The Blackboard Jungle

days spent beating back the seeds of doubt

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

As I sit, leafing through local newspapers, looking for examples of ridiculously over the top bias to present to a seminar of training teachers tomorrow, I hear a voice pipe up behind me: "hello miss!"
Adrian, a generally good humouredly naughty tearaway from school is hitting the store's Easy Internet screens, looking for gaming cheats. I say hi, and turn back to my skimming.
"Miss, are you our teacher, now?"
Beg pardon?
"We're not at school, so are you our teacher?"
I'm a little confused by the question, frankly.
"If we start doing something bad, if we start swearing, will you tell us off?"

I begin to wonder if this is something like a DJ doing requests. Is he asking me to reprimand him? For what?

I inform Adrian that once he's no longer in school uniform, he's a private citizen, as am I, and as such, I have little compunction to tell him off for any reason.

A beat.

If, however, he were to bring the name of my school, or himself into disrepute by committing any disreputable, illegal or embarrassing act, then - as a private individual - I would be quite prepared to tell him off.

But he'd never do anything so disreputable as to start swearing in public, would he...?

"Of course not, miss."

Truce achieved.