Emotions Running High

So I only have two days left to teach, but I gotta tell you that things are not easy for me right now.  We are saying a lot of goodbyes to some really nice people who have been part of our lives for a year, and it is not easy to do.  Additionally, last week I taught school on Independence Day, which of course I have never had to do before.

Lucky for me July 4th was handed my way to help design a day for the school.  Initial ideas included a rota of activities for the whole school, but I made the point that children are not really inside on this day in America. They are outside playing, or at the pool, or the beach, or eating BBQ with friends and family.  Well, we could not import a pool, but we did have a free play afternoon in the classrooms.

In the morning my students tried to find a label all fifty US states.  In the year 5/6 classroom they added the state capitals to the challenge.

In the morning my students tried to find a label all fifty US states. In the year 5/6 classroom they added the state capitals to the challenge.

I taught the whole school our National Anthem during Assembly time.  We also watched some firework displays from Washington DC last year, and learned a bit about what Independence Day is.  In the afternoon we had birthday cake, celebrating my Nation's 237th birthday.

I taught the whole school our National Anthem during Assembly time. We also watched some firework displays from Washington DC last year, and learned a bit about what Independence Day is. In the afternoon we had birthday cake, celebrating my Nation’s 237th birthday.

Students also dressed up in red, white, blue, and stars and stripes and the whole school ate outside on picnic blankets.  I was amazed to see what different children wore and everyone was very kind and supportive of me.  Everyone seems to love America, which makes it even more special teaching here.  I felt very patriotic, especially when the whole school was singing our National Anthem.  A memory not soon forgotten.

Mrs Triggs and Mrs Saunders sharing a laugh at our picnic.

Mrs Triggs and Mrs Saunders sharing a laugh at our picnic.

Well, that was last week. This week, specifically yesterday, the whole school surprised me with an after school English Tea Party!  A total surprise!

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There were cakes, biscuits, cucumber sandwiches, cheese sandwiches, jelly sandwiches, pork pies, three pots of tea, British china tea cups and saucers, strawberry lemonade, and so much more.  Everything decked out with the Union Jack and the English flag.  I was really moved by the kindness and generosity of everyone.  A photographer from the Melton Times was present and took my photo with my class.  Lastly, I was presented with two huge cards made by the students of the whole school.  I was also given a class photo, a school photo, and a photo of Waltham Primary from the turn of the century.

http://www.meltontimes.co.uk/lifestyle/arts-leisure/pupils-say-goodbye-to-american-teacher-1-5268413

Thank you to everyone involved who made me feel really special.  Friday, July 12th, the last day of school, will be emotionally difficult.

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3 thoughts on “Emotions Running High

  1. This was the experience of a lifetime Jeff!! Few have had such a rich exposure to another country (and you didn’t have to carry a rifle). We here have truly enjoyed your families time in England.

  2. Well, this happy/sad ending will be a wonderful beginning for you and your family — and for the people you obviously touched while you were there. Now, if you can just manage to get through Terminal 5 …

    Best, Bruce

  3. Jeff – I have so enjoyed following you and the family through your year in England. What a fantastic experience for all of you. Safe journey home and welcome back!!
    Corky

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