daddy had my number

27th August 2010 at 01:00

Funnily enough, I never met my worst parent. Indeed, there was never any direct contact between us. For all I knew, he might not have existed. The mere threat that he did was sufficient.

I am not a bad teacher but, through some strange quirk of personality, I have virtually no self-confidence. I've spent my whole professional life waiting to get "found out"; anticipating the tap on the shoulder and the directions to the Job Centre.

I was teaching social sciences in a rather posh school and I was getting away with it quite well, teaching to my academic strengths. But, as luck would have it, my A-level groups diminished and I needed to fill my timetable.

Reluctantly, I agreed to teach business studies - "It'll be a breeze," suggested my head of department. What she didn't know was that I had a deep - and I mean deep - hatred of numbers. I blagged my way through most of the syllabus, but then I arrived at the accounting bit. I was filled with dread.

At that point, one of my posher students revealed that she was pleased to have reached the accounting part of the syllabus as Daddy was a chartered accountant and would be taking a keen interest in the work set. I had that sinking feeling. The thought of someone with expertise poring over my handouts and double-checking my marking was too horrible to contemplate. Sleepless nights followed. He might have been the nicest bloke in the world, but he was my worst nightmare.

At the end of the year, the group's results were not a disaster. I had got away with it. I asked my pupil if her father was pleased with her results, and braced myself. "Oh, Daddy's been far too busy to worry about me," she replied. I had lived to fight another day.

l The writer is a teacher in London. Send your worst parent stories to and you could earn #163;50 in MS vouchers.

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