I’ve not really done any creative writing on this blog for about three weeks and I thought it was about time to change that!
I was working my way up to being a fully qualified teacher – after my gap year I’d applied for a four year primary education course at uni, with one placement year in a school.
It’s not like I was failing – I was halfway through working in my placement year, I’d done two of my three years of studying and I was good. I’m going to be a good teacher. At the moment I work as a teaching assistant with a class of Year 2’s (kids aged 5 and 6). I have a little group of advanced readers and we have a little reading group on a Wednesday afternoon and I have another group of kids that aren’t very good at math and it’s really fun, I really love being a TA.
I’d been warned about parents evening and told that I’d hate it – that it was tedious and boring talking to all the parents and saying the same thing but I was somewhat excited; to see a tiny glimpse of what these kid’s home lives are like, to see if they look like their mums or dads and if they have brothers or sisters.
My job mostly consisted of greeting the parents, escorting them to the teacher and contributing when it was the parents of one of my reader’s or maths students. Most of the teacher’s were right if I’m honest, it was a pretty boring night.
The last appointment was a bit unusual though. I was asked to sit outside and not listen in on this appointment. Jack, one of the littler, younger kids, had punched one of the other kids and given him a black eye and Sally (the teacher I assisted) wanted to check there was nothing more going on.
“Jack’s parents?” I called. A young woman with light brown hair and dull green eyes stood, smiling slightly at me and walking past me into the classroom. I glanced back at the young man she’d been sat with. He ran his hand through his dark hair (with a blonde streak at the front) and smiled reluctantly at me.
“I’m going in afterwards. She doesn’t want me in there.” He shrugged. I nodded, closing the door and sitting opposite him in the kid’s cloakroom.
I sighed. “Jack’s a good kid, that’s why we’re kinda concerned about the whole punching incident.” I tried to make conversation with the surprisingly-young looking dad.
He nodded, running his hand through his hair again. “Anna tried to blame me but she doesn’t let me see him enough to have any kind of real influence on him. When he stays at mine we watch cartoons and play football.” He shrugged.
“Were you quite young when you had him?”
Jack’s dad nodded. “We were sixteen. We’ve tried to be as good as we can for him but I’m not a very good dad.”
“That’s not true.”
“How do you know?”
“Jack’s in my advanced reading class and I gave them a little creative writing task last week and he wrote about his amazing superhero dad.”
He just smiled like it was the best news he’d ever heard. “What’s your name?”
“I’ll ask him about it, I’ll tell him how nice you were about him.”
“He knows me as Miss Turner.”
“Oh of course, he’s talked about you before – he loves you.”
I blushed. “Really?”
He nodded. “Yeah loads – you’re the best part of his day, he loves reading to you.”
Silence fell and I found myself taking a liking to the young good looking guy who must have been around the same age as me. It’s the paternal thing, I can’t help it.
“You’re still at uni aren’t you Miss Turner? You’re doing your placement year as a TA?” He guessed. I nodded. “You look too young to be qualified. I don’t suppose you’d be looking for any extra work?”
“Anna’s giving me a whole week to look after Jack but my band has some really important gigs and I don’t want to let anyone down – could you mind him? I’ve got it all planned out – Wednesday and Thursday night he could spend at home and then Friday night he wants to come to the concert and I have two tickets I just need someone to watch him and if I ask Anna she’ll just take him off me for good.” He rambled. “Please, I’ll pay you. I don’t have much but-“
“Hey, it’s okay, I’ll do it as a favour. Consider the free concert tickets payment.” I shrugged.
He smiled bigger than I could have imagined. He pulled his wallet out of his pocket, grabbing a card and a pen from inside his jacket, scrawling on the card and handing it to me.
It was his band’s card – it had a logo and management details, he’d written his name, ‘Jack’s dad’ and an arrow to a number. I looked back up at him with a smile.
“I’ll call you when I get home, Calum.”
That’s where you’ll find me:
My GoFundMe Page for my trip to Ecuador: http://gofundme.com/iwz21w