It was the last day of term this week, and all the 8 year olds I have been attempting to teach have been flagging. They have wilted in the hot weather, become fractious once again and needed some gentle coaxing into this last, final stretch.
On the last day many of them turned up with cards and gifts as is traditional/mandatory in schools in the UK. The cards contained many heartfelt and heartwarming messages from children and parents who have enjoyed the term and wished to express their appreciation. Very flattering, I approve most heartily of anything that makes me feel good about myself.
I also received a number of gifts;
- a bottle of wine – nice
- some beers – very nice
- skittles – brilliant
- a mug that says ‘worlds greatest teacher’ – only right and proper
- a key ring that agreed
- a bookmark – useful
- a penguin made from loom bands – not instantly recognisable and a bit creepy looking, but clearly the result of a great deal of time and effort from someone who wanted to make me something very special indeed
and many, many, many boxes of chocolates.
As I opened the sixth box, carefully removing the wrapping paper, acting surprised and declaring a cheery “goodness gracious, MORE chocolates, I am going to have a great summer!” I looked down. One of my students was sitting directly in front of me, he always does, because sometimes he needs to be there, just because – you know.
As I glanced down he slowly shook his head and said in a loud clear voice he had never used in class before; “type one diabetes, sir” and then, with a final sad glance went back to trying to steal the hat of the boy on the next table to him.