Feature | Writer, Gamer, Father, Teacher

Not too long ago England went into another lockdown. Politics and opinions aside, this has had quite the impact on me, my family and likely many others. I used to just potter around, write some words, play some games, do Dad things and generally live a carefree life. This has all changed, for I am now a teacher. This is against my will, of course. I have no qualifications in teaching, I barely remember anything I learned at school, and I am getting older. This whole education thing is difficult when you are out of practice.

Yet here I am, a writer, gamer, father and teacher. I am an average (hopefully) writer, an ok gamer, and a questionable father. Compared to my teaching ability, however, those skills are in God-tier. Sloths have patience. My psychiatric nurse has patience. Heck, hares have patience. I, on the other hand, have none. Or at the very least, I had some and it has since run away and hid under the fridge. 

Being angry at your children is never a good feeling. I imagine many (lying) parents and (know nothing) regular humans would find mixing anger and children to be abhorrent. Well, John Snow, let me set the scene – I am certain you will be on my side. Baring in mind, this is one example of the horrors of homeschooling. Those who value their sanity, feel free to leave now.

My son knows how to multiply by 10. This is not a difficult task. I am fairly certain most species of amoeba could figure it out. So, my son knows that 45×10=450. He knows this. You know this. Your potentially unborn child knows this. So why, when he is at home, does he think the answer is 2110? Even now, I cannot fathom how he came to this conclusion. The kid even worked it out. He had a complex string of incoherent scribbles that resembled maths. Surely he could see the folly in his ways? No.

The lad was adamant for a solid 10 minutes that he was right. He would frantically look at his paper, point, shout and scream that the answer was in fact, 2110. I am a man of many talents, but handling this kind of nonsense is not one of them. I took a step back and asked what 50×10 was. Without batting an eyelid, the scoundrel shouted 500. So I go back to 45×10 and he shouts, even louder, 2110. We go back and forth with this line of thinking and he was still not convinced his ludicrous answer was wrong. A weaker man would have just given him the answer. 

Eventually, he brought his teacher into the argument. Not literally, of course – social distancing and all. No, he started to say that his teacher taught him how to do his “10’s”, and he is doing it exactly how he was shown. If this was my first rodeo, then I would have serious concerns about my son’s educational quality. The example I am using is one of many, many problems we’ve had. The teacher is fine, my son is just a dingus.

In the end, I resorted to the “ostrich” technique. This is a patented technique I created whereby I prove I am right by treating my son like a bit of an idiot. We go over 50×10 once more. With tears streaming down his eyes, he whimpers “500”. I then cover his eyes, restricting his ability to look at his hilariously wrong workings, and ask him what 45×10 is. He pauses. Takes a deep breath. Then, as if by magic, he mutters “450”.  I praised the Lord, slapped my thighs and high fived him so hard his arm may have irreparable damage. 

If only this was the end. He proceeded to claim he was saying 450 the whole time. My son is now dead. I buried him in the garden. He took my last straw, snapped it and scattered the fragments into my soup. His life was forfeit. 


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3 thoughts on “Feature | Writer, Gamer, Father, Teacher

  1. Hi, just found your blog through your BG1 post via reddit. If it’s any consolation, even teachers who are parents make for poor teachers for their offspring. Boundaries are way too blurry to keep it civil on either side. I have two munchkins living up in Scotland, doing my online teaching while homeschooling (ha!) in the morning and marking papers in the evening. Got some good CRPG done over the break but lockdown for another 3-9 weeks sounds as awful as it types. Good luck, I’m sure you are doing great!

    1. Thanks for the comment, and sticking around to read other things! Lockdown has been a nightmare. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a real teacher who also homeschools. That sounds like stress incarnate!

      If anything, my two demons have given me something different to write about! Ha :p

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