It was 7am in the morning. I had barely got out of bed when the alarm reminded me of the pending meeting that was scheduled for 9am. To say that I was dreading another conflicting meeting would be an understatement. So I plucked up all the strength I could collect, clinched my firsts and pressed them on the mattress in a proclamatory attempt to convince myself it was all for the greater good.
8:25am. Sitting in the car, wondering if all parties had arrived was obviously pointless. I grabbed my scarf, dropped my files and half chewed pen in my leather shopper bag and opened the door to the chilly breeze of the morning. As the frosty wind warned me of the atmosphere to come, I carefully made a few unbalanced steps into the small entrance of the school. It was as I imagined it. Dreadful. Miserable and seemingly unorganised.
The secretary’s window opened and I could see the dozens of handprints left as a souvenir of a myriad visitors before me. Was I to leave my own touch? I don’t think so.
I announced my presence to the smile less secretary and sat down on a small bench. ‘Waiting for Godot’, I thought. Somehow, all waiting times have seemed to be an endless array of abysical time wasting. As I was about to indulge into a journey of the most mythical daydreaming of all times, the red door opened and a friendly figure, the Headteacher, stood before me accompanied by a warlock looking man dressed in a blue, dotted shirt that did not flatter him at all; the Deputy Head. His glasses seemed to fall off his face intermittently so as to confirm his unscrupulous and unorganised life. He did not say anything. The woman in the red bodycon dress that pretty much aesthetically matched the rusty red door, called my name out and invited me in to the school premises. ‘Beware of the silent rivers’, I heard my grandmother call out of her grave, and I smiled as I entered the Jabberwocky’s cave.
The dreaded meeting lasted as long it would take for me to write up a lesson plan. Having taught for nearly 20 years, obviously not a long time. The bodycon dressed Headteacher was not present which probably turned out it was for the best as the warlock’s unprofessional manner was orchestrated to the full. I was not expecting that.
Having sat in a small room full of two green chairs encircling a tiny circular table, I led a conversation on the topic of my client’s request. An IEP, or support plan, update. The warlock, also the SENCo of the school, seemed baffled and somewhat flabbergasted to my proposed information. I initially thought that was partly because of his unwillingness to accept my statings though little did I know of what was to come next.
He abruptly stood up, cornered the square desk that was facing us in the corner of the room and stood over the mouse pad directing the mouse with fast motions. He seemed to want to find a form though unsure as I was, I looked at the floor carefully inspecting the stained lime green carpet. His next question took me by surprise; ‘so how can I go about screening the pupil?’ and that was it. The Jabberwocky spoke! All that was uncertain to that point suddenly made sense. He was the personification of comic. A big, monstrous looking creature with glasses and a dotted shirt that masqueraded his lack of SEN knowledge.
How was I to camouflage the laugh desperately hanging from my lips? I didn’t know whether to sadly laugh or mockingly respond with an educational perspective. Instead, I sat there, looking at the nonsense speaking monster that was now patiently waiting for me to salvage him from the uncertainty of a dyslexia screening. I spoke. And he clicked the mouse on his desk.
The dreaded meeting was now over. At the click of the mouse, the IEP was naturally updated and the monster, the Jabberwocky, spoke. What a load of nonsense.