With the end of the school year upon us I wanted to look at things from a different perspective, the most important but too often forgotten…

I am a boy in a school in the city. I walk to school, like nearly all of my friends and nearly everyone else who goes to my school. In our school we go straight to an outside door which goes into our classroom. We may temporarily leave the classroom if we have a packed lunch and need to put it on the trolley in the corridor, which then is taken to the dinner hall. But we will then settle at our seats at our tables and begin our Morning Challenge. This is usually written on the board, although sometimes we forget and ask Miss, who then tells us very firmly that the instructions are on the board. I think that when you are still a bit tired and used to being told when and when not to look or copy from the board it is hard to just see what is in front of you sometimes. The Morning Challenge is always a list of maths problems, English problems or creative writing, or handwriting, which involves copying from a sheet of letters. When the morning challenge finishes we are asked to stop immediately which is sometimes difficult when you are in the middle of an idea. We then have to raise our hands and be silent. This is often difficult to remember. I find Monday mornings hard as I have lots to tell my friends. I might have had an amazing weekend or they might have a new iPad but it might be nearly four hours before we get to speak properly. So sometimes some of us (usually the boys) don’t respond quick enough and may talk back to Miss and she will then make us stay in at play time. This makes the morning feel long.

By lunchtime we have done three or nearly four hours of maths and English. Sometimes we won’t have a break for PE or classroom assembly because Miss just wants us to do more work. It doesn’t always seem to be because we’ve done anything wrong. Sometimes Miss looks like she or another teacher has done something wrong, because they look more stressed out, like I sometimes get in PE or during football at lunchtime. When I get like it I sit in the Safe Place in the classroom. I sometimes want to ask Miss if she wants to sit there but I’m afraid she’ll say that it isn’t something I’ve been asked to do, so I decide not to.

A question we get asked a lot is: ‘Did I ask you to do that?’ and it is usually when you open your book, get your pens out or start glueing in your worksheet, all before you have been asked to. This means you always need to be on your toes because sometimes Miss will be very surprised and disappointed when you don’t do something that is obvious, without being asked first. It is confusing sometimes.

Miss works very hard to make sure we all listen to every word she says. I wish she knew that in our class we love to help each other, so she doesn’t need to work so hard. Most of us get it and then we can help the others who don’t get it.

Lunchtimes are great although it sometimes gets a bit much and I get too excited and get into trouble in the dinner queue or on the playground. It is hard because I have to wait for so long in the classroom and just want to see my friends or play football with them. I usually let any arguments go and let my friend have his own way but sometimes a teacher will tell me to stand up for myself. The next time I try to argue back but this makes us both angry and we fight, which gets us into a lot of trouble. I might then spend some or all of the afternoon’s lessons in isolation with Sir. Sir is really nice and isn’t as bothered as Miss about which tools I use and if my date is underlined. I sometimes try to distract Sir by talking about other things but he eventually makes me do my work.

Afternoons are tough because everyone gets tired. We used to have afternoon play outside but some of us are too old for that now. After running round at lunchtime I always feel hot and sweaty and find sitting in our hot classroom hard. Most of us forget to go to the toilet at lunchtime or don’t want to miss out on food in the dinner hall or being picked to play football or just missing out on playing. I might feel tired or unable to keep still and this makes Miss really unhappy and she sometimes stops the lesson to tell us how disappointed she is with us. She may even say that another class are better than us, even those who are much younger! This makes me really upset and cross with myself but sometimes the harder I try the worse it gets and I might get so hot and angry that I’ll shout something out and get sent out or to another class.

By the end of the day I am able to just try and not get in trouble before home time. After school clubs are great fun with Miss or Sir as they are more relaxed and want you to have fun, they seem to make things simpler and let us do things ourselves much more. The day ends with a few moments with my friends or having a chat with Miss or Sir before I get picked up.
Sometimes the days go better and sometimes they are worse. I now have to do my reading for tonight as it will be checked tomorrow and there is some homework for the end of term I should be doing.
A boy in a school.

Published by Tom Barry

Story Artist, Writer and Teller. Part of Story Stitchers Based at The Old School in Warrington, Cheshire

One thought on “Sometimes…

  1. Brilliant !, the focus shouldn’t be on grades at such young ages, hope you and the family are doing well 🙂

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