Republican spies on the back row

2nd November 2007 at 00:00
A life in the year of Emily Shark

"Miss, aren't you being watched this lesson?"

"Yes, Dave. Mr Egoe's joining us today. He's not watching me, though."

That fooled no one. They can all see I'm snarly because I hate being observed. Where is Ryan, anyway?

"Right, Year 7. All you need today is the blue sheet Shivani's giving out."

"Hi, kids, sorry I'm late. I'm Ryan."

"Year 7, Mr Egoe has just joined the school to teach geography. Here's a copy of the work we're doing. I've put a chair ready for you there."

"If it's OK, I'll sit here with the kids."

"Er, if you like. Now, would anyone like to explain what's on the first arm of the grammar octopus: nouns?"

"Miss, does an octopus change colour when it's annoyed?"

"What page are we on?"

"It does that for warning or camouflage, really, and I told you, all you need is the sheet. Now, what is a noun?"

"Excuse me? Could we move the back row, to like, make us feel more included?"

Ryan, shut up! Don't move them when I've just got them to sit still! Have a go at the questions - you'll soon feel included.

"It's just, we're all agreed, we would benefit from kind of a curve shape?"

We're all agreed? What, so you just called a referendum among the citizens of the back row? In that neglected province 20ft from where I'm standing?

"I don't mean to threaten your authority, but everyone's really together on this? I'm just relaying that to you, that's all."

Look, senator Ryan, the back row can't just go and declare itself a republic! A classroom is not a democracy. It's a benign dictatorship. Sorry.

"Mr Egoe, we've got a lot to do today ..."

"There's strong feeling about this, you know."

Yes, and now there are also blue paper aeroplanes. Ryan, can't you see that this fickle mob is using you?

"Mr Egoe's right, Miss. We're on the school council now, too. So you've got to listen to us."

Ye gods. Those republican fools recruit younger supporters each year. What - another missile? This must stop!

"That's enough! You never complained about those desks before. If we don't finish the sheet this lesson you'll all stay in at break!"

Detention without trial. That's just how dictators behave. But look at them write! I wonder what Ryan's scribbling about ...

"Ah, Ryan, is that feedback for me?"

"Yah, kind of, but first I have to make a copy for Melinda? She's doing stuff for some big meeting, about how we all treat the kids, I think the head ..."

"What, SCM? Standardising Classroom Management?"

"Yah, that's the one!"

This is not good. I can handle my own rebels, so why are they sending me spies? Why can't they all just leave me alone?

More from Emily in a fortnight.IIN] 4761

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