It was the last day of the Easter term. Zak greeted me in the morning like he was speaking in tongues, very angrily. I noticed a quizzical look from a nearby teacher. I turned and smiled “translated that means ‘morning Tim'”. I think she understood.
Zak’s foul mood continued into the day, with him bringing new meaning to the expression ‘stage diving’. He flew into the main hall and took a long run up, ending in an attempted leap on to the stage. He misjudged it woefully. Rolling around and clutching his knee, this time he made a noise like he was supremely constipated. The children’s reaction was sublime. They watched in silence for a few seconds, then returned to class. I also ignored him, his five minutes of fame were over.
The Teddy Bears Picnic was a great success. Things only got nasty when one of the children stole my desert. I held a plastic knife to her Teddy to have it returned. I said “hand it to me or the bear gets it” and then “…don’t make me do this”, with just the right amount of conviction for her to relent.
We watched a film to round off the morning. Zak had suggested Arthur, a film he’d allegedly watched at his previous school. “Arthur?” I asked incredulously “about the drunk guy?”. It transpired he had meant King Arthur.
As we sat watching the film, even the more self-consciously cool kids cuddled their toys. It was disconcerting to think that they would soon be taking a giant leap of their own, into Secondary School. Earlier in the day, a girl told me how, during her first years at the school, she would lie on a pink cushion in the library. “I’m now too big for it” she muttered sadly. The realisation her time at Primary School was coming to an end etched on her face.
The afternoon was a pleasure. A very amateur guitarist bravely performed ‘Frère Jacques’ at the School Assembly. Just as his nerves began to get the better of him, the younger children sang along in whispered voices. This seemed to help him and he got through it, to wild applause.
On my way home, I heard a breathless voice behind me. It was Zak. He caught up with me just long enough to give me a malteser and then run off. Was this the behaviour of a child that no school had wanted?. Well, yes it was and I appreciated the gesture. Happy Easter!.