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.