This happened years ago. The new school year had begun and it was time for me to go into the school that one of Offspring went to. I had found that by having a chat with the new teacher of the year, things tended to work better, rather than wait for parents’ evening.
It was the class teacher I wanted to see, so was a little taken aback to find she was accompanied by the teacher from one of the subject sets. But, better to talk to everyone and get it over with, I thought.
The other teacher – let’s call her Miss Duckham – was about 25. Maybe. Good looking in a kind of Mrs Posh Spice Beckham way. She took charge of the conversation from the word go. Very talkative she was. Which was fine. Up to a point.
Because I had actually come in to talk to the other one, the class teacher who taught Offspring many more hours in the day. I couldn’t quite work out if the class teacher had asked her colleague to join us, or if she invited herself. No matter what I said, the conversation was with Miss Duckham. She had a lot of opinions on everything.
At first things seemed to go the way I had hoped. And then it didn’t. For a moment I was so disappointed that I’d wasted the conversation and possibly the whole school year, that my voice rose a little at being told how wrong I was. Easy to do when it’s your child’s well-being at stake.
‘If you can’t behave, I think you should leave!’ said Miss Duckham. I rather think she was expecting me to back down and say ‘sorry, miss. I’ll be good now’ like her normal charges might have done.
But in that split second when many thoughts go through your head in quick succession, I could see that I was not going to get any understanding from these two. Certainly not from Miss Duckham, and as long as the class teacher was mute, not from her either.
So, picking up my bag, I said ‘you know, I think I will’ and left.
Later on I mentioned what had happened to the head teacher. He giggled, which wasn’t quite the reaction I wanted. But Miss Duckham didn’t last the school year.