I am not going to pour slush all over you with a post about teachers being modern day superheroes (largely because I did that last week anyway). No. I am talking about the day to day supreme talents that teachers develop. Those who teach, you should recognise some of these. Those who are about to… it shall come with time.
Not to be confused with Bin Laden, Being Laden refers to your ability to carry stupendous amounts of stuff without dropping or spilling it. On a regular morning, this can mean a planning file, 120 a3 photocopies, my flatcap, a croissant and a coffee. At the end of a particularly strong day, this can mean 90 exercise books, a backpack, 5 empty coffee cups and the car keys.
Closely linked to Being Laden, we have very resistant hands. I can endure multiple scalds to the knuckles from tipping my coffee everywhere, and I can talk myself through the pain like a shamen.
Working in partnership with my Steroid Eyebrows, The Eyes is a most powerful skill. During an assembly, which in my place means me on my own telling 240 children to put crisp packets in bins for 20 mins, I can single out any given child with a slow head twist, a quick widening of the eyes and a raising of the eyebrows. They know. You can almost hear the voice in their heads going ‘Ohhhh god he’s locked on.’
I am aware this is more specific to me, but by Jove, are those eyebrows of mine a useful tool. Truth told, I literally can hold a beer mat in my frown line, like a vice – in the image above, whilst my mate has cheated, my grip is all face muscle. On the day to day, it means I can convey the whole spectrum of emotion with my caterpillars. This routinely leads to me being called Mr Bean.
An odd one, that comes with time. I have only just attained this skill. In times of heightened crisis, you can deploy Dispassionate Narration to prevent your own impulsive response. For example, when being kicked in the shin, you can say “You are hurting me by kicking me in the shin. Please stop I do not like being kicked in the shin.” This leads often to de-escalation.
Invisible Watch, Invisible Clock
When time is getting on and the sprogs are being less than ideal, and once my usual whole school mechanisms have failed, I resort to my invisible wrist watch. I don’t wear watches because my wrists are too bony. I just look at my wrist and have the class start going “Shushhhhhh, Sir’s waiting.” If needs be, I then look up at the wall where I had a clock once in September until it broke. The phantom clock serves its purpose still. If I crane around to the invisible wall clock, they know the proverbial is about to hit the fan.
The Weasley Tent of Rubbers
The kids start work snd immediately make errors. They begin searching for rubbers. They skulk around the murky corners, near the bin and in the pencil pot. Then they come to me, and like a sorcerer, I can provide them limitlessly from all the pockets of my being.