I usually dread holidays as the days are so long on our own, but we are all really glad to start our Easter and school holidays today. It's been a good first term of school, but we are all really tired and looking forward to two weeks of sleep ins, not having to make school lunches, catching up with family and friends and having some fun together. The best thing is that I can enjoy holidays, as I know that I have a contract to teach again next term.
I have absolutely loved my job teaching English as an Additional Language this past term, and am so excited that I get to continue on with the same kids next term. I can't wait for the day when I'm no longer a temporary teacher, and don't have to worry about whether or not I have work.
I thought teaching children with special needs was what I loved the most, but I have never had a job that is so challenging, heart breaking and rewarding at the same time. The kids are understanding more and more, and are able to speak in English so much more. They are very quiet in their classrooms, but when they are with me they are very chatty, cheeky and lots of fun. I love seeing them come out of themselves, and sometimes I even have to tell them to stop talking and listen, which they think is funny. They love it when I say 'zip it!' and they pretend they are zipping their lips together. Sometimes they will look at me with a grin and say 'me not zipping!'. I then tell them they should say 'I'm not zipping' and they will say it the right way and laugh again.
Now that they can speak in English a lot more, they are telling me more about their life before they came to Australia. It's heart breaking to hear their stories about what school was like where they came from. They have told me with tears in their eyes about the things they have been through, and I told them how I'm sad because they are sad, but how happy I am that they are now in Australia and how much we love having them at our school.
They are Muslim so they obviously don't celebrate Easter, but their parents said it is okay for them to participate in Easter activities at school and to have Easter eggs as long as they are halal. A few weeks ago I asked them if they knew was Easter was. One of the boys was so excited and yelled 'chocolate eggs!'. I laughed and said that we do have chocolate eggs at Easter. The other kids then said 'and chocolate rabbits'. I asked them if they would like a chocolate egg at Easter and they were very excited, so I gave them each a calendar and they marked on it the day they would get the egg (the last day of the term).
Every day they would then tell me how many more days it was until they got their 'chocolate egg'. I kept reminding them they had to work hard to get an egg and they would just smile, because I think they knew they would get one anyway :)
When I first started teaching them I made up a book about myself to read with them. In the book I wrote 'I like chocolate'. They had no idea what chocolate was when I first started with them, so it's funny to see how they have gone from not knowing what chocolate is, to hanging out to have some.
On the last day of school the kids saw me with a big bag and were so excited and said 'Miss King, what's in bag!?' (I go by Mrs King usually, but they often call me 'Miss'). I told them it was a surprise and they had to work hard before I would show them, and they were so excited and said 'chocolate eggs!'. They couldn't wait to try them and when I asked them if they liked them they said 'yummy!!'.
Yesterday we went up to the cemetery to decorate Aaron and Noah's graves for Easter. Kobe said 'we did this last year, we will do this every year won't we Mum?' as he put eggs on Noah's trees.
My friend Simone had bought some cute little bunnies and put at their graves earlier in the day.
Even two and a half years later, it still doesn't seem real. I don't know if it ever will.