We have just finished our half-term holiday in HOPAC. I have had a very relaxing week: reading, writing, spending time with friends. It’s been great and I think I’m just about ready to head back to school tomorrow for the long two month road to the Christmas break (not that I’m wishing my life away).
In this first half term, I’ve gotten to know my new class pretty well, and I have to say: they’re definitely a good bunch. Here are a few things I can tell you about them:
1) They’re kind to one another.
As a class, they are always willing to help and encourage one another. I have seen them tie shoelaces for each other, fetch things for their friends that were accidentally left in class; compliment each other when I hold up pieces of work to the class and remind each other of things that might otherwise have been forgotten.
2) They’re a hugging class.
This doesn’t go for all of them (I’m sure some of the boys would be horrified at the prospect of being called a good hugger by their teacher), but there are several students who will hug me multiple times a day, just because I happened to walk past them. I have one student who I sometimes have to threaten with detention if she doesn’t stop hugging me. Safe to say, they’re a loving lot.
3) They enjoy homework!
Again, not all of them, but on more than one occasion I have told my class that there isn’t any homework and half of them pout in disappointment. Of course, the other half shout, “Yes!” and punch the air, but even so, having more than one child that wishes they had more work to do is a novelty indeed.
4) They can play football without me having to ban the game!
Most of the boys in my class are football crazy. In their mind, the only reason to come to school is to play football at break time (these are probably the same students who aren’t disappointed when there’s no homework), everything else they do is just an unnecessary extra. But what has amazed me with this class is that they never seem to argue about football. They play, they disagree, they sort it out and they carry on. Even when there are injuries (one child ran into the goal post and got hit in the face with the ball in the same week) they just help the injured player to the nurse and then carry on playing. It makes my life so much easier!
5) They work hard.
Generally they want to do well in the tasks that I give them, whether it be writing, reading, drama or anything else that they’re challenged to during the course of the week. Of course, there are several who need frequent reminders that they are in school to do work, but that’s all it takes to get them back on track. Most of them want to improve and make progress; they genuinely enjoy learning.
6) They sometimes forget that they’re the students not the teacher.
I think it really comes down to being in a class where the majority of children want to get things done well, but there have been many occasions when some of them have taken it upon themselves to boss other children around; to tell them to be quiet and to remind them of things that should really fall under my jurisdiction. One classic example last week was child A bossing someone around, child B asking child A, “Are you the teacher?” (one of my phrases, I’m afraid) and me saying to child B, “Are you the teacher?” I feel like half my class might become teachers when they are older.
So there are just few things to give you an idea of what my class is like. Now, that’s not to say that they’re perfect robot children (although we do sometimes play that game if they’re a little hyped!). There have been a few moments where they were less than angelic – running like crazy people during the fire drill, and writing on the bathroom walls to name two – but generally they’re such a pleasure to teach. I feel like God has big plans for these children. I think they will be leaders, educators, pastors and creators when they grow up. But in the meantime, I have the great honour of teaching them for one year. I intend to make the most of it!