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Waiting for the kettle to boil

I just went down to my school today (where I worked until this last Christmas) and it felt... very odd. I joined in with the middle class, helped them with their work and shared cake (as one child was leaving for another school today). One of the little Samoan girls wouldn't let me leave her side. Then I went to see the other children. One girl held onto me and burst into tears. She didn't let go for the rest of my visit, and hovered between joy and sorrow. As I left, she held me tightly and whispered, 'Don't forget me.' It was so moving. She's only ten, and such a beautiful child, one who has been to hell and back as a refugee from Iraq, on a boat that was sinking, dumped with her mother and baby brother on Nauru, interred in a camp there, her father missing somewhere in Australia. At the camp, there were protests, men were stitching their lips closed and striking, it was like a prison. Now the family is together again, and they have a baby.
Some of the children wanted me to teach them right away! How could I tell them I will never do that?
And outside I had an entourage of little people who held onto me and followed me round the school. It was odd, it's like MY school but I don't belong there any more. I saw my replacement but I couldn't bring myself to tell her anything. She said, 'Why did I leave?' and I stood up and looked out the window. 'I just had to go,' I said.
The children still love me. I still love them. I spoke quietly to every child in the middle class, and touched each one on the shoulder. It was so nice to be with them, to be there. But it was nice to leave too. I think, I think I couldn't have done another term there just now. I will miss some of the staff. But I still think it's good I've gone. I do feel a little sad, I was there a long time, and I know most of the families, they are part of my own community. But life moves on - *sigh* and so shall I. Like Nate, I'll try something different.


Feb. 13th, 2007 05:02 pm (UTC)
It's possible you went a bit too soon - from the children's point of view. They must have thought you were back to stay!! I'm glad you got such a lovely welcome and that you felt able to visit. You could have said something like 'there are times in life when you have to move on' or even 'I'm giving myself a chance to be a writer'.Now that you've been once, you'll feel able to visit whenever you miss the children!
Feb. 13th, 2007 07:41 pm (UTC)
It was definitely too soon. But I had to go in to borrow the leis for the Bazaar. And the Year One teacher pleaded for me to visit her class while I was there. But it was nice to have such a good welcome. I'd hate for there to be bad feelings as there have been with most of the staff members who have left.
Feb. 14th, 2007 01:26 pm (UTC)
I never went back to my last (full time) school - by the time the head from hell had left, so had the children and teachers I knew.
This is my Valentine's day icon. I made a new animated moth icon but it would be wasted on your computer ...



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