Thank God it's Friday

15th April 2005 at 01:00

Our new headteacher starts today. When I arrive at school, I immediately notice that the rearranged furniture in her office gives her a clear view of the car park. I decide that she is either security conscious or she's monitoring the staff. I consider investing in an invisibility cloak.


I am called to a meeting in the head's office: new furniture, new carpet, new blinds and newly painted walls. When I spot a bowl of fruit in the middle of her desk and a packet of muesli lurking behind a filing cabinet, I suspect that she may be a health food fan. My fears are confirmed when I'm offered a glass of organic carrot juice. I decline politely and hide my king-sized chocolate bar under the table.


Lesson observations begin and the head appears in my Year 11 class. Despite frantic hand signals from the students, I don't notice her at first. I eventually realise that either Chantelle has aged 30 years or it's someone else in her seat. The children, who are normally cheerful and responsive, suddenly turn into the Midwich cuckoos. Salvation comes in the form of a wasp buzzing menacingly around the room. I chase after it and pulverise it with a copy of the national literacy strategy. I knew it would come in useful for something.


Senior management group meeting. As the last to arrive I end up sitting next to the head. She has a disconcerting habit of waving her right arm in ever-widening circles as she speaks, and I spend much of the meeting ducking out of its range. At least I stay awake. We are informed at the end of the meeting that the head's first name is Carrol, with a double "r".

Assuming that her parents couldn't spell, I resolve to be supportive and practise signing myself "Chrris".


Another meeting, another offer of carrot juice and another polite refusal.

The head tells me that her subject is English and that she wants to do some teaching. I suppress thoughts of children learning about verrbs, prronouns and metaphorrs. I allocate her a tame Year 8 class and pray that poor spelling isn't hereditary.

'Chrris' teaches English in the north of England. If you have a diary you would like to share, write to TES Friday, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX or email We pay for every article we publish

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