Thank God it's Friday

26th August 2005 at 01:00
Freddie shrieks: "My nipples have fallen off!" I remind him that his nipples are slightly higher up. All is calm again

Monday My Year 1 class rush to their tables to look at the plastic cups filled with damp paper towels. Nothing. Their faces crumple as they realise the broad beans we planted in science last week have yet to start growing.

I explain that good things come to those who wait. They don't seem to believe me. We move quickly on and, after a disheartened register, walk down to the main hall for whole-school assembly. My row looks rather small.

Moments later the rest of the class shuffles in, looking worried. Something tells me this is not about beans. "Ricky has got his arm stuck in the banister." I rush down the corridor and there he is, elbow lodged between banister and wall. There's only one thing for it. Mr Parker, the site manager, appears wielding an electric screwdriver. Ricky's eyes widen.

After a blood-curdling drilling noise his arm is free. Good things come to those who wait.

Tuesday To offset the disappointment about the beans we do a PE lesson about growing. Naturally we play the bean game as a warm up. I'm sure I see a look of disgust as I call out "broad beans". Is it me, or are the children deliberately not stretching as wide as usual? As he's getting dressed afterwards, Freddie suddenly shrieks: "My nipples have fallen off!"

I remind him that his nipples are slightly higher up. All is calm again.

Wednesday Barnaby Bear has been travelling around the World looking at the crops grown in different countries. I try to avoid any mention of beans.

Barnaby jumps out of his case wearing khaki shorts, a shirt and sunglasses.

Can anyone tell me where Barnaby might have been this week? A few moments of deliberation and then one hand shoots up. "Ikea?"

Thursday There's a rush of excitement: one bean has started to germinate and a tiny shoot of green winks at us. The children's sense of hope returns; my enthusiastic class is back. They can even name some countries and form an idea about climate. They are also razor sharp during numeracy.

I hold up a 2D shape with six sides and ask if anyone can tell me what it's called. A hand goes up as tentatively as the bean's shoot. "Is it a Mexican?"

Friday Something else has started to grow. But it's white; slightly grey. I have a close look and see that although we haven't grown beans, we are now cultivating mould. After a health and safety chat, we chuck the plastic cups in the bin. Then a moment of genius. "Why don't you just buy a tin of beans, Miss? You don't have to wait for them at all."

The writer, who wants to remain anonymous, teaches Year 1 at a Kent primary school

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