'Would you have sex on the beach?'
Sandra, who's 18 and desperately trying to entertain herself in a class where she's by far the most able, looks up at me with mischievous, puppy dog eyes.
'Absolutely not, ' I answer. 'Too much sand - it gets everywhere.'
She laughs and goes back to her chatting.
'I really like you,' she says later, with the usual slight mocking edge. It's another distraction technique.
'Thank you, I like you too. Now, you need to start your writing on...'
I choose who to approach next: Candy, with the sulky face who gives off Don't Mess With Me vibes?; hyperactive and dyslexic Drew who's bright as a button with an unmatched ability to go off at a conversational tangent?; equally hyperactive and dyslexic Ahmed, who has an alleged penchant for knife collecting? They all have their own quirks, problems and charms. And sometimes, just when you think you've had the rubbishest lesson in history, one of them will say something that makes you think it's worthwhile after all.
Yesterday that didn't happen. After an averagely bad lesson, sweet Saffron, she of the dry stone wall face and the giggly manner, (I know, I know, unusual combination), came by. Seemingly, the place she moved to a few weeks ago 'isn't for her' and she's coming back to us. Oh joy.