Double Vision

I’ve only gone and done it again. That’s the fourth time, no sorry, make that the fifth. Unbelievable. I am truly an idiot.

‘Done what?’ you might ask, which would be a reasonable sort of question. So I’ll tell you, but I’ll start at the beginning, I’ll start by introducing you to Joe.


Joe was in my Y9 maths class when I first started teaching at Previous School. He was a nice enough lad, a bit cheeky, but usually a good judge of the point at which humorous cheekiness ended and driving Ms TLC mad began. As a result I liked teaching Joe, he was fun.

Joe was a bit of a challenge to teach though; like many other students he found maths difficult. However, his biggest problem wasn’t any difficulty with the work itself, by the end of a lesson he had usually made some progress. No, Joe’s biggest problem was what we teachers like to (rather grandly) call ‘retention of learning’. He could do the work on one day, but the next day was another matter entirely: sometimes he could remember what he had been taught, but at other times I was met with a total blank. By that I really mean a total blank, it was as if he had never seen the work before in his life. Yet there were lessons when he seemed oddly ahead of the class, showing real understanding of a topic, almost as if it was only a day since he had last studied this area, rather than weeks or months.

(Have you worked it out yet? If so, well done. It took me nearly a year.)

Time went by. I did my best to teach Joe, who was making progress, even if it was far from steady progress. It was almost the end of the summer term when I finally discovered what was going on.

Joe could be a bit cheeky, but on this particular day he just didn’t know when to stop. Maybe my end of term tiredness was a contributing factor, I don’t know. Whatever the reason, Joe drove me to the point where I was in danger of losing it. Being a dull sort of person, I didn’t throttle him and end up being the subject of lurid tabloid headlines, I simply sent for back up and Joe was duly removed from my lesson.

The lesson after that is one I remember very clearly. I was on cover and had to teach a science class. I arrived at the lesson and who came waltzing in, full of himself and being a bit loud (although nothing outrageous)? Yep, that would be Joe.

“I can’t believe that you are starting this again after what we went through last lesson.” I could hear my voice going into rant mode, but I couldn’t seem to stop myself.

I think at this point I had the look of a teacher on the verge of madness, because Joe stopped mucking about and stared at me in a most concerned manner. “Miss,” he said, in the calmest, gentlest tones you can imagine, “I’m not Joe, I’m Matt.”

And he was. Joe and Matt were totally blooming identical twins, only I didn’t know that there were two of them. No wonder he seemed a bit blank sometimes! If one twin didn’t fancy his own lesson, they swapped classes. Apparently they had been taking it in turns to hide every time I walked through the playground, in order to keep the pretence going. Bah.


So that was the first time. You’d think I’d have learnt from that experience wouldn’t you? Apparently not…

2 comments to Double Vision

  • Yorkshire Pudding

    In schools,I think it should be the law that any identical twins should have their names tattooed across their foreheads to avoid any similar tomfoolery.

  • From a kiddie point of view: Awesome! I used to have a dream I had an identical twin, and we’d get up to all sorts of mischief like that!

    From a teacher point of view: That must be so annoying!