Thank God it's Friday

14th May 2004 at 01:00

The head calls me into her office. A parent has been in to see her and is worried about health and safety on the Year 2 summer trip. He'd overheard me telling the class that we would be parascending, and that they need to bring their reply slips back. After questioning, I realise the parent is slightly hard of hearing, and misheard "parents' evening". It's not a bad idea to class it as a dangerous sport.


I take my Year 2 journals home to mark. I look at John's journal, and start to decode the inventive spellings. I come across "ejog", which seems to bear no relation to his usual talk of PlayStations and fast food. I rack my brains, but get no closer to the meaning. I consider sending it to GCHQ for decryption.


Laura's parents are the first in for parents' evening. Her dad is a bodybuilder and is as wide as he is tall. I start off by saying how much I like having Laura in the class. "Laura really likes youI " replies Mum.

"Yeah," says Laura, "but not as much as my mum does. She really fancies you, she told me." I smile nervously at Laura's dad and change the subject to numeracy and literacy.


I ask Paul's mum to meet me after school to talk about his conduct. "He's been using bad language in the playground and hitting other children," I tell her. "Why you little sod," she yells. "Just wait until I get you home, your dad's going to give you a good hiding." She drags him out the door and I'm left holding my head in despair.


John comes in, upset. I sit him down, and dry his eyes. "What's wrong?" He looks up, with tears streaming down his face. "My ejog as gone," he replies in his unmistakable West Country accent. I suppress a smile. "Ah, your hedgehog "

Matthew Cave teaches Year 2 at Stoke Bishop primary school in Bristol

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