The Gateway to Summer

PICT0827This is a picture I took a month or so back at Somerleyton Hall, a stately home and gardens about five miles from home. The gardens are especially lovely. Summer is about at an end and I thought this photo was a good reminder of the sunny days and flowers we’ve had.

I’m having trouble facing the darker days that are coming. I have to remind myself the light will return.

Saying goodbye and maybe good riddance too!

I had my final morning of teaching today. I think in many ways it was a total waste of time but hey, I got paid.

I got in to the news that two students had been arrested yesterday and taken into custody in handcuffs for shoplifting from Boots the chemist’s. They were apparently not released till almost midnight. Believe me that being 12 years old was not what saved them from the full wrath of prosecution; when Boot’s say they prosecute ALL shoplifters, they mean it. I have no idea how they got off with a reprimand; it may have something to do with them being minors from another country or it may be that they were returning home the next day.

Needless to say we were all shocked and disappointed. Rumours flew round and it came to light that several others had been boasting of doing the same but had got rid of the goods. No proof, see? Yet another was hauled over the coals for stealing something from his host family. A great deal of time this morning was spent searching cases and bags and interrogating kids. The three students who had stolen stuff were not given their leaving certificates.

I’m glad to say none of my class were involved; indeed they seemed quite shocked too. By some quirk of fate or maybe latent psychism from me, the topic of the morning was CRIME. It was the only worthwhile thing we managed to get done.

But the feedback forms were gratifying; I got the highest scores possible from all my morning students and on the back of the afternoon ones too. I also had comments written about me being the best, and the best guide for trips too. To put it into perspective, the students all were adamant that THEIR teacher was the best. One of my colleagues, who I will call Dillon here, was given a gift of a London bus keyring and a fridge magnet; the fact that these were almost certainly stolen goods did rather diminish it!

I got hugs and kisses from all my students; the morning class were delighted to have my email address to keep in contact.

It’s been a very mixed 3 weeks; highly enjoyable at times but unbearably challenging in many others. They were simply so noisy and hyper it was a struggle to teach. But now they’re well on their way back to Spain, hopefully some of them have learned some important life lessons.

One kid who all of us teachers found obnoxious was in floods of tears about getting a C in his final grade. I don’t think he could understand why. The grades are about effort and attitude and not about how good a student is at English. Neither his effort nor his attitude earned him anything higher than a C. I hope he learns from this; I felt on a number of occasions I wanted to thump him. I eventually asked for him to be removed from my class.

I’ll get to the ghost walk in a separate post…..