It’s an odd feeling, coming to the end of a school year and seeing the children I’ve taught for four years moving on to High School.
The groups I have, the can’ts and won’ts, I get somehow even more attached to than any other groups I’ve taught. These groups contain some real “characters” and with this year’s year eight this has been more true than with any group before. A real mix of, dare I say it, oddball children – each with something quite likeable about them but a really odd mix and a challenge to teach: when they first joined the school they didn’t know how to sit in a seat, how to listen and try, in fact in many cases even how to get to the lesson on time and it took me and two helpers to round them up ready to take the register… and this was a group of twelve children.
Two days ago was parents evening. I was dumbfounded when one of the parents who had come to see me held out their hand to me at the end of the meeting. “I just want to shake your hand and thank you for what you’ve done for my son. He couldn’t have asked for a better teacher than you.” Wow – how to render a teacher speechless in two sentences!
But today was the best – a moment I’ll never forget. A child who always seems to be in school against his will and whose mind certainly doesn’t accompany him to lessons. A child who seems to gain nothing from the lessons and has been hard to motivate without feeling that I’m perpetually nagging. A child who doesn’t often interact independently about maths. Today he sought me out to sign his autograph book and chatted for ages before finally saying “I am really going to miss doing maths with you. Your lessons are such fun and you make it seem so easy.. and well… thanks miss”. I so wanted to hug him. (I have a feeling he wanted a hug – he’s one of those children who probably doesn’t get many hugs – but it’s so hard in schools these days to take that risk).
As a part time teacher who doesn’t have a form class and who only teaches a very small percentage of the school, I don’t tend to get cards or presents at the end of the year. But that was like being handed a parcel of precious jewels. God bless you, Z, and all my Y8 group. I don’t know what the future holds for you, some of you I doubt will even make it through high school, but I’m going to miss you.
Plans for July: Somehow get everything done in the next eight days and leave for our holidays with a clear conscience, a painfree knee and a healthy gerbil. Travel first to Hastings for two days, then on to France, before returning home via Canterbury.
Plans for August: Come home from holiday. Enjoy all the free activities on the Island for three weeks. Declutter the home and sort out some boxes. Find where on earth I put my portfolio of finished (and half-finished) essays. Get a bit fitter. Relax more. Go to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. 😀 Have an extension built.
Plans for September: Make an impression at work so that my job becomes a bit more secure and I get chance to do my performance management thingies which lead to a few more pennies in the bank. Possibly do an extra afternoon a week as the school’s data manager if the new Head agrees. Get a bit fitter. Formally recommence my training as a local preacher. (I have arranged to visit a friend monthly to discuss issues raised by the course and to help me keep up a good pace of work – saves me having to spend quite so much time with a tutor). Live 😀
A bit of sympathy wouldn’t go amiss. Not that I tend to do sympathy, as my kids will doubtless tell you. But I have a poorly knee and it’s a downright nuisance. I want it to be better, and I want it to be better NOW
Not that I am a wimp when it comes to a bit of pain. I can put up with it. But it’s just so inconvenient. I have one week, and one week only, to resurrect my home from the depths of tip-itude before a friend comes to stay in it while we are away. In fact, I have one day to get it looking semi-habitable-and-hygienic before a certain Wiblogger arrives bearing…. hmmm, bearing shiny bead necklaces to bribe the inhabitants – maybe I won’t worry too much then! But getting it ready to let for ten days is a nightmare as it’s extremely cluttered and about to get worse. Yes, the sale of Dad’s bungalow is also almost complete and so poor hopalong is looking at seriously emptying the place of all the sundry bits and bobs before my brother comes down to move all the furniture into my garage. And of course, the garage needs clearing to make room for the furniture too. Alas, alack… all this with a poorly knee.
I was a bit frustrated when I saw the nurse this morning and she clearly thought it was psychosomatic because I didn’t want to clear Dad’s bungalow and would find it hard. Some aspects of it are hard – I can’t quite face taking his pictures of the wall – but on the whole the only thing that’s stopping me doing the rest is that I can’t carry it at the moment, and seriously daren’t try to lift it into the loft.
Meanwhile, with impeccable timing, I have a poorly car (needs new cambelt… heap big money!) and a poorly gerbil (trust my gerbil to have a skin disease which has the vets foxed) and my front door still doesn’t shut. However I have clean and dry washing 😀 I can watch videos as well as DVDs 😀 My boiler still seems to be working fine 😀 And I never, but never, wake up in the middle of the night with fears that I may die of boredom !
I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to my new son.
Actually, to tell the truth, it’s not exactly a new son, it’s my old son… one I haven’t seen for a long time.
Yes, Tiddles is home from school (or rather, was home from school – he’s gone again now) and I have got to say that God did great and wonderful things in leading us to that school. Even folk who don’t know my boy very well and don’t know the circumstances have commented in the change in his demeanour, his attitude, the way he stands, and the great smile of self-confidence on his face.
My sister’s heart sank when she went to pick him up for me and, on arrival at the school, was told that it was important that whoever picked him up should go and speak to one of his teachers before they left. With heart in boots she went in search of this teacher who said “I just had to let you know how impressed we all are with the start that he’s made here. He’s really thrown himself into school life and has done really well”. He has come home with a glowing first report – the first glowing report I can remember – but more to the point he has come home with a hug, with a desire to help, with loads of stories, and with a sense of responsibility already noticeable.
I think he’s noticed a difference in the knock-on effect of how he’s treated. He’s had a trip up the Spinnaker Tower with Honorary Auntie M, a serious amount of spending money for France from me, and is as I write probably lying exhausted in a bunk on TS Royalist – his dream come true as we managed to get sponsorship for him to spend a week on this sail training ship.
Best of all for both of us was the knowledge that when I threw my arms round him and said how much I’d missed him and how pleased I was to have him home, we both knew I meant it. 😀