As I write this post, the last batch of students I’ve taught are sitting for their EL O Level paper and even though I only taught them for half a year when they were in Secondary Three, I still feel nervous for them. Time really has flown by, and I’m getting all nostalgic thinking about my time with these boys. I loved teaching this batch, and bonded with them despite the short time frame.
I still smile when I think about the silly things they said and did during our Full Literature lessons. I’ll admit that I’m easily amused, which makes it difficult for me to stay angry with them for long. I had a boy with a lovely, deep voice, and I enjoyed getting him to read aloud in class, just because his voice was so beautiful and such a joy to listen to. Another boy, who has the most expressionless face you can imagine, when asked to read Juliet’s lines, put on a very girly voice to do so, taking the class by surprise and we all burst out laughing. I had plenty of filthy-minded boys, which is to be expected in an all-boys’ school, I guess, and having Romeo and Juliet as our text didn’t help matters at all. They all had plenty of things to say about how stupid they thought the young couple was, and came up with various lewd interpretations of the most innocent of lines. But I loved that they were engaged during the lessons, and to me, I felt that them having so many opinions meant that they actually cared about the text, which is what I wanted from them.
My form class was also a lively bunch, and the first batch that I had to camp with. I hate camps and utterly dislike the idea of having to spend a night away from my cosy bed unless I’m on holiday in a nice hotel, but these boys made it just that little bit better when I saw how much fun they had and how the camp helped them to get along better with each other. I’m generally quite sarcastic with my students and the previous batch didn’t seem at all bothered by it, so I didn’t really think much about it, but this class, ah… they were so quick to react to everything I said, and I was very much entertained by their reactions. I think one boy summed it up best when he exclaimed, “I don’t even know whether you’re really praising me or you’re being sarcastic anymore!” before dramatically miming tearing out his hair in frustration. Hahaha. I don’t even think he’d remember this incident, but I do, because I miss all of them very much. Plus my brain has the strange habit of storing useless information like that, but that’s not the point here.
I think about my boys very often and wish that I could have seen them through their final two years in secondary school. My previous batch of boys are going to take their A levels very soon too, and I still miss them dearly. I’m glad that many of the students I’ve taught over the years are still in contact with me, mainly via Facebook and Twitter, and thankful that they make the effort to say hi once in a while. I miss being in a classroom and the mental stimulation that teaching provides. I miss interacting with my colleagues and students, but I don’t miss the seemingly never-ending marking and administrative work, and I definitely don’t miss the stress that came along with all that.
I look at the little boy snuggled in the crook of my left arm as I type this with my right hand, and I know that I made the right decision to go on no-pay leave. Yes, I miss my boys very much, but as my very wise boss once said, “Students come and go. Your family is more important now.”
If any of my boys from the class of 2010 and 2012 are reading this, know that you are all very dear to me and that you are in my prayers during this important examination period. May God bless all of you and I look forward to sharing your joy when you receive your results next year.