I'm having a wonderful time with my class this year. They are SUCH fun and a great bunch of kids.
Nevertheless, they are still scamps.
This week, I've had:
Lost items, most serious of which was a toy which a boy was very upset to have lost. I sent him round the whole school with a description of the missing item and desperate appeals to all and sundry to help search for it.. Then, suddenly, another boy in our class put his hand up and said he had it. He described how he had 'found' it when it had dropped out of the schoolbag.
"Oh, that's fine," I said, relieved it had been found. "Where is it now?"
Oh dear. Hopefully it will be back in school, with its rightful owner, tomorrow.
Other lost items were clothes, ownership of which was furiously disputed. No one wanted to claim the surplus blazers, sweaters, shirts or shoes. Some boys vehemently denied that items belonged to them - even when the evidence of their own name tape shouted at their eyes. There was much doubtful headshaking as the clothing was forced on the rightful owners, as if to say: There is some sort of conspiracy here. I KNOW I didn't lose this blazer. It is a complete mystery how it ended up lying in the playground. I really am not at all sure it belongs to me.
The games have been a headache as well, with the potential for serious injury. It's all great fun - but comes under the 'Only Try This At Home' rule. Strangely enough, parents don't allow boys to climb out of windows and then run round to the door, timing themselves to see how quickly they can do it. Or play games of 'chipping': hold a football between your feet and let the others chip it away from you. Funny how ankles and shins get kicked instead.
The most minor of infringements, in my book, is the 'top collar undone and shirt untucked' challenge. Yet it's the first to be confronted. Because underlying this challenge is a much bolder statement: 'Let's see who is really in charge here - me, or my teacher?'
Let those tails and ties go unnoticed, and it's the long slippery slope to anarchy. Fortunately, all it needs from me is a raised eyebrow or a marked look, and small hands start tucking in shirts and pulling up socks.
I even have them convinced I know their innermost thoughts.