Within seconds of the 9am bell, a seven-year-old vomits over bags, desk and chair. A technicolour return to the "workplace" after the summer. I set about cleaning up furniture and small distressed child while organising the rest of the class to get to assembly on time. I try not to breathe. I have a gargantuan respect for the mass of bacteria that seems to thrive in every seven-year-old.
My lunch hour (half-hour) is spent racing through the lanes to swap a "courtesy car" for my old dear, which spent the last week of the summer holidays comatose outside my house,having failed its MOT. I feel it's my duty to maintain the image of the sad, old teacher driving the sad, old, second-hand car. The day ends with me at after-school drama club watching in amazement as four five-year-olds transform 27 nursery chairs and 14 tables into a submarine complete with escape pods and grabbers.
I prowl the school in search of missing plastic money needed for numeracy hour. When I have rounded it all up, the children immediately sart buying and selling with gusto. Future careers (and breakdowns) in the stockmarket or dot.com industry are being forged here. The classroom is awash with plastic money.
The sun is shining, so I take my class outside for a picnic lunch. I wonder if this is the politically correct thing to do. Sunshine is now a dangerous thing and I have not liberally sloshed the children with sunscreen or issued them with regulation sun hats.
Can somebody remind me why we stopped sending small children down the mines and up chimneys? Am I to be equally castigated by future generations?
"Many years ago, at the turn of the millennium, people were cruel to children. They fed them well so they had lots of energy, but most of the food was laced with additives. They stimulated them to excess with all sorts of audio-visual gadgets - and then forced them to stay indoors working at desks. The Government insisted on so much reading, riting and rithmatic they never had time for anything else."
Lyn Kirk teaches in Brixham, Devon