Don't get me wrong we've all been there, I can remember a time when a school asked me to dress like a superhero and go around the playground in front of all of the parents literally in full character. What a fool I made of myself, but I would have done anything for a job at the time - and I got one so kudos to all student teachers out there.
One particular aspect that is great about student teachers is that when you give them a little responsibility they take that to the Nth degree (and to be honest they should).
Well it was on a year 1 trip (5/6 year olds) that a particular student, Mr. P, was given the responsibility of acting as a one to one for a particularly challenging pupil.
We all saw the the bounce in his step, the way he seemed six inches taller (already 6'2 you can imagine how tall he looked to my mere 5'9). His chest was puffed out with pride and you could literally see the think bubble by the side of his head "This is it, don't f*** this up and your in!"
Pep talk done Mr. P made sure he was glued to this child's (J) side throughout the whole morning - he engaged with the activities and supported J when he found things difficult, and best of all calmed him down when he began to lose his temper.
We all sat down for lunch on a grassy knoll after a busy morning of nature walking and pond dipping.
Now before we go any further it is important to say that on this school trip we went to a place that was close to the beach. So the grassy part of the trip was obviously on a field which was about 100 feet above sea level. As you can imagine it was quite a way down to the beach so it was quite a walk down a lot of stairs to the beach. However there was another way down, at the edge of the grass there was a sheer drop to the beach which all children were warned NOT TO GO NEAR!
Well halfway through lunch Mr. P was tucking into his sandwich and lost concentration for about five seconds and then it happened...
J took off at full sprint towards the high ridge that was a sheer drop to the beach.
The teacher shouted something indistinguishable - nobody knew what she said but it was full of panic and fear!
In slow motion Mr. P rose and stood tall "If you don't f*** this up your in!" then took off after J like an express train.
He gained and gained on J who thought it was a hoot getting chased by 6'2 muscle bound, adrenaline filled panicking student teacher. If only J had seen the intent look of determination in Mr. P's eyes.
J tried to duck and dive but it was too late. Mr. P was already airborne! POW!!!! I think this sought of tackle in america is called a 'sack.' One of those hits that makes the crowd take a sharp intake of breath!
The teacher ran over thinking her pupil had been basically snapped in half!
"J, J are you alright?" She shrieked.
Mr. P rolled away and stood up victorious, J hardly able to get his breath whispered, but he teacher couldn't hear so she put her ear close to his mouth.
"What did you say?" she asked shakily.
"C-c-can we do that again?"
I am pleased to say that J never misbehaved on a school trip again and Mr. P is now a very successful teacher.
Time for the chorus: