extract from Make A Joyful Noise
The children outside in the playground began to shuffle towards the classrooms as the bell rang, grateful that they would at least be warm for the next hour and a half. Bored, perhaps, but still warm.
As Lucy made her way back to her classroom, a feeling of desolation swept over her. How am I going to get through this term, she wondered. How am I even going to get through the morning?
Most of the class were waiting for Lucy by the time she reached the Music Department. She let them into the classroom and stood behind the teacher’s desk, waiting for some sort of order to emerge.
“Good morning Year 9,” she said, but they couldn’t hear her over the noise. “Good morning Year 9,” she yelled. “That’s better, now, sit down, in silence. No, stand up, I said in silence. Yes, all of you stand up. Yes, now, oh please will you stand up? Good, now then sit down in silence, good, please keep quiet, please Year 9.”
Suddenly the classroom door flew open and Darren Jenkins sauntered into the classroom. His forbidden trainers squeaked on the hard floor as he leapt over a chair and landed heavily by his desk. Lucy advanced towards him, her voice acting out the anger (or was it real anger this time?).
“Right now, just sit down now, please. We haven’t got all day to wait while you stop this silly, immature way of behaving.”
Darren whispered to the boy next to him who gave a coarse laugh.
“What did you say?” shouted Lucy. “If you really said what I think you said, I’ll have to seriously consider sending you to the deputy head.”
Darren grinned at Lucy.
“Or even to the Design and Technology Department,” she ventured, knowing that among the staff of this department were some burly thickset men, the woodwork teachers, who were only too happy to “talk” to boys who had stepped out of line in her lessons.
Darren grew pale and the smirk left his face. Sensing triumph, Lucy turned to the rest of the class and told them to get their books out, as Darren had now finished wasting their time.
“Haven’t got me book,” piped up half a dozen voices.
“It doesn’t matter, I’ve got some paper you can write on,” said Lucy wearily. “I mean, it does matter, you should have your books, you know that, I’ve said that before, get yourselves organised, now come on, I’ll make a list of all of you who’ve forgotten your books and I think your form teachers can have a look at it or am I meant to give you a detention? I can’t remember, anyway, let’s start, quiet please; today you’re going to copy a violin and label the various parts.”
“But we did that last week,” remarked Darren.
“Oh, copy the ‘cello then, it’s on the next page in “Appreciating Music”. Yes, I’m just going to give out the text books, be patient. Now, who doesn’t mind sharing?”
Lucy had been going to do some composing with the class, but after complaints about the noise earlier that morning she had decided to let them do some written work for a change. It certainly made for a more peaceful lesson and she felt sure it had some educational benefit, even if it wasn’t the most stimulating task the children could be asked to do.
“Now, I want you to work in complete silence and remember that I’ll be taking your books in at the end of the lesson,” Lucy remarked into the general hubbub of the group. As it turned out, the girls spent the lesson looking round at the boys in the class and discussing which ones they fancied and the boys spent the lesson playing computer games under their desks. Lucy was oblivious to all this, as she spent the lesson catching up with some marking that she had not found the time to do the previous evening.
None of them noticed a flash of light at the window of the classroom door towards the end of the double lesson. Mary Goodshoe was trying to find out what was going on, without undermining Lucy’s authority. She was standing with her back to the classroom door, peering into the mirror of her powder compact and trying to hold it at an appropriate angle, so that the classroom would be reflected in it and she could see what was going on. Twisting the mirror this way and that in a vain attempt to get the right angle, she caught a sudden reflection of light.
“Oh bother, they’re sure to have seen that,” Mary gasped. Peering through the window of the door, she realised that she had not disturbed the class at all.
“Oh dear me,” she whispered to herself. “Oh dear, oh dear. This won’t do at all. I really will have to talk to Lucy about this. Oh dear.”
(From chapter 3 ‘The Idols and the Devils’ of ‘Make a Joyful Noise’ by Jenny Worstall)