‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

Reading Time: 2 minutes

What if every child’s exercise books were stolen from school?

Here is a seasonal twist on the marking burden that blights every teacher across the land …

‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the school, not a teacher was marking now isn’t that cool? The cupboards unlocked in the classroom beware, in the hope that the caretaker wouldn’t be there!

The students were absent all back in their beds, with visions of cover-lessons danced in their heads; the head teacher with cloak and I in my cap, had just settled down for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the yard there arose such a natter, I sprang from the bed to see t’was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, gave the lustre of shadows on objects below, when, what to my wondering eyes should feature, but a big black-bin, above eight fellow teachers.

With a coat and her bag, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment, it must be Miss Nicks. Quicker than an email her teachers they came, and she whistled and shouted, then called them by name.

“Now Jill! Now Frances! Now Nancy and Dixon! Now Sid! Now Sarah! Now, Rhonda and Kickson! To the top of the corridor! To the stage in the hall! Now hide away! Throw away! Stash away all!”

As wet ink that befall on the pages they flew, if the books meet a student don’t let them review! So, up to each classroom, the teachers they knew, with a bin-full of padlocks, scissors and glue.

And then in a twinkling I heard in the staff-room, the clinking of padlocks you could only presume. As I drew in my hand and grabbed my class books, in came Miss Nicks with a bin full of books!

She was dressed all in stripes from her head to her foot, and her clothes were all tarnished with glue, tar and soot; a bundle of books she had flung in her bin and she looked like a pedlar just closing me in.

Her eyes; how they glowered! Her dimples, how scary! Her cheeks were like crystal, her nose, big and hairy! Her droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, and the point of her chin was as white as the snow.

The page of a book she held tight in her teeth, each ripped and circled her feet in a wreath; she had a pointed face and little round glasses, that shook when she scowled, just like her classes.

She was frail and thin, a sight for sore eyes, and I laughed when I saw her in spite of her guise; a squint of her eye and a twist of her head, soon she hinted, I had “nothing to dread“.

She spoke not a word but went straight to work, and filled all the cupboards; the bins with a smirk. And laying her finger aside of her nose, and giving a nod, up the corridor she rose.

She sprang to her car, to her team gave a whistle, and away they all flew like the edge of a chisel. But I heard her exclaim, as they drove out of sight, “Happy Christmas to all, and to marking goodnight!”

If only miracles could come true! Best wishes for the season …

@TeacherToolkit

In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account through which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of being most influential in the field of education. He remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing resources and ideas online as @TeacherToolkit, he has built this website (c2008) which has been described as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the UK Blog Awards (2018). Read more...

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