Saturday, July 02, 2011

Schools out for summer!

As well as party food and endless games of Twister, the end of term generally means the annual school report. When I was a kid I always viewed this yearly milestone with a certain amount of fear - was this the year that the teachers would be really mean and tell the unadulterated truth about my general perfidy and fecklessness?

You've got to remember that my school days took place way back in the dark ages of the 1980's, when whacking a badly-behaved backside with a wooden ruler seemed a perfectly reasonable response from the teaching profession and rarely resulted in legal action being taken out by outraged parents. Teachers also didn't have to to focus on the more positive aspects of their students' characters, as I believe they are compelled to do in these more enlightened times, so if a child spent the school year behaving like a little sh*t you could be reasonably sure that their parents would be left under no illusions about their offspring's shortcomings come the end of term.

Fortunately my school reports were mostly positive (until my raging hormones transformed me into a teenage terrorist, anyway), apart from one year when I recall that some foolish teacher wrote: 'Katherine needs to learn that charm alone won't get her very far in life and she must learn to apply herself more fully to her schoolwork if she is to succeed.' Ha! All I can say is that my reasonably successful 15-year career in the heady world of Public Relations blows a very noisy raspberry at that gem of teacherly wisdom.

Both Firstborn and the Small(er) One received glowing reports this year, which obviously made my maternal bosom swell with pride (if only the effects were longer lasting). It did make me a bit cross though, to see my children described as 'beautifully behaved', 'well mannered', 'adorable' and 'helpful' - frankly, if they can behave like saints-in-training at school then why do they persist in acting like revolting savages at home?

Perhaps there is a jealously guarded secret known only to the teaching community on how to effectively control children. A stun gun, perhaps? Mind control? Hypnotism? NLP? Whatever it is, it's extremely effective: every year during term time Firstborn and the Small(er) One can both be reduced into a quivering state of utter despair if I as much as hint that I may be forced to inform their teacher about their appalling behaviour/ refusal to do their homework/ general rudeness/ ingratitude/ failure to tidy their bedrooms... unless they mend their ways immediately.

Where am I going wrong?


Anonymous said...

You need to do your teacher training and learn the secret!

Suse said...

Yeah my kids are the same. Good at school and terrors at home. But think of how much worse it would be the other way round!