Dee ambled past my classroom — I caught sight of her as she passed the open door.
“Dee”, I said. “Why aren’t you in a lesson?”
“My teacher and I thought I ought to do some research outside of the classroom.”
“In other words you’ve been thrown out.”
“Well, technically yes”, she said.
Before I had a chance to ask what the word “technically” meant in this context, she looked in at my classroom. “Who are they?” she asked.
“What are they doing?”
“Working on a spreadsheet challenge I set them.”
“Ooh”, she exclaimed. “I know all about spreadsheets. Let me help out.”
“What, so you can disrupt my lesson too?”
“No, no, please. I can do it.”
“OK”, I said, “but don’t do the work for them because they won’t learn anything if you do.”
I feared I was going against my better judgement, but my intuition told me to give her the benefit of the doubt. As it happens, she was brilliant. I discovered that Dee was really good with younger kids, and also those with special educational needs.
My misgivings, it turned out, had been misplaced.