Thumb ash

Is it right to just wipe it off your thumb?

There are some things they don’t train you for on a one year teaching course.

Having never attended an Ash Wednesday service before today, I was asked to put ash crosses on about 40 foreheads. I am grateful that I was doing the year 7 service and not a more greasy year group. I am not too good at remembering Lent, regularly forgetting Shrove Tuesday, before giving up pancakes for Lent anyway. (Dad’s idea; keep it simple and yet no one can argue.creme-egg.jpg)

To me, unfortunately, Lent is the short time before Creme Eggs go out of season again. One year I may complete my resolve and save one until the following December 29th, just to prove that they do get smaller each year, but it is so hard. I was disappointed when the wrappers turned unnecessarily purple. At least the idea of the egg is pure – you cannot do that chocolate marketing trick of selling air packaged interestingly in chocolate. Creme is exactly what it is meant to be. And it is bad for you. Weird that my creme egg consumption this year is in decline, rather like my TV viewing. Still love it, just don’t feel the urge much.

Next Monday our school will be visited by Ofsted inspectors. I will be starting Transformations with two year 7 classes and giving my year 13s a bit more on Momentum (Linear). A trip to a snooker table would be relevant, but might not fit the school’s improvement plan. On Tuesday I have a full teaching day. The school will be open over the weekend making sure we are Ready In Time. I figure, as a daughter of an Ofsted inspector, I just need to Do My Job. We are hopefully going to Kent at the weekend; I do not want the inspection to change our plans.

I tried calling dad, but no one answered. People at work suddenly all want to ask me questions. I have a moral dilemma – do I bluff, or ask dad how he thinks we should prepare? My instinct is to talk it over with him. Maybe I’ll try again in a few minutes.

I am also thinking about taking 7 Italians to Cambridge as part of the International project I am doing with sixth formers. I haven’t been able to go on any of these trips myself, but I am willing to give one of my days in school to travel to the city where I once learned all an eleven year old would ever need to know about heraldry. From my dad. Unfortunately for both of us I took the interest much further. Not sure the Italian contingent would be up for much of that, but a bit of a punt and some pizza probably wouldn’t harm – Pizza Express in Cambridge is a bit posh actually.

I would have hosted one of the visitors, but I am hoping to go on a Christian teachers conference in Nottingham that weekend.

So there’s a lot happening. School has been generally very good this week (apart from year 10s who decided real maths and taxes inevitably lead to boredom) and hilarious at times. In the lessons on costing up decorating and wall areas the younger ones are making great progress. The year 8s thinking about careers, take home pay and monthly outgoings have been noticeably Learning – you can almost hear it when they realise how much more money there is left at the end of the month for doctors and chefs. Not to mention which type of house you could live in realistically. This from a class who aspire to be sales assistants. Just wait until the lessons on which car you can afford! (Some of the girls now want to marry doctors…)

In my form there is a new girl this week. She has a name that rhymes with Kevin and is rather other-worldly. Her middle name is Leigh. A real change from the man-bag boy who left.

One of my other little rascals actually got lost on the way to school today. He was trying to find someone. He had to follow a sixth former he recognised (I think he didn’t want to ask – he did realise that he could just follow…) – he’s a great kid who named one of the plants in the room after himself. His name rhymes with Coward. Suffice to say, I forgot to bring the plant home over Christmas and killed it by mistake.

First rule of teaching – know when NOT to care…

So maybe there doesn’t need to be a protocol on thumb-wiping. Suits me.

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