Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Sweet Justice

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Sweet Justice

Article excerpt

Those of us who have turned up on time for our staff meeting cringe before the message on the noticeboard. It is distinct from the others by virtue of its boldness, its capital letters and its exclamation marks. It says: WILL THE THIEF WHO STOLE MY TIRAMASU FROM THE FRIDGE PLEASE CHOKE ON IT!!!! "Well, it wasn't me," I declare. "I have type 2 diabetes. Everyone knows it's controlled through diet!" Then because it sounds like I'm protesting too much I shut up and cast a wary eye over my colleagues.

There is no shortage of suspects. Teaching children leaves you ravenous. And it is a well-known fact that starving teachers, like scavenging hyenas, will scour every corner of a deserted staffroom for something to satisfy their hunger.

Because we are a "healthy eating" school, apples, satsumas and raw carrots are in constant supply. But good, wholesome, vitamin-rich fruit and vegetables are largely ignored by predatory teachers. They hanker after something more desirable: a half-eaten bar of chocolate, a forgotten jam-filled doughnut, a finger of Kit Kat that has somehow become separated from the rest.

In class we are reading Michael Rosen's poem Chocolate Cake. In it the author explains how, as a boy, he fell to the temptation of a half-eaten chocolate cake. It woke him up in the middle of the night and drove him to creep downstairs in search of it. He planned only to look at it and smell it. He meant only to eat the crumbs that were on the plate. …

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