Empty chairs at empty tables

Today is my last (half) day at school.  The work has come down from the walls, the trays are emptied, the bags gone from the hooks outside the classroom.  I’m counting up pencils, pens, folders, rulers and writing notes on the children for the next teacher, next year.

I’m taking back ribbons and crepe paper to the store room, adding up house points and finding things once lost behind dusty cupboards.

This week has been odd – on Monday I had year 2 up for induction and it didn’t quite seem to fit to have the wrong children in the classroom.  But then, next year they will be the right children in their classroom, the 3S of 2012/13 will just be 4E of 2013/14 and I will be a brief memory.

Tuesday we had prize giving and a rounders tournament, Wednesday almost normal lessons with the addition of a whole year free swim, which I, Anna the student teacher from year 5 and Chloe, the P.E. teacher joined in with. I threw sinking rings for them to fetch, brought my inflatable globe (which now languishes sadly deflated in my suitcase) to use as a beach ball and managed to get Pushti, a determined non-swimmer, to put her head under water and chase me like a shark. And I taught one or two of them to do forward rolls in the water.

Thursday – The Last Day of  School.  Two of my class were leaving for different countries, one to Nigeria, the other to South Korea.  So leaving books were written, photos were given out and cake was shared.  One of my American boy’s mums made me a lovely coffee and walnut cake and the children all brought in food for a sharing picnic.  We watched the Jungle Book, made pictures and strange things from tubes then I gave out my certificates I had made them. They each had a picture of me and a picture of them pulling a silly face.  Awards were given for things like ‘Best Origami Fish Maker’, ‘Best use of ‘Miss Skinner’ at the start of each sentence’, ‘Best impression of a Caribbean lady’ and luckily they mostly recognised who should get what.

Then assembly followed by packing up and going.  I was doing very well and didn’t cry until one Mum called me back ‘MacMillan is crying because you are leaving!’ I was then surrounded by a number of Indian mothers also saying bye.

I had ten minutes to tidy the classroom, sort myself out before going to get henna on my arms and feet.

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