Iqbal’s dad lets himself into school somehow and manages to get into my room. Iqbal is having trouble in school and owns the most vacant stare of any child I have ever taught. I was midway through quiet reading when Iqbal and his dad, like some unstoppable force of nature, were running up the stairs before smashing through my door. Iqbal, like Lord of the Manor, ran to his peg and put his tiny coat on it, while Dad gave me a way-too-personal slap on the pectorals and handed a fiver to me.
“This is the dinner money”, he shouted into my open eyes.
“Yes, well that needs to go to the Office, like always”, I reply.
“No! It’s your dinner money! Don’t spend it all on dinner!” he replies, laughing open-mouthed while 29 other children watch on in dystopian silence.
“Only joking Teacher, it’s his trip money!!”
I look over and Iqbal has short-circuited and is now staring at the pegs.
“Bye teacher,” he says, thus preventing me from telling him the trip money also needs to go to the office.
“Have a good boy day Iqqy!” he shouts to his static child, still gawping mindlessly at a peg.
I tell Iqbal to sit down, ask Bashir to tell the office Iqbal has arrived, and I grab my coffee as I prepare to teach 8 year olds the column method of multiplication.
Iqbal is still looking at a peg.