the monsters within

a couple wearing diy cardboard box mask while holding each other s hands
Photo by Daisy Anderson on

We had a bloody long day at school today because it was the dreaded Open Evening, where Year 6 students and their parents can come and look around the school and see if they would like to be members of our school community.

I say ‘dreaded’ because it’s a 13 hour day, and you are ‘on’ the whole time. However, I do actually really enjoy speaking to the younger ones and asking them about what books they enjoy reading.

We did a Gothic room in our department and I was responsible for getting the kids to draw their own Gothic monsters. And some of them were interesting, to say the least.

I asked everyone to give their monster a name and we had everything from Richard to Mrs Jelly Legs.

I find it so sad that the creativity seems to just get sucked out of kids as they reach their teenage years. My Year 9s couldn’t even come up with one thing that scares them and yet three years earlier, they could have come up with a three headed monster called Richard.

Don’t grow up, kids. I love you just the way you are.

Much Love

Rachel xx

slightly confused introvert

photo of people gathering in room
Photo by Luis Quintero on


From people

Constant chatter

Draining inner batteries

But sometimes I

Surprise myself

And prove

That I am wrong


I am an out and out introvert and I often tell people that I hate being around people – they just drain me. I can feel physically sick and tired if I have to socialise, and work, and take part in clubs etc. I sometimes feel that I need to sit in a dark room with headphones on.

But the strangest thing happens every so often – I actually enjoy company and maybe even thrive on it.

Today I had my first ever face- to- face parents’ evening and I was pretty nervous for it. But once I got into my groove and started working through each family, I started to find it really enjoyable.

It helped that I have top set Year 7, so their parents were lovely to talk to and really receptive to everything I said. But the fact was that I was having a blast just talking about books and writing with people who really cared about it.

It just goes to prove that even the most die hard introvert, who actually makes herself sick thinking about social events, can have moments when people are beautiful.

Much Love

Rachel xx

paper thin walls

close up photo of glowing blue butterflies
Photo by Pixabay on

The wall between our rooms are delicate

Like wings of butterflies and tissue paper

Used to wrap up fragile gifts, so thin

That light shines gently through.

But so does sound, it travels to

The room next door, where hungry ears

Pressed against the wall can hear

Every word you say.

The wall between my classroom and my Head of Department’s office is paper thin and it makes me so frightened. It’s quite fun to hear her conversations because I’m sure some of them are meant to be private (I have heard somebody handing in their notice in real time).

However, it also works the other way and so she can hear everything that goes on in my room.

Today was Parents’ Evening and I could hear her on the other side of the wall. I haven’t had any problems with parents and I tend to get on quite well with them, but I still get nervous and so I babble a bit when I contact them.

That meant that she could hear all the ridiculous crap I come out with when I do my nervous talking. I just hope that she found it funny and I’m not pulled into the office for a talking to tomorrow.

Much Love

Rachel xx

staying up for open evening

Science blocks, filled with Bunsen burners,

Frogs dissected on small stone slabs,

While drama students play with lights

And dance on stages bathed in blue.

The English girls all stack up books

That hardly any kids will see,

Bored by words and pages that will fill

Their worlds, their minds

And colour what they do for life.

But next there’s gym where balls are kicked

And hockey sticks are swung with force.

The maths geeks pull you in with stats

And little puzzles get the brain cells

Fizzing with a painful glee.

Finally, they’re pushed out through

Humanities where maps are hung

And pictures of Franz Ferdinand.

The tour now over, families stumble

From the glowing automatic doors,

Heads all jumbled with the stuff they’ve learnt.

The teachers breathe a sigh of sweet release;

We hope those kids will make it back

As eager, happy, bright Year Sevens.

Either way we’re just real glad

That now we can sit down and eat!

parent’s evening

Tables clamoured round a a hall that stood

Empty several hours back, when basketball was done

And the squeaks of students trainers fade

Into a maze of darkened hallways where

The teachers lingered til the sun had set.

And with those cups of steaming tea and snacks

All squirreled under fold out desks they sit

With elbows propping up their weary heads,

Watching as the parents walk, circulating,

Searching desperately for names on tags,

Names they’ve heard so many times before,

But never seen a face to match.

And when they sit the teachers sigh and run theur eye

Over numbers spilling out of books.

I studied English, is what they think

As they rattle through the data sheets.

I wish I were at home, they think,

Warm, with wine and box sets on the telly,

Not cold and lost, in a draughty hall

With parents wanting nothing more than for you to call

Their precious child an Einstein of some sorts.

It’s parents’ evening today and I’m nervous. I absolutely hate the thought of it because all parents see their children as little angels and, quite frankly, they are not!

I’m just going to go and buy and a load of chocolate and whenever anything bad happens, I can just have a square. I can really understand why teachers are in danger of becoming overweight or alcoholics or both.

One thing that I am really thankful for is the fact that the parents’ evenings are now online so nobody can reach across a table and punch me. Wish me luck.

Much Love

Rachel xx