Pinky's Book Link

Monday, July 8, 2013

Teacher on Duty!

First day back at school today and as soon as I arrived, after pushing my way through the glass staff room doors, I scuttled urgently to the noticeboard to inspect the new term’s lunch time roster.

 I don’t think the general public fully appreciate just how critical these rosters are in the well-being of a teacher’s mental health and how they can make or break our tenuous sanity.

What you don’t want is to be rostered on at first break because there is nothing a teacher desires more at ten-thirty in the morning than a hot cup of strong tea permeated with galvanising caffeine and sugar. 

If you happen to be luckless enough to be allocated duty at first break you must somehow agonise through withdrawal symptoms until one o’clock by which time the shakes set in and you begin to hallucinate and flinch fearfully like a beaten dog when small children call out, “Mrs P? Mrs P? Mrs P?”

Peering closely at the roster on the board I was incredulous and delighted to notice I had been awarded the Holy Grail of duties on a Wednesday; the heart’s desire of every teacher on staff…
library duty

Normally the reserve of the heavily pregnant or the teachers so close to retirement they have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana skin, I had somehow procured the favour of our Principal and been allocated the crème de la crème of duties. 

How so? I thought. I’m not preg… oh I see… they think I’m old.

Library duty entails gently padding around the shelves, like a creepy monk who’s taken a vow of silence; whilst noiseless, well-behaved little nerds play chess and scrabble or sit on the carpet leafing mutely through picture books. 

No one is allowed to speak loudly, there is no running or unexpected movement permitted, the air conditioning is blowing a cool draft and it’s widely accepted as the Shangri-la of the entire school grounds.
Far preferable to the duties I had last term on the dreaded sport's oval where I spent my half hour in the burning sun, vigilantly dodging soccer balls powerfully booted with the dexterity of David Beckham and coming from at least five different and unanticipated directions. 

More than once did I experience an alarming incident where a fully inflated and vigorously propelled ball ricocheted off my head leaving me staggering and dazed and with my eyes spinning in their sockets like Wile. E. Coyote in the Roadrunner cartoons.
The truth is… it would almost be worth getting pregnant just to be put on library duty.