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‘Sir’ is a state school English teacher in a big city in the UK. Prior to this he worked with children with a variety of Special Educational Needs, particularly those with behavioural and social problems. His teaching has been rated as ´Outstanding´ by Ofsted which means he once did a great job for 50 minutes. Save for a light dusting of fiction in order to protect the innocent (and indeed the guilty) anything recounted here is absolutely true. Otherwise, there will be some exciting political debate where everything Sir thinks is also absolutely true. Twitter: @seekingsir

17 June 2010


A few weeks after a girl had unintentionally torpedoed my lesson by declaring “I want to have your babies” (à la Natasha Bedingfield) and I am on the final day of my teaching placement. At lunch time, the class’s regular teacher, Mr. Murray, calls me into his room telling me that ‘the girls from your year 8 class have a surprise for you’. I am exhausted, but content. I have done it: I have made it to the last day of my teacher training. I have only to avoid disaster for one more afternoon and I shall sail into the world of work on a wave of self-contentment. I drag myself from the groove in the staff room sofa and follow Mr. Murray to his room. My expectations of what await me are not high: perhaps the traditional hand-made card or even, at a stretch, a box of chocolates or some such small endowment to wish me on my merry way.

As I enter the room, however, I quickly see that something more exciting may be afoot. Five or six girls from my Year 8 class are lined up in front of a desk. Ominously, the girl who was the Natasha Bedingfield fan is amongst them. They beam at me. What could they be concealing, I wonder? There are a few seconds of suspense in which they excitedly tell me that they have ‘made something’ for me.

They part in rehearsed unison to reveal a good-sized cake. ‘Brilliant’, I think, ‘I love cake!’ It’s covered in decorations too. I move closer to get a better look. Carefully placed around the edge of the cake are pink marzipan lumps… I move closer still… They look to be a little foetal-shaped, which is odd. As I get close enough, I realise that they are indeed foetal-shaped. In fact, the cake is decorated with a total of eight pink marzipan babies. Each of them has a pair of eyes made from tiny silver sugar balls – well most do, some have become cycloptic en route to the classroom – and all have had nappies carved into them with a cake-knife.

In is only then that I notice the middle of the cake where, written in light blue squeezy-icing, are the immortal words:


The girls are in hysterics. I look to their regular teacher in a state of disbelief. He adopts a faux matter-of-fact tone to inform me that: ‘…it must have taken them ages to make so I didn’t like to raise the obvious objections… You should see your face!’ he grins at me, evidently enjoying watching me squirm. I wonder whether I should phone the school that has foolishly offered me a job and explain that they should look for someone else as I am likely to be in jail for the foreseeable future.

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