The Child is Father of the Man

As far as journeys to work go, I’m luckier than most. For a start, I live around fifteen minutes walk away from the school in which I teach. Also, that walk happens to be across a picturesque Cathedral city, taking in a handsome market square, all overlooked by one of the tallest spires in England. […]

A Difficult Conversation

Outside a headteacher’s office, in a South London Academy.  Karen: Oh, hello Geoff. Angela will be with you in five minutes.  Geoff: I came as quickly as I could. Things started kicking off at the end of the lesson again with Jamelia Franks. That bloody child! Karen: Oh. Jamelia. I see. Pause Could I get you […]

The Unvanishing Boy

It was on an otherwise unremarkable Tuesday morning, that he realised he had gone through the entire previous day without talking to a single person.    Sure, he was the quiet type: he didn’t really have what you would call ‘mates’, and was generally happy keeping himself to himself. But he accepted that most days […]

In Praise of Tiny Kindnesses

He is a kid who I’ve barely noticed before. I’ve been teaching the class for just a few weeks and, as is always the case, certain heads are starting to raise themselves above the parapet: the defaulters, the jokers, the forgetful, and the attention-seeking. But this lad has been quietly going about his own business. […]

Sonnet: Memory

“What was the name of that lost flower or face?” I ask, as leaves drop from me like missed days. Your interest wanes, thin patience steals its place; And vestiges of Summer are erased. I stumble through an anecdote to stall On some recumbent detail, whilst you sigh: “You told me yesterday, I do recall…” […]

The Story of the Vanishing Teacher

Wraiths exist in every school.  They stand on the periphery of a morning assembly. They shuffle across the car-park: haunted, thin shadows of what once was. Both familiar and strange, they are seen but barely remembered. Serving the end of their days, they slowly become more transparent until no more than an empty space exists […]

A Poem

Something I wrote down a while ago after hearing a sad story…   Someone Cried at Work Today   Someone cried at work today. She lost her way: Her face folding in; Her aching dry sobs And trembling chin Stripping away, The years, the days As bark from a tree – The person we all […]