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Friday, February 7, 2014

How being a Primary School Teacher can Destroy your Self-Esteem!


I was on playground duty the other day and a rather candid Grade One-er approached me with her head cocked to one side staring at me from under her long lashes. I smiled at her indulgently. Those little ones are so cute.

“Are you old?” she enquired with all the delicacy of someone slamming a blackboard ruler into my face.

“Apparently,” I replied after a few seconds stunned silence.

There was not much more to say.

I recall a couple of years ago some older girls strolled up to me in the playground. “Excuse us for asking Mrs Poinker… but are you expecting?”

I burnt that dress as soon as I got home… burnt it dead.

“What are these?” asked a curious eight year old one day, as he pressed the bulging veins on my wizened, thin-skinned hands with intense interest. “My Grandma’s got them too!”

Another time a young boy vigilantly ogled me with a wary look on his face the whole time as I read the class a story using my most dramatically expressive voice and facial expression. I thought he was interested in my excellent rendition of Roald Dahl’s “The Twits”.

“You look like Cap’n Jack Sparrow,” he lisped in horrified fascination when I finished the chapter and put the book down.

I was mortified last year when one of my boys greeted me in the morning with his frank, albeit blunt comment, “Are you tired Mrs Poinker? You have really big bags under your eyes! You need to go to bed earlier.”

Then I remembered I used to say the same thing to him when he arrived at school after staying up all night watching the State of Origin with his dad.

I used to be miffed when the kids accidentally called me “Grandma”. Now it doesn’t worry me anywhere near as much as when they accidentally call me “Grandad”.

On another happier note, please note the excellent Avatar my darling husband Scotto, created for me to replace the out of date profile picture I’ve clung to for the last twelve months.

There doesn’t appear to be a jowl, wrinkle or grey hair in sight! I only look about twenty-five! At least someone still thinks I look okay. Those overly forth-right kids know nothing!