Thank God it's Friday

18th March 2005 at 00:00
Monday It is wobbly tooth season in my class. Everywhere I turn, there is another little tooth hanging from an anxious child's mouth. During circle time, we pass Barney the class teddy around the children as they take turns to speak. By the time Barney is brought back to me, Louise's tooth has detached itself from her mouth and attached itself to his fur.

Tuesday The free fruit at playtime helps remove more wobbly teeth. But at the end of the day, a parent comes to see me. Her daughter is finding it difficult to bite into the fruit with her wobbly tooth, which won't budge despite two apples, a mandarin and a pear. The parent suggests swapping to more "tooth friendly" jelly. I don't think that is quite what the healthy fruit scheme had in mind.

Wednesday The children are discussing what they would like to be when they grow up. Beatrice: "I want to be a doctor! I like helping people." James:

"I want to be an astronaut, they have so much fun!" Natalie: "I would like the tooth fairy's job! She gets to wear pretty clothes and peek into other people's houses!" Lewis: "I want to be a dentist!"

Thursday It's class assembly and I am quietly panicking about the absentees I have just noted in the register. Adam's Mum rushes in to say he has jammed his loose tooth in his gum and cannot take part. Adam peers at me, wide-eyed, clutching a soggy handkerchief to his mouth. He is unable to speak and so will be of no use in assembly today. I quickly reassign his part and smile through gritted teeth as the pupils show off their toothless smiles.

Friday The assembly went well. As a reward, I give the class extra golden time in the afternoon. As they make models and dive into the dressing-up box, I look on with pride. However, at tidying-up time I discover that Lewis is dressed as a dentist, with a tribe of followers willing to demonstrate a range of tooth pulling methods. Across the room, another group has made a variety of boxes containing special treasure: a collection of their classmates' teeth.

Rebecca Brown teaches at an infant school in the South West. She writes under a pseudonym

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