“Hello Miss, sorry to bother you at lunchtime, only Lado came to see me after he left your lesson.”
“Yes?” Who are you? Where did Lado go after he stormed out of the classroom? “Sorry, you are…?”
“I’m Mrs Ali, from Student Support. Lado came to me when you sent him out of the classroom, he was very upset. He says he doesn’t know why you told him off. He says he wasn’t doing anything.” This much is true, in part. He wasn’t doing any work. “He wants to know why you told him off. Lado, come here, the teacher is going to explain herself.” Explain myself?????!!!!!
“Lado, I told you off because you were refusing to do any work. You also hit another pupil with a ruler and tore up someone else’s book. You then swore at me and stormed out of the classroom. I didn’t send you out.” Stop smirking, yes, you know exactly why you were told off, don’t you?
“Is that true, Lado? You told me you didn’t know why you were being told off. Did you swear at the teacher?” Now you’ve changed tack, and are standing there with your mouth open in feigned surprise. Do you really think this will work?
“Whaaaat? Nah, nah, I didn’t. I didn’t do nuffink to her. She just picked on me.” ‘Didn’t do nothing’? That’s certainly true – you did and said a great deal…! “I didn’t do it. I swear.” Hmmm….
“He said he didn’t do it. Are you sure he did?” What? I think I must have misheard you – surely you didn’t just ask that!
“Yes, I’m quite sure Lado hit someone and swore at me. I don’t consider that acceptable behaviour so I told him off. I have also filled out a lunchtime detention slip for this.” Don’t pull faces at me Lado, if you didn’t misbehave you wouldn’t face sanctions.
“Whaaaat? That’s not fair! Mrs Ali, tell her that’s not f*****g fair!” Swearing again? This is hardly going to do you any favours is it? No doubt Mrs Ali will have something to say about that.
“Lado, wait please, I’m trying to sort this out.” ‘Sort this out’? That doesn’t sound quite as promising as I’d hoped. Surely you mean you’re going to remind him of his responsibilities? “You see, Miss, Lado told me he found your lesson difficult.”
“Difficult? If Lado had trouble understanding anything he only had to ask and I’d have helped him.” I may be cynical, but this sounds like an excuse – I don’t believe he found the lesson difficult. The cover work was to design a poster, for goodness sake!
“No Miss, I mean Lado found it difficult to be in your lesson. You see Miss, Lado has a problem. He finds it difficult to be good if the teachers are strict with him.” Utterly lost for words… “Lado needs people to work with him to help him make good choices.” Still lost for words…
“Yeah. Yeah. See if you’re dissin’ me I don’t listen and then you tell me off and give me a detention and then I don’t give a s**t what you say coz you’re all rubbish. I need you to tell me what I’m doing right, see, then I won’t get rude and you won’t tell me off. But I’m not missing cricket and Faizal said I was a c**k so I hit him and now I’ve got sent out and you’re dissin’ me and I didn’t do nuffink like what the others did and you don’t tell them off.” Some of that made sense. But only some.
“Shhh, Lado, that isn’t helping.” True, very true. But I’m not sure you are either. “Lado doesn’t mean to cause problems. He has issues with authority and needs to be encouraged to make the right choices. We help him by giving him rewards. He’s allowed to play cricket at lunchtime, well practice with the Head of Year 9, this helps him see that good choices give him rewards.” I have a sneaking suspicion of where this is heading. “So it won’t really be helpful if he loses his lunchtime tomorrow, will it Lado?” You’re overruling my detention, aren’t you? Oh, how helpful!
“No Miss. I don’t wanna lose me lunchtime. I get in trouble if I lose me lunchtime.” Stop smiling, I thought you were supposed to be upset and contrite?
“Right, so you’re saying that Lado can’t do a lunchtime detention because he’s allowed to practice cricket? In which case, what sanctions should be applied for his behaviour this morning?” Why do I have a bad feeling about this?
“In Student Support we try to work with the teachers to help the students. We don’t like to exclude them as then they don’t learn then. But as Lado hit someone we need to make sure he knows it was wrong.” You think this 15 year-old doesn’t already know that hitting someone is wrong? Really? “If you write down what you want me to speak to Lado about, I’ll make sure he stays in with me tomorrow breaktime.” ‘Write down’? ‘Write down’???? How much detail do you require? He swore at me and hit someone – he even admitted this!
“Right, I’ll hand the details into reception at the end of the day. Lado has another lesson with me this afternoon…” You’re going to object to something, aren’t you? Now if I can only be allowed to finish my sentence…
“Ah, Miss, Lado has said that he can’t be in your lesson this afternoon in case he can’t cope again. So he’s going to spend the afternoon in Student Support.” I should have guessed.
“Ok, do you want me to give you a copy of the work that has been set?” Remember, this is lesson time, and he really should be taking part and completing the set work.
“No, no, we’ve got a program of things we do to help support students that are out of class. Lado will be working on that.” Really? Somehow I knew you would.
“Nah Miss, I ain’t doing that stupid program. I done that last week and it was s**t. I ain’t doin’ nuffin’ for divs.” Nice try, but I don’t think you’ll be getting him to do your Student Support program. Good luck!
“Now Lado, don’t be so negative! You did well last week. How about we finish the page you were on last week and then you can choose what to do? Come on, come with me now. Miss is sorry she upset you, but she doesn’t know you and doesn’t know how to help you.” I can’t believe I’m really hearing this. “She’ll know not to make you angry next time.” I’m rather hoping there won’t be a next time.
“I ain’t havin’ her again. I don’t want to see her again.” The feeling’s mutual.
“Oh sorry Miss! He doesn’t mean it.” I think you’ll find he probably does. “We just try to be one happy family here!”
Two and a half hours.
Two and a half hours until home time.
And then I can mix with the sensible world again.