It’s been a long old 3 years. I’m leaving my school for new adventures in a new school, and have said most of my goodbyes, I know that I will see many of my friends and colleagues again soon so it’s not goodbye, it’s see you later.
Two of those years has been with my lovely little class. I know I winge about them a lot but I’m really going to miss them. Yesterday was my very last day as their teacher. We had a long assembly, a playtime and then our party began. A donut, a few biscuits, some popcorn, lemon squash and a party bag later I was being squashed with gratitude hugs after the children had all opened their gift bags.
When it came to handing out the present bags, I knew that by handing the first child their bag, they’d open it, find the main present, squeal and blurt out the surprise. So I put a few rules in place. Apparently it takes a goody bag with a surprise in to get them to follow an incredibly hard instruction for an 8 year old to actually, physically follow. So the rule was that as I placed their present bag in front of them, they were not allowed to touch it or look inside it. Not until every child had received their bag. Of course, Meerkat, Tigger and the Oracle had to be saved until last because I just could risk trusting them and them then taking a peek, thus spoiling the surprise. Many children needed to sit on their hands because temptation was just too much. Their own choice, not my instruction.
Once all of the bags had been placed in front of them, I teasingly watched them squirm and giggle with excitement. Only one child was allowed to hold her bag, but only because it kept threatening to fall over and spill its contents onto the table. So she held it up but kept her eyes closed and the bag at arms reach. “Ok when I count to 3 and say have a look inside, you’re allowed to open your bags and check out the loot.” I then had to explain that loot was pirate talk for treasures. Which garnered their attention even more!!!
“1…” they still hadn’t peeked. Unbelievable.
“2…” they all shuffled on their bottoms and giggled at each other with anticipation. The fact that even Tigger, Meerkat, the Oracle and a few other children were playing along and didn’t peep inside the bag was freaking me out.
“3…” squeals, chuckles and eyes closed shut ready for the magic word… I held on for a few seconds longer and watched them die with the agonising wait.
“Have a look inside!” Everyone of them, immediately, jumped into their goody bags and a chorus of surprised, gobsmacked wonderment filled the room.
In complete and utter amazement, one boy in my class, who has a very neglected home life, stood up from his seat and hugged me (as tightly as he possibly could with his skinny arms) to say thank you. He received a gift he had been waiting for, for what probably felt like forever to him…all of the other children followed his lead and we ended in up in a massive group hug.
If there is one thing that I knew my class would appreciate and love, more than anything in the world, it’s a fidget spinner! Many of them have one already. Some have a whole collection of them. I saw them for £1 each at poundworld a few weeks ago and just knew I had to clear the shelf!
As the children returned to their seats, I explained that obviously they might have a colour they would like to swap, so they were allowed to swap colours but not swap for different items. As swapping began, party whistles were tooting around the classroom and the party was in full swing. I played some music and they all sang along.
Before lunch, I was hugged many more times and thanked with genuine appreciation. They all knew that I didn’t need to buy them a fidget spinner and some knew how costly they were 😉 because their parents were unable to afford one. They realised that I had shown kindness and spent rather a lot of money on them! The fact that I had bought them one each when Tigger announced that they are usually “roughly 6 quid each!” Left echoes of gasps and thanks around the room.
I know that for many of my children, they will probably spend the summer having gorgeous holidays, playing outside and doing lots of fun things with their parents, but for others it’s a whole 6 weeks of games console amusement and fast food eating whilst entertaining themselves. I’ll probably never find out how their summers were, but I’ve loved every minute of being their teacher. Even the challenging minutes of the days in hindsight. I know that I’ve said goodbye to them the best way I know how and despite initial tears a few weeks ago, they were all emotionally ready to say goodbye on the last day. I was sad to see them go but held back the tears to keep the moment happy and cheerful. Just how I’d like to be remembered by them all. Rather than the grumpy teacher that complains when they forget to use a ruler for underlining the date or haven’t followed an instruction to the T.
The best part of the day was at the very end when Tigger told his Nan that I’d bought them all a fidget spinner each. He told her that I’m so rich, I live in a mansion with an Aston Martin AND a Bugatti in the driveway! 😂 oh the stories that child can think up. I’m going to miss him.
I’m going to miss them all.