Mr May’s life lessons

Day one of remote schooling and my class look very keen
I clear my throat and smile at all the faces on the screen
Good morning class three, how are you?  Thirty kids shout in unison
I mute them all, make a mental note to ask questions one by one

I've just unmuted Jacob who's answering a complex sum
When a voice in the background screams Jesus H. Christ! Bloody hell!
Crap, turd and bum!
Er, everything alright there Jacob? (I curse my own bad luck)
Yeah it's just Mum, Jacob replies, you're lucky she didn't say
Moving swiftly on class three! I cry, muting them all once more
Well, I suppose they've learned some words that they didn't know before

Day two of remote schooling and my class look present and correct
Except for Amy, slouched in her onesie, I guess she overslept
Amy, can I remind you of the rules about being dressed?
Tell that to my Mum, she huffs, sounding unimpressed
She flips the camera round to show her Mum (minus her clothes)
Amy! Shrieks her mortified Mum
Well, that's the human body done I suppose

Day three of remote schooling and class three's assignments are due
Well done class three, excellent stuff, but where's your worksheet Stu?
Stu looks up from his lego (with a decidedly hostile glare)
I'll do it if you pay minimum wage, that seems pretty fair
Minimum wage! I splutter, but you're only eight years old; I'm your year group teacher, now please do as you're told
I'm placing you on mute now, Stu informs me seriously
When you're ready to discuss terms you can email me directly
I laugh it off as best I can and pretend Stu's being funny
That's one more topic down, now we've covered money

Day four of remote schooling and only half the class logged on
I ask if anyone knows where the rest of my students have gone
My remaining charges shake their heads and shuffle in their seats
Onwards with the lesson then, we've lots of fun tasks to complete!

By the afternoon of day four I have a growing sense of disquiet
Some of my students have fallen asleep and most are running riot
Where are your parents? I ask a child sitting slumped upon his seat
He shrugs his shoulders but utters no words.  I heave a great sigh of defeat.
That's it for today class three I shout out, hoping they hear what I say
I'll write up day four in their learning notes as self-directed play

Day five of remote schooling and none of my class are here
I think this might be a good time for me to rethink my career
I'm about to log off when a face appears, but it's not a student of mine
It's one of their Mum's, she looks to be weeping and clutching a large glass of wine
Erm, hello Ms Boles, I say softly, as she glugs her wine in despair
It's nine in the morning and Sami's not here, is everything okay there?

It's six o'clock somewhere she laughs out loud (a little manically)
Sami's playing Roblox online with all the kids in class three
I thank her for her time and type my learning notes for today
That's interactive coding and online co-operative play

Day six and it's the weekend, I start a petition online
I contact parents, colleagues, friends and urge them all to sign
In a few hours it's gone viral, I turn on the evening news
The PM's called a cabinet meeting to consider all our views
By Sunday it's offical, remote learning is no more
Parents, teachers, students feel sane again once more
The zoom celebrations are televised and last well into the night
After all, what's one year of missed schooling in the long game that is life?

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