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The Beak: Inklings

The Beak is back! The Beak is a Moluccan Cockatoo, brought into a small primary school in Wandsworth. He doesn't like children very much and is quite cynical about education having taught himself everything he knows. This time he is in Year 5...


There's a new one today. Joined Miss Violet's Year 5 this morning and is currently in assembly being made to wear a Star Badge. Head like a cotton bud and kind of barrel shaped in a too-tight brand new red jumper. Also wearing the wrong shoes but I expect that faux pas will be suitably impressed on his Hummer driving mother by the Other Mothers at home time.

It’s the calm before the storm and Miss Violet is at her desk chewing aggressively on the end of a bic. Now I've eaten enough biros in my time to know that ink poisoning is likely to make one nervy and incontinent. The suspense of waiting for the children to come stampeding back upstairs is almost too much; she's splintering the plastic and there's the usual red ink spot blossoming on her downy chin. She's trying to catch up on the enormous pile of English Literature marking, drawing little smiley faces and writing generic comments like 'Well Done!’ or ‘Good Effort!' when really she wants to lock herself in the stationary cupboard, preferably with Mr. Robert the PE teacher.

There's the bell and the advancing thud of Clarkes shoes on the stairs up to our classroom, getting closer and louder. Miss Violet calmly puts down her mangled biro equidistant to the other pens she never uses- the blue, the green, the black- and presses her wrinkled forehead back into her hairline so she can see properly. She’s attempting to use the Smart Board now but something about the calibration means she’s scribbling all over the register she has forgotten to forward on. (They'll not be happy about that in the office.)

Come closer if you dare!

New Boy ‘Gulliver’ (obviously, this is Wandsworth) is edging (bravely?) towards my cage. He's got a look about him- you know, afraid of living things, nervously glancing at my claws and feathers. Curious AND stupid, so lets see what he does next. I fix him with my beadiest eye and repeat 'crackers' sarcastically. I like to put on my Mr. Davis voice- it gives a note of slightly crazed authority. Why they didn't get a hamster I'll never know. Sending that smug T.A Mr Freddie (A.K.A The Fredster) out to get a class pet during Natural History week. Fancies himself as a regular David Attenborough and chooses a Moluccan Cockatoo. Well, genius, had you done your research you would have found us to be quite incompatible with children.

I like to put on my Mr. Davis voice- it gives a note of slightly crazed authority.

Little dear Scarlett

Poor old Gulliver. How is it possible to have even a chance with a head of hair like that? Luckily for him, that urchin Scarlett seems to have taken a shining to him and is instructing him on how to talk to a bird properly. I like Scarlett. She once gave me the last of her Mars bar. The Fredster had to clean my cage up properly after that, looking like he was going to faint. How he hates getting his fingernails dirty- Keeps them horribly long on one hand for guitar playing.

I heard Scarlett and Harriet got ‘married’ in the playground yesterday, but by second break they were pulling out each others hair. So today Gulliver finds a friend while Harriet is sulking over her spellings. Still, Hummer Mama will nip that one in the bud once she hears the vocabulary her little darling has come home with. One thing I know from personal experience- that Scarlett is truly an excellent teacher.

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Tags: The Beak, Protocol Education, Animals, Education, Learning, Star, Assembly, English, Year 5, Wandsworth

Category: Australian Teachers

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