To face what we face

Our class assembly was my first as a teacher and a success. An experienced peer had confided in me “just make sure the audience can hear them and the kids look like they’re enjoying it”. They nailed it on both accounts.

The day, of course, could not pass without incident. One girl accidentally slapped herself in the face. Another turned up with glitter glue all over her, she looked as if stood by a wind tunnel.

There were the eleventh hour moments too. One parent informed me you can’t place a lion mask on a hijab or risk a stern ticking off from Allah. “Could my child have an acting part?” asked someone else; oblivious to the fact I’d spent weeks preparing this. I was tempted to give her daughter a protracted death scene.

We also experienced the inevitable wardrobe malfunctions. One child’s mask drifted over his eyes and he nearly fell off the stage. I had to tell another subtly that his builder’s bum was showing during some extravagant dance moves. Finally, during the class prayer a pig sound effect went off, just to rubber stamp my place in hell.

We got through it though. We group hugged, high-fived and once back in the classroom sat in an exhausted torpor. We’d ended our assembly by performing “Oh Happy Day” and this summed up the natural elation we collectively felt, in fact nothing could spoil…”we’ll be observing you first thing Monday” instructed the Deputy Head.

I’m going to need more nails.


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