Those were the days Part 5


Work Experience Visits

During the Summer term all the Year 10 students spent two weeks out of school  on a variety of work placements. There was an expectation that staff went to see how the students were getting on. Teacher visits were organised using a booking sheet by the staff room that you could sign up your name next to a student. It was pretty flexible and there were a few perks, one of which was the fact that you got out of school and away from being called for “cover” if you went visiting.

Some students really blossomed in the working environment and it was just a nice to see how they were getting on. 

One mentor of mine, a Tea-club stalwart and fellow member of the Science department Richard Michaels (RM) shared the same GCSE science classes in year 10 and 11. This meant that during work experience in June we had a lot of “free” periods that coincided.

RM suggested that we did a batch of work experience visits together along the High Street, as we had similar “free” periods in a run from mid-morning till the end of school. 

So the next day, after prearranging via a few phone calls, we visited a group of students who were working from Woolworths to the solicitors’ office all the way up the High Street. It was good to see the kids doing well and after completing the last visit RM suggested we debriefed in The Swan.

At the pub we had a good go at writing up the visit reports, as it was still lunch time at school and we were free last period. Here RM assumed the old git, Inspector Morse role and I (as Sergeant Lewis) was the younger partner, who got stitched up with the driving and getting the rounds bought.

As I brought the drinks back RM leaned back in his chair and puffed out a plume of smoke and said “This is the life! Year 11 are down the road, no classes to teach, no registration neither!”

REGISTRATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My jaw dropped. I could see RM grinning smugly. He had no tutor group, whereas I had a Year 9 form to register. The school had a 5 minute afternoon registration period where you checked everyone was present, distributed notes and notices to your tutor group and then sent them on to their afternoon lessons.  

He knew the score and I had been mugged off. I checked the clock……….. Too late! I had no time to get back in time to do it. Panic set in, I had visions of my form group drifting in to the lab after getting bored of waiting for me and causing mayhem. Knowing them it could get messy.

I jumped up and got on the payphone and quickly punched in the numbers.

Rings for ages, no answer. Kids will be waiting now. COME ON PICK UP!

Still rings. I have visions of my lab getting trashed.

Receptionist finally answers

“Chris, it’s Sam. I need help!”

“You’re down the pub aren’t you?”

“No I am not! I need a really quick favour”

At this point someone in the pub wins on the fruit machine and it starts paying out loudly. RM is laughing his socks off.

“You ARE down the pub!”

“YES I AM DOWN THE PUB! Just please get someone to register my form. PLEASE!”

RM is in absolute stitches.

“I will see what I can do. Make sure RM behaves himself!”

I could have swung for him, sitting there with his fag, pint and big grin.

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