Thank God it's Friday

7th April 2000 at 01:00
Monday I join other senior citizens as a living history resource at my granddaughter's middle school. we chat with small groups about the differences between our childhoods and theirs. I ensure that even the quietest young historian gets a word in. One girl asks what my job used to be. "A teacher," I confess. "I thought so," sighs my fellow grandpa.

Tuesday Postman Pat arrives with election material for the General Teaching Council. I study the A4 booklet of election addresses. Some candidates seem far too busy to take on another commitment; others have not submitted a photograph. I wonder what they have to hide. I decide on my own voting criteria and select the permitted 11 teachers in order of preference. No London mayor-style alleged stitch-up here: the reputable Electoral Reform Society is running things.

Wednesday Teaching seems to run in the blood. My daughter is an infant teacher and today her class is to welcome a visitor - my ex-teacher wife, who is giving a spinning demonstration, from fleece to garment. The children are thrilled to sit at the wheel and have a go. Most of their mothers, it seems, do not knit, let alone sin. Knitting is the prerogative of grandmas. "Was that really your mum?" they incredulously ask their teacher afterwards.

Thursday Eleven grandchildren are another family contribution to the current world of education. All provide employment for other teachers in three different local education authorities. Today, the eldest grandson's photo makes the pages of his local paper. He has scored 100 per cent in his A-level cosmology module. His publicity-conscious school - with an eye on local competition - has alerted the press. Are grandparents allowed to bask in reflected glory? We do, anyway.

Friday No school visits today, but we cannot forget we were teachers. My wife's GTC election literature plops on to the doormat. We wonder why the primary sector merits only a smaller A5 booklet. She selects her chosen contenders, giving one faceless candidate the benefit of the doubt. As escapees from the daily grind of the classroom, we nevertheless value our continuing links with education, education, education. You can say that again.

Michael J Smith and his wife Joy taught in Suffolk and Hampshire. They now live in Norfolk

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