Another door closes…

The final day at St Thomas Aquinas dawned on Wednesday 21st December. It was quite an eventful day (despite having followed the usual end-of-term routine.) This time however, it was both Ann and my self’s turn to be the teachers who gained the attention of the pupils in the hall. When I say pupils I mean all 1200 of them in a sports hall with 90 staff. Mr Foley, the man who has (in the past) been rather uncomplimentary announced to the whole bunch that Ann and I would not be returning in January and asked them to applaud. They did just that with whoops and cheers for an unusually long period of time. I think even he was surprised by the affection that the pupils were demonstrating. Perhaps this may have been the start of his understanding of what it is that he is going to miss out on?

After mass I had to say good bye to my wonderful form. Some teachers at Tommy’s are under the impression that my form contains some pure bred nutters. I, however, no differently. I have taken as much time as I could getting to know each and every one of them as well as I could. To understand them and help them and show them affection. They mean a lot to me and I am very proud of each and every one of them (see photo on earlier post).

I wrote each one of them a personalized Christmas card with a message for the future contained within it. Only one pupil left it (JP). They are a very special bunch and I just hope that whoever has the privilege of looking after them in the future takes time to see how strong, emotional mature, independent, talented, unique and fabulous they are.

Every time I see Little Britain I will forever think of Sean, when I straighten my hair, Jake will spring to mind; when I see someone perform a dance routine, Eliza, When I hear the Artic Monkeys, Ryan will be reeling a long list of other bands “I’ve just got to listen to” in my memory. Each and everyone of them has left a lasting memory for me and has taught me much more than I have taught them.

Once they had left, the hugs were over and the Christmas tree had been demolished and packed away it was time to say goodbye to all of the staff that I have been working with. After opening my secret Santa at break time I was looking forward to opening my leaving pressies. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a ceramic flying pig, a fluffy pig with matching socks and a set of bags. I could then add the pink roses that I was presented with to the bouquet I already collected on Monday.

Once the formalities of the faculty were over and done with I had to face the whole staff again as we had our Christmas buffet (served by the SMT in silly hats). Ironically perhaps, this time there was a wealth of vegan food (they’d even got hold of hummus!) and the spread was, as usual, lovely. When it was time for the speeches I went with a focus that was positive and meant more to me than all the crap that I’ve had to deal with over the last 3 years and focused on the pupils. This went down well I think.

So now I’ve left and I haven’t really realized. I still refer to it as “my” school with “my” form and “my” classroom. The sad thing is that none of this is true any longer I’m just waiting to come to terms with that. I think I’ll wait until after Christmas. They do pay me until the 31st after all.

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