Today I broke children’s hearts. And it felt fucking awful.
Set changes. Something I hadn’t even given a second thought until the paper was thrust upon me yesterday afternoon. I worried about it all of last night. How was I going to tell children that they were being put down a set, and more importantly how was I going to tell their parents?
I woke up in the night with a sudden panic, regarding one particularly “interesting” pupil in Year 7, wondering and stressing over how to tell her she was moving down without her ‘kicking off.’
As I approached the lesson this morning and debated how best to go about the situation, I felt all kind of weird and worried. I just didn’t want anyone to think it was because they were “thick” or not good enough.
As I called this girl outside to talk to her I genuinely felt nervous. Seriously, I thought, I need to get a grip. So, anyway, I told her my reasons for moving her to a lower set and she simply smiled and said “No that’s cool Miss.”
Oh right. Easy. Nothing to get myself stressed about.
Or so I thought.
Feeling like a champ, and knowing how easy this was going to be, I sauntered into my Year 9 lesson this afternoon ready to deliver a similar message, this time to a handful of boys.
“Right” *looks at shoes like they’re the most interesting things in the world*
Crap. There it is. This is what I was dreading. One after another, each 14 year old boy that I told, practically turned to mush. I think I even spotted a quivering lip in there somewhere. They hung their heads in shame, like a wounded puppy.
And nothing I said or did could lift their head again. They looked so ashamed of themselves that I felt like a bloody bitch. Like this whole decision was my fault (despite it being a department wide decision.)
The worst part? I then had to tell them they had me for another year, after giving them the shittest news they’d probably had all day.
3 out of of the 4 boys looked at me like I was dirt on the bottom of their shoes, whilst one told me “Cool Miss, that’s alright” – which didn’t even begin to make me feel better.
As I let another kid down in my Year 8 lesson this afternoon, I learnt the difficult lesson of being a teacher. I am way too attached to these annoying little things, and breaking their heart, even if just for a nanosecond, makes you feel about the size of an ant.
(P.s. The parents were a doddle in comparison!)