I told my current class that I’m leaving on Friday. Background on my class…I’d describe them as a vibrant and diverse bunch.
It had been a horrible afternoon where everyone had been very loud and argumentative, I had a bad headache and felt sick (sickness bug pls no), we were all too hot and I was alone with them all. Obviously this was the perfect time to initiate a conversation around the seemingly unrelated to anything we have been doing topic of “Why do people move?” We discussed why some people move – “To get away from people” umm, “They win the lottery” I wish, “They don’t like their family anymore” not quite the stance I was going for… until finally someone said “They want an adventure!” Finally something I can use. And so I took a deep breath, felt weirdly nervous, and was about to break the news in my own time when someone accusinglying said “Are YOU leaving us?” Alright so you’ve seen through the cover of this strange circle time activity. “So on Friday that’s going to be my last day at this school as your teacher…”
Here is what happened next.Around 25/30 children burst into tears and hysterically sobbed whilst hugging and clinging to one another. Remaining 5 apparently unmoved children (not gonna take that personally) go to get tissues and tend to the blubbering group. Then I tentatively asked “Does anyone have anything they want to say or any questions?”
1. (Said through tears) You’re leaving before your birthday and now you’ll never get to have a birthday maltesar cake and on Friday you’ll get to see Miss Rogers have hers and you won’t ever know what it’s like! (Happy bday for the weekend Miss Rogers pls share your cake)
2. You do know you can’t just get another family? Followed by “Who will look after you?!”
3. Do people live in Malaysia?
4. How will we know you’re not dead?
5. I had a dream this would happen and I called it a nightmare and I should have trusted myself.
6. Are you going to sleep for 3 months and wake up over there?
7. Where is Africa? Well listened child.
8. You’ve made me cry. Now you have to hug me.
9. I’ll never let go of you Miss Bailey.
This is just a selection of the intense responses I received. I should have known that they were going to be dramatic. I tried to make things better using the powers of Google “Look at the school everyone”, “Look at the sunshine”, “Look at the beaches” but alas it was too late. I made the mistake of laughing as I looked out at their devastated faces because they looked SO ridiculous, but this led to a very emotionally loaded child shouting “She won’t even miss us”. The worst part about the whole thing was I completely over shadowed a child’s birthday and we sung Happy Birthday whilst crying and giving me evils.
It was intense. Luckily I have designed them all personalised flower pots with seeds to grow over the holidays to soften the blow. 3 days to go! For the record I will miss them all, but they are the strangest bunch I’ve ever met.