Tuesday: I forgot a lesson today; never even knew until a smirky sixth-former quipped: "Oh, so you're in are you?" When it clicked I was deeply troubled. Was this the first time I had done this? Perhaps there were others; whole classes I had not turned up to. I sprint to my Year 7 lesson and stand breathless at the door, raking their faces with mad eyes: "Thank God it's you," I say, "you don't know how glad I am to see you."
Wednesday: Back into routine, at least today I know where I am going: into the cosmos with Year 10. Deep in this primordial chaos, words discover a new universe of meaning: "Stand still", they run around; "listen carefully", they scream and shout; "Look at the board", and they look at each other with elbow nudges and grimaces. Yet madly, confusing as it is, I've been to this cosmos before and I know what to do. It's the madness on the other side of the classroom door that really sends me into orbit.
Thursday: I take a trip out to visit a Year 11 student on work experience. Stephen is working as a teacher's assistant in an infant school and I catch him chucking Milky Ways to a reception class like bread scraps for gulls. "They love 'em," he says with a gap-toothed grin. And they love him as they hold out their sticky hands for more. "He's brilliant," says his supervisor and I can see it's true. He makes me a mug of tea and as we chat, adult to adult almost, I feel something's not quite right yet with key stage 4.
Friday: The Sixth Form have been locked out of their common room today as punishment for leaving it in a terrible mess yesterday. There is the smell of rebellion in the air. A few malcontents have chalked out a simulated version of their common room in a paved courtyard and pretend to watch TV and make tea. Unreal. I must teach this lot last two periods! Their humour cheers me and as the weekend comes into view, I know this has been no wasteland - thanks to the people I live and work with.
Martin Reynolds teaches English in St Helens