Snot! The green slimy substance that trickles down the noses of small children. That’s what I remember. Walking into a primary school expecting to see the sweet angelic faces of five year olds, but what do I get, a handful of adorable faces and the rest; dirty and snotty. It wasn’t really much of a problem at the time but once they cleaned their faces and washed their hands, I felt a sigh of relief coming on. Working in a primary school wasn’t as fun as you would really expect it to be.
At first the children introduce themselves to you, putting on a satisfying expression, but as the days progress they’ve got you wrapped around their little finger like thread on a reel. Climbing on you as though you were some sort of climbing frame and calling out your name every second displaced the thought of cooperating with these children, but then you have to think, they are only five years old. I guess working in a primary school is satisfactory if you like children running around and pulling you in every direction they seem to ‘drag’ you in, but sometimes I just wasn’t capable of making that sort of commitment.
Once you wake up I the morning, you just want to regain your strength from the stressful day before, but every so often that is impossible. Regardless of their screaming and whining, I couldn’t think of working anywhere else. It felt like a duty, a great responsibility, or alternatively; free labour. Not getting paid a penny, but what could I do apart from make these two weeks worth my whiles and go along with the flow. I think one boy who stands out in my memory was a rather diminutive yet plump boy named Dimitri.
As soon as I had a glance at him, my first impressions of him was a quiet, lazy little boy who didn’t bother doing anything else but sit in his chair and star up at the ceiling, daydreaming about any images of cartoons which appeared in his head. I didn’t doubt that description for a minute, as I was correct. It was exactly what he did, so tried to make learning interesting for him. He seemed excited when I asked him to come and draw slimy snake on the computer; similar to the one on the display board. I enjoyed everything during the two weeks but there is always one activity, which bores everyone to death!
For me that was assemblies. Regardless of what anyone thought, assemblies were never interesting. Walking into a hall, lips tight shut, teachers staring at the children waiting to strike at someone who makes even the slightest sound. There was nothing different about assemblies at this school apart from the fact that merits are awarded from the head teacher for excellent achievement. Sitting on a char whilst all the children watch me and giggle as Mrs. W. Robinson, head mistress of Wellington Primary School marched in.
One memory, which stays at the back of my head, was when I was asked to see if there was a dead pigeon on the field. To my surprise, there actually was. When I looked at the creature, I could see that it had been shattered to pieces. Feathers were everywhere and apart from the entrails and guts dangling out of the bird, I could see little flies circling the deceased body as though they had been hypnotised. It looked as though a fox had shredded it apart. I guess looking at this scene didn’t affect me, as I don’t really mind looking at bloody organisms or bodies.
That is what I want to do as a profession; become a doctor. I went to fetch the caretaker, who found it quite amusing and thought to give the poor old bird mouth-mouth resuscitation. I guess he was on his own for that procedure. Playing in the sand, building with bricks, making pictures, and before I could attend another assembly, two tremendous weeks were over, like a click of the finger. All thirty-two children looking at me as they wave their good byes and say ‘I’ll miss you’, ‘Are you coming back? ‘ and ‘Where are you going?
‘ Looking at them and reading their faces, the first thought, which came to mind, was the faces and eyes, which looked at me on the first day I strolled into the classroom. The big hand turned to twelve as the little one stood at four and I was off, empty handed; but still clinging on to my dignity, and I left the premises, not even with a thank you card but an oral thank you from the children. On my way home, ignoring the fact that I had tonnes of homework due in a couple of days, I thought of what I had learnt.
For once I couldn’t think of anything… but then something came to me. Working with small children is not an easy job. You cannot lack in qualities such as patience and tolerance, but you also have to listen to what the children have to say and show a bit of enthusiasm as though you are interested. After living through these two weeks, I have decided not to become a primary school teacher but just to enjoy everything I do and also to work hard in every activity, achieving my maximum potential.