Giving a child from sixth grade a three-minus that couldn’t compensate the five from the other subjects was the worst thing I ever had to do as a high school teacher.
This girl was always horribly pale, sick and fragile in class.It obviously always tried very hard to compensate with an oral note the fivein in the written. I had initially said that I would incorporate every visible effort into the oral note, and that well-run housebooks would already make up half the price.
She liked to sit in the middle of the last row between the rows of benches and her eyes never left me.She was pinned and forced me with her pleading glances to take her more often than I thought was good and right, because there were always those in the class who were already waiting with a ugly grin that she said something fluttering that I had to help with and had to put the right answer to her, while some Schlaubergers then loudly and triumphantly proclaimed: but she had said this wrong!
She gave books that were full of hard work, and yet the same mistakes kept appearing over and over again.Some housework was surrounded by flower garlands and sometimes there was a touching little picture of children on the subject of the English texts.
The girl was the eldest daughter of a single mother who had to be hospitalized shortly after the beginning of the school year.
Again, a video was deactivated, which was to describe single mothers here.New try with other video.
At some point it became clear – at some stupid conference we teachers were enlightened, the mother was in the hospice and would not come home.
The girl first doubled down on her efforts to please me, then the notes were fixed and I sometimes endangered myself by forgetting time with her during the break because she told me little stories from books she had read.
When I left the other building too late from the break, the eighth-graders greeted me there with loud shouting and sometimes wrestling, with teachers from neighboring classes looking in angrily and saying that we cannot understand our own word here.Are you finally ready to start teaching here?
The girl was given a foster mum and was told she would have to leave school.Towards the end of the school year I had more and more my own problems: students ran after me in big crowds and kept shouting my name to annoy me or had prepared a huge stock of paper planes with which they could yolk their classmates to joke when there were hits and I couldn’t stop the action.
I had long forgotten that, towards the end of the school year, students were happy to prevent lessons and ridicule teachers, even though I had liked to do it myself as a student in the past.
In the penultimate week we said goodbye to the school leavers: the girl, whose eyes had burned into me, no longer looked so pale and no longer had clothes so grey washed on.
She approached me at the beginning of her last English lesson, accompanied by her class teacher, and handed me a paper bomb with colorful ribbons on both sides.I was completely perplexed and asked her what it was: “You have to pull this apart here and there, then a surprise comes out.”
The surprise fell under the benches, of course, but there were little helpers who crawled around under the tables with enthusiasm… Were they mini plastic animals and a colorful ball?
It was a spectacle and a nice farewell for the girl because no one laughed at her.Something hurt me for a long time when I thought about how I had received the gift and didn’t know how to deal with it.
“But I’m not allowed to accept gifts,” was probably my first reaction, and I still don’t know exactly why I have to cry when I write about it.