It was great to be back in school with my friends and even though I had been gone for less than ten days it felt a lot longer.
I think when it comes to time it’s all about perception.
When your a kid and you have only been alive for ten years then two weeks would seem like a long time.
When your 41 which I am as I’m currently writing this blog then time seems to go much faster as you have spent a lot longer being alive.
When I reminisce about certain things like being in the military it seems like yesterday when in reality I left the Army in 2002.
So it was business as usual in class but the tables had turned slightly.
I think Paul Casey our teacher must have been close to a heart attack as he was no longer shouting at us individually.
Now he used to bring the entire class onto the matt where he taught us music and he would scream at us all in a group.
Like I mentioned in earlier blogs Casey was losing all his leverage as he had nothing to threaten us with any more.
Things had eased up a little and we were getting a break time once in a while but what concerns me more than anything is nobody like the headmaster stepped in.
I’m a firm believer that children need to be punished when they do wrong but our class was very seldom allowed to go into the schoolyard.
We would have lost our lunchtime as well but Casey needed to eat and I can imagine that it’s exhausting screaming at kids all day.
Still, though no red flags were raised regarding his teaching and the fact that we were not mixing with any of the other kids.
Then again in hindsight why would the powers that be care?
Anyone who has read this blog from the start will know both Owen and Phil the deputy head have a lot to answer for.
I hope that Phil is exposed one day as then I can go back and reveal his identity and put the newspaper articles about the investigations against him.
Until then those who were there they know and I’ve received many messages regarding his appalling conduct as a teacher.
so hopefully it’s a matter of time before he’s brought into the light.
Then one day in class everything changed. Casey was screaming at us and I heard giggling next to me.
Both fear and laughter can spread very quickly especially with children and all of us were on the matt trying not to laugh.
We seemed to be getting shouted at now daily as Casey must have felt he was losing the battle.
Absolutely nothing had changed the more he got mad and the more breaks that he kept us in the less we cared.
He even started displaying this on the board so we could see how many breaks we owed him I think the record at 1 time was 16 breaks that we owed him.
The breaks would get taken off if we were quiet but we were past that.
This method he used also hurt our schooling.
I mentioned in an earlier blog that we would be giving extremely fast dictation or very fast very hard maths on our break.
Most of the students by this stage had twigged that he never marked this.
As a result, of this many students figured that he probably didn’t check our school work as well.
Once in a while, he would pull students up if the work was terrible but I think he had no fight left in him so a lot of the time he let bad work slide.
You have to understand that we were ten and we were burnt out from not having a break.
Even the well-behaved students who he left alone at the beginning had developed the attitude of if we just let him scream at us for a while then we can go back to what we were doing.
Casey didn’t know how good he had it with us if he had gone to an inner-city school with a lot less funding and much more unruly kids then he would have been finished.
We were not bad kids but each lesson he demonised us all due to his deep-rooted insecurity.
We were summoned over to the matt again and for some reason, I was watching Peter Rowe.
I don’t know what it was but I could see he was up to something so I followed him wanting to be involved in whatever he had planned.
Well, it turned out Peter was a genius he sat at the back of the class by the bookcase.
He was half sitting in the bookcase with the top covering his head and like myself, he was sat there laughing at Casey’s rant.
Casey was stood up so he could not see us and his eyes kept darting around the room trying to give everyone the full impact of his rant.
I was glad I followed Peter and the rest of the year nobody had figured this out so I never got caught out laughing like other students.
If Casey caught you laughing he went ballistic on the person which was even funnier we were fighting a losing battle.
Just in case I’m not painting a clear enough picture I’ve included two pictures of Adam Woodyatt Below. Adam is famous for playing Ian Beale in the TV show Eastenders.
Casey had also dug himself into such a hole that he could not go to the headmaster for help.
As there was nothing else he could do to us then the only thing that taking it further would do is put the spotlight onto himself.
He was a new teacher so there was a chance he could be let go or worse he could be investigated as we were not allowed to play with the other children 90 percent of the time as we were kept in.
Casey is like many teachers I’ve encountered over the years they seem to think that if you shout the loudest and beat your chest like a gorilla then people will respect you.
This could not be further from the truth and this is many teachers’ downfall.
The strongest leaders are usually very quiet. They don’t need to shout or beat their chest.
It’s a known fact that empty vessels make the most noise.
I don’t claim to be the best teacher in the world but I know I’m good at what I do.
I’ve never had to shout at the kids and they all followed my lead and had fun at the same time.
Having said that I’ve seen so many appalling teachers.
They actually have the balls to call themselves teachers when they are essentially smart board operators.
I will go deeper into this in later blogs but the point I’m making is that unfortunately even now this profession attracts the worst suited people still.
This one day when I won’t forget is because Casey completely lost it with all of us.
Peter and I were inside the bookcase which he still hadn’t twigged what we were doing.
He was going ballistic over going knows what and he screams at the class
YOUR ALL GOING TO BE GETTING SHOUTED AT A LOT MORE IF YOU DONT BEHAVE
Trevor Steel lost it and started laughing then Casey flipped
YOU WILL BE GETTING SHOUTED AT THE MOST
We all lost it and Casey didn’t know what to do we had all lost control and we were all screaming laughing nobody could hide it now and I remember having tears in my eyes.
Outside now Casey screamed at Trevor and we all continued to laugh.
As we had been suppressing this for so long the laughter came thick and fast.
We could hear Trev outside getting a huge bollocking and this just added more fuel to the fire.
After a minute Trev came back in smiling but he was alone.
God only knows where Casey went but we didn’t see him for another 20 minutes.
When Casey came back in we had managed to compose ourselves and he looked like the undertaker from WWE.
