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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


I am teaching a Set 2 Year 8 class. They’re a genuinely lovely bunch. Well-behaved, responsive and they interact well with each other. This is the sort of class the phrase ‘a pleasure to teach’ was invented for. Unfortunately, however, they have completely forgotten what a simile is which is pretty crucial to the continuation of our lesson.

They have already learnt this so, rather than launch into a lengthy explanation, I decide to give them a prompt. Being the incredibly cool teacher that I am and thinking on the hoof, I do so with a pop culture reference to a Natasha Bedingfield song which was doing the rounds at the time.

I tell them that there is a very obvious simile in the song. ‘Can anyone remember the name of the song?’ I ask. The song I am thinking of is an innocent enough ditty called ‘What If?’ which includes the delightful pop simile: ‘All the worries on my list / Rush like lemmings off a cliff…’

Unbeknown to me, however, the charming Natasha had another song with a very different name out at the same time. I am alerted to this fact when a garrulous girl in the middle of the class answers my question by shouting out:

“Oh, Sir! ‘I Wanna Have Your Babies’!’

I look at her with a knowing eyebrow-arch. She is aware that something is awry but isn’t quite sure what. I wait for the penny to drop. It takes all of 5 seconds for the class to erupt. I sit down on my wheelie-chair and drop my head onto the desk in comedic despair.

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