The Classroom Hopper by Claire Riley

I was offered some work for while I was on holiday.  Initial reaction?  That’ll do nicely!  What better than a little light summer reading allowing me the pleasure of delving into the comical side of a supply teacher’s life?

The Classroom Hopper - by Claire Riley

With a name as devilishly tempting as some of her students’, Carly Harley (Mrs) isn't the kind of person I warm to immediately.  A little sarcastic, a little blunt, a little critical of the students and not ‘all heart’.  From her tone, I immediately believe she’s been in secondary before digging into primary.  Why don’t I warm to her?  She could be me – with the paint stripped off.  Let’s face it, great teachers are great actors: to succeed on some short term supply placements, you need to leave your home-life worries and cares at the door and put on a happy face.  With Carly, you don’t get the act.  She tells it like it is.  Many times she says to the children what I wish I could sometimes say to the children!  She does tell about some heart-warming stories, but let’s face it, it’s reflecting on the misadventures that keeps us smiling on supply.

Sat in the tent on a particularly blustery day (thanks to Bertha), I giggled with recognition at the antics of Carly and her temporary wards.   Remembering the boys whose names begin with B, the plethora of teaching assistants each with their own quirks and their own ‘way of doing things round here’, and the multitude of behaviour policies we’d never get to see before it was too late allowed me a few hours of camaraderie.  Dinner ladies who appear to disappear on wet break days when they spot you in the classroom, being asked ‘How’s the job hunting going?’, and the eternal struggles with passwords and security doors you will realise are par for the course.  Carly walked me through the days I’ve seen, would like to see again, and would have preferred not to have had to live through!  

The Classroom Hopper is available to buy on Amazon.  An interview with Claire will be published mid-October.

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