The school inspector was dreaded by both the teachers and pupils. Simon’s class was told that there was an inspection due and everyone had to be on their best behaviour. A rumour was started that they were going to be tested on their multiplication tables. Simon hadn’t been in school very long and he had not attended all the lessons, so he was hoping the school inspector would not choose him to recite a table. SImon did his best, but he just couldn’t learn them all in time.
The fateful day came around and the inspector arrived. Simon was shocked when he came into his classroom and asked to see ‘Simon Wellington’. Panic set in as Simon was asked to stand and leave the classroom. A hush came over the room as the other children knew, that if anyone was going to get into trouble, it was Simon! Times tables were going through Simon’s head. He couldn’t remember a thing about tables because it was such a shock being picked out to recite them; or so he thought!
When he looked up this the tall man in a suit, the inspector pointed at the display boards in the corridor. He said; ‘did you paint these pictures Simon?’
‘They are excellent pictures…………………….’
Simon did not hear the rest of the compliments, as it was such a relief that he hadn’t been called out to recite tables! The conversation that followed was as short as Simon could make it. The rumour that had spread about tables being a target of the visit was nonsense. It was the first time Simon wanted to get back in the classroom as soon as he possibly, could.
All the other kids looked at him as he came back in. They were both relieved and curious as to why he had been called out and not them. He felt very proud telling them what had actually happened. No-one had to recite tables. The inspector spotted Simons paintings when he entered the school and asked the head mistress to point out the boy who painted them!
Simon’s Art and later-on, sports, were to be the redeeming features of schooling for him.
Many years later Simon asked his Mum why he didn’t like school.
She said, ‘you didn’t like anyone telling you what to do.’
Simple as that!