He told us in a very stiff voice to take our seats.
We all left the music mat not knowing what to expect.
He scanned the room looking at us all with eyes of hatred and you could cut the atmosphere with a knife.
You could honestly hear a pin drop and then Casey added 6 breaks to the list. So now the blackboard read breaks in 20.
I looked at Chris Farmakis and Peter Rowe who were sat next to me and shook my head.
Surly Casey could see that this wasn’t working and we continued to work in silence.
Casey had to regain some power somehow as this world he had created in his mind that we were all out to get him was falling apart.
How is being nice such an alien concept for so many teachers?
I honestly feel that the true definition of a psychopath is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results
We were all in assembly the next morning and we had to sing hymns in those days.
There would usually be a speech from Owen the headmaster or Phil the deputy head would tell us stories about fairies at the bottom of his garden.
Even for us ten-year-olds, it was incredibly dull and we all sat there bored out of our minds.
Once in a while, someone would fart and everyone would lose their minds like it was the funniest thing in the world.
So whoever was doing the assembly would ask us what song we wanted to sing.
We would always pick one called autumn days.
One of the last lines of the song was I win for my home team and everyone used to shout this really loud and spend the next thirty seconds smiling to ourselves.
We had done this for years and then we tried it with Casey and he went nuts and kept making us sing the verse again.
On about the 7th time the entire school sang it normally and at the end of the assembly Casey walked out the hall like it was WW2 and he had just invaded Poland.
Quick as a flash he wanted to build on his victory and he got the chance later that day.
We were doing PE class and he was playing music which we had to act out in time with the song.
He was playing the time warp song from the Rocky Horror Picture show.
When the song says put your hands on your hips we all put our hands on our chests and shouted put your hands on your tits as we always did and he went mental.
The second time we did it we all said hips then tits under our breath and Casey felt like he was slowly winning this personal war.
The victory was short-lived as that weekend we had a Halloween disco.
I went dressed as the joker from the 1989 movie of Batman.
I wish I had a picture of this as mum managed to put together an amazing costume for me with clothes she borrowed.
Not content with that two of her friends did my make-up for me like I was in the movie and I went to the disco feeling like I was the joker.
It was even more of a buzz when one of the teachers who was the DJ saw me and played the song party man from the movie.
I was throwing myself around the school hall just like the art gallery scene in the movie shown below
We were all having a ball and when you add Coca-Cola and sweets into the mix we were all going crazy.
Then the time warp came on and we all went crazy as this was the ultimate party song especially with us kids.
We were singing and dancing along and the magic moment came and without speaking a word and in tune with each other we all shouted put your hands on your tits.
The teachers who were acting as chaperones were all laughing but not Casey he stormed out with a proper scowl on his face.
I remember saying to Chris Farmakis I wonder how many breaks we will have to say in for this and he laughed.
It turns out none as Casey seemed to stop holding a grudge so much after this night.
He was still very strict but we were getting shouted at less and less and he was trying to work with us for the sake of his mental health.
We also had a nice surprise coming up as we were going to spend a week adventure training in a place called PGL.
I don’t know what it stood for but everyone said it was parents get lost.
I was a little worried at first as I was expecting another Colomendy but it was not like that at all.
It was well organized with youth workers and equipment and we did so many cool things such as abseiling and canoeing.
The teachers were all nice to us and we ended up having the best time.
We had a group leader who called herself psycho which was nice as she didn’t try to murder any of us not once.
She would get us all singing as we would go orienteering and it was like she was born to work with kids.
In the night we all had a laugh in the dorms and nobody came in and shouted at us we were left to our own devices.
When the time came to go home we were all exhausted but happy as we had just been on an adventure.
There was only a couple of weeks left and we had our school picture was taken which I’ve shown in a previous blog but ill show again see below.
I remember initially Casey was not going to be in the picture and he told us that he realised there may be elements of pupils that didn’t like him and he didn’t want them to remember him in years to come.
We managed to convince him to be in the picture and to this day I believe it was the right decision.
He did have a nice side he was just not cut out to be a teacher and thinking back now his confidence must have been seriously low to have said that.
We had a relatively chilled out last few weeks and I believe we started to get out at break time well and it felt like we had been given parole.
We were also so excited to be finishing junior school and having a new beginning in a new school.
We spent a week rehearsing for a special leavers assembly we had put on for the parents and then the final day was upon us.
We did the assembly for the parents and we were presented with a leaving gift which was a dictionary.
I still have my dictionary at home in Liverpool it’s never been opened.
It wasn’t going to be much of a change for me as most of my mates were going to Gateacre comp so I would not be leaving many behind.
Unfortunately, we would lose a few to other schools. Jay Quilty went to a senior school in Chester, AJ Farrell and Glyn Roberts had got into Bluecoat.
I’m not sure where Stuart Williams went to but it wasn’t Gateace.
This was before the days of social media so saying goodbye was a lot more permanent.
All of the names I mentioned above I have on Facebook except for AJ but I used to have him until he came off it.
All of us came into school that day with a spare school shirt and we all signed each other’s shirts as a memory of what we had been through together.
Everyone was happy yet a little sad at the same time as we didn’t know what to expect.
I still have this shirt back in my mum’s house in a box in my old bedroom and I remember looking at it a couple of years ago with fond memories of my old classmates.
We all ran over to the school gate together and tied our ties to it.
All of our mums were there as they had just been in to see the assembly and they seemed sadder than us.
We didn’t realise at the time as we were kids how important this moment was we were just thinking of right now.
Mum and I went home and I didn’t pick up on it because I was a kid but she was really sad.
Obviously, now I’m older it’s much easier to understand that no matter how old we get we will always be that baby in the pram saying hiya to everyone walking past in the street.