Saturday 27 May 2017

Diary of a schoolteacher: I spy with my little eye... all sort of shenanigans

E Grade

I pop outside for a bit of sunshine when I spot the deputy principal getting into his car. After a minute he's still in the car and, consumed by curiosity, I go over and look in the passenger window. He looks up as I tap on it, so I get in.

He's tucking into an egg sandwich and drinking some kind of cold pea soup concoction that smells like damp socks as I squeeze into the cramped space of his newspaper-strewn Corsa. I note the binoculars around his neck. "I'm sure you're wondering what I'm doing here, Grade," he guffaws.

I tell him that I am. Swallowing bread as egg drops on to his lap unnoticed, he explains: "Well, this is where I keep an eye on things. All the action goes on here and I get to record it ... look!"

At that moment Kurt Moobs appears from inside, with a few nails clenched in his teeth and carrying a hammer. Looking furtively around but not noticing the DP and me in the little purple car, Kurt neatly drives a nail into the rear passenger tyre of a VW Golf. I glance at the DP and he whispers "Wait".

Kurt then stations himself behind his own car, only to emerge a few minutes later, making a big thing of pointing at the flat tyre as Ms Gossard exits the building and prepares to drive off.

Before you know it, the "gallant" Kurt has insisted on changing the tyre for a grateful Ms Gossard who doesn't want to get her nice new summer dress covered in dirt.

"Keeping a dossier on Mr Moobs," the DP whispers. "He criticised the 6th Years' class photo. Said it was too dark."

Soon afterwards we witness the union rep, an evil little Kerryman, striding purposefully towards the bushes that border our school and the supermarket next door.

He places an envelope on top of the bush and then darts back into the school. Not long afterwards a hand appears and takes the envelope. I turn to see the DP holding a digital camera that he taps and explains: "As the principal and I are still union members and get to all the union meetings, there's nothing he can do without us knowing. Now he's afraid that we're monitoring his emails so he's using a special courier."

He scrapes egg off his trousers and licks his fingers and mutters darkly: "We'll see."

Before long he has snapped three 5th years smoking at the side entrance. They wait till next period and then go back inside. I ask him why he's spying on people like this instead of confronting them.

He smiles: "I've applied for the principalship at Holy Feast College and I'll have to do a damn good powerpoint presentation. This stuff will knock them out! It combines initiative and technology."

True to form, he then drops the camera into his pea soup and groans.

He's in the car -- but we both know he's going nowhere soon.

Irish Independent

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