Naiveties and Nursery Rhymes

Words, poems, rhymes and songs

Tag: school

What is a deputy headteacher?

What is a deputy headteacher?

It’s a leader

When the leader is away

Stepping in,


To save the day.

Speaking with authority

That is delegated

Often berated

Ofsted rated

And never sated.

What is a deputy headteacher?

It’s a behaviour preacher

The headteacher’s creature

A supporting act

To the main feature

A shouter, a screecher,

A lesser performance

Than the headlining band

A dotted line drawn in the sand

Of Performance Management

(The cardboard cage for Leadership)

And hands on hip

This deputy stands

Dotted line fading on shifting sands

A guide with a flickering lamp

One foot in each camp,

Both driving and conducting the bus;

Requiring limbs like an octopus.

What is a deputy headteacher?

It’s a rota maker,

Temper faker,


“Have it back later”

A blusterer, a badgerer

A business manager

Teach and mark

Take kids to the park

An acronym guru, an E.V.C.

Knowing A.F.L. and A.P.P.

With S.E.N. and I.E.P.

Being merely tools for P.R.P.

A deputy headteacher

Is out of the classroom forty percent


Yet one heartbeat away from the top.

To some, the deputy is heaven-sent

To others, the deputy must repent,

Or simply give up and stop.

What is a deputy headteacher?

Is it a mouse who’s learning to be a rat?

Or a cat

Who hasn’t quite got the cream,

Not quite living the dream?

Is it a dog without a bite?

Or the penultimate step of ambition?

A sub-aspiration?

A role in its own right?

Or is it a not quite?

An almost? A maybe?

Is the emphasis on ‘head’?

Or ‘teacher’?

Or ‘deputy’?

George the Gelatinous Jedi

George the Gelatinous Jedi

Had powers that no Jedi had seen:

His olfactory sense was suberb;

His eyesight was extraordinarily keen.

He could leap twenty two metres,

He could lift more than ten times his weight,

He could summon jelly at will,

He could wibble wobble on a plate.

But like many, he was bullied at school.

They called him ‘Blob’, or ‘Jabba’, or worse.

Even his master joined in the teasing

Saying: “Come, my Padawan, ooze the Force.”


But George just shrugged his shoulders

Well… as much as an amorphic mass could.

He knew how to deal with bullies

He knew how to stop it for good.

He’d heard that famous old rhyme

About names, and sticks or stones.

It didn’t really apply to George.

As he was completely devoid of bones.

His plan was slightly different:

He didn’t want to wait and ignore

Being strong and silent didn’t suit him

And so he simply seeped into the floor.

He absorbed each of his bullies.

Dissolving them like they were food.

Maybe that’s what they deserved

After all they had been quite rude.

But George’s Master got it the worst

His vaunted powers couldn’t help.

As his boots sank into the jelly.

The last thing he could do was yelp.

George hadn’t finished there

Even as his Master began to die.

He processed the absorbing cells

Into that jelly found in a pork pie.

George now reformed triumphant.

His bullies vanquished for sure.

He resumed his Jedi training

And had a long and successful career.

I think this poem is still a draft. I originally stopped it after the twelfth line, but then it just kept on growing. I’m not sure if it loses its impact in the whole ‘revenge’ section. Would welcome any editorial feedback!