Heartbreak hurts.

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!)


2 thoughts on “Heartbreak hurts.

  1. I hear you and while I think we should never hurt children maliciously or because we don’t like them, they are going to have to hear bad news at some point. How will they cope as adults if they have not had any experience as children and bounced back? Avoiding all shame, failure, hurt and upset would involve isolating children from any interaction with any human being, ever. Otherwise, it will happen so now, what do they have to do if they want to be in a higher set? That’s what I would focus on.

    Liked by 1 person

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