Thank God it's Friday

20th October 2000 at 01:00
MONDAY A weekend spent locked away in our caravan writing plans leaves me feeling tired. What can I do with my class, I think, as I drive to school? Planning has left me no time to create the worksheets I need. Cathy is absent, as her long-awaited eye operation is scheduled for today. I hope she makes it. Last week she told me that her "Ma" had tried to strangle her.

TUESDAY First thing we have the fortnightly visit from the visiting art specialist. Two pupils intimate that they are "no joinin' in the day". I announce that extra points will be awarded for those who settle quickly and try. Jack decides that extra points are more important than his huff, but none the less rattles and crashes over his chair to register his protest. Mary scribbles over her paper, then announces that she has finished.

WEDNESDAY Connie changes for gym, then takes umbrage at something and loudly announces that she is "goin' hame". She collects her coat and sits on a bench, muttering and sulking.

Athletics practice absorbs everyone's attention while Connie's huffing continues. She hurls abuse at the others, calling them mongrels. I'm sure she means mongols, butdecide not to enlighten her. We've all had enough. "Tell hur miss," they say. Tell her what, I think to myself as I deposit her at the door of the assistant head.

THURSDAY There is a knock at the classroom door and Connie's dad is there - accompanied by a sullen Connie. They "slep' in". I talk to him about Connie's behaviour yesterday, but praise last term's work in environmental studies. "Connie did really well with our last term's topic on machines ... she has a very good understanding of how things work." "Ah ken," comes the reply, "that's why I'm learnin' her tae drive." I make a mental note to avoid that hilly area of Glasgow. Connie is 10.

FRIDAY Maths time. Raymond tells me he is allergic to maths and swipes his books on to the floor. The next ruse is to announce that he has a headache. "Ah've had this sair heid fur 15 years," he says. This is a surprise as he celebrated his 11th birthday only last Thursday.

I head for home, constantly looking in my mirror. Thankfully Connie does not appear to be loose on the roads. Yet.

Morey McQueen works in a special school for Glasgow City Council. She writes under a pseudonym


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