Monday, May 12, 2008

Honeys, I’m home

Ah, the first day back at school.

Sure enough, scissors had strayed from the scissor box, dictionaries were on the fiction shelf, title pages for social studies had been created in science books, plastic was in the paper recycling bin, and visuals had been stuck on the whiteboard with cello-tape. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

But these grating discoveries were appeased by the students’ response at seeing me back. Granted, almost any classroom teacher is welcomed back after a string of relievers (after all, I know the students’ names), but it felt good just the same.

“Never leave us again!” made me smile. Each student reacted slightly differently as they arrived. Some looked relieved (some students don’t cope well with changes in routine), others seemed sincerely happy, and one went to hug me…and then pulled her hands firmly back, her face signalling a realisation you’re not supposed to do that. Bless.

I had prepared my press statement for the inevitable onslaught of inquiries as to why I would leave them for an entire week (when I’ve never been absent a day before);

“I walked past a giant magnet, and shrapnel from my air force pilot days punctured my organs. It wasn’t pretty.”

Yet when faced with their little cherubic faces (as that is how they appear that first day back – ready to be angelic students, for a whole day), I ended up telling them some portion of the truth;

“Let’s just clear this up once and for all. I got pretty sick in the holidays. I went to the hospital a lot. It hurt. Needles were involved. The end.”

And that’s about all people outside the family need to know right now. That, and I’m feeling better!

It felt good to be back. It was comforting to blow a whistle during dodgeball again. It was exciting to administer the geometry pre-test I spent hours making while on leave. And it was oh-so satisfying to describe ancient Greece to a captive audience.

And to top it all off, at the end of the day, scissors, books, whiteboard, and bins were all in order. Mmmm, order.


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