Everybody shines

It’d been another tough week and Friday was just a step too far. We all know that Fridays should be banned for the general health and wellbeing of humanity but – yet again – Friday had rolled around and the students had pressed the ‘eject’ buttons on their brains. She knew it wasn’t their fault. All week they’d been on overload, taking in more new information about a range of subjects that stretched from personal hygiene to astronomy. Smelly and spaced out is probably what they should have been! And they were.

Years ago the thought of being a teacher has seemed like a no-brainer. Now it just seemed as if she had no brain. Even this last Tuesday she had felt as if there was no better profession. When Darren had walked up to her at recess and simply said, “I get it. What you said today in class suddenly clicked things into place. Thanks”, she had nearly burst into tears. But today was Friday – and someone was going to pay!

Lisa was obviously texting someone else from the phone not-so-carefully hidden in her lap. Chris was telling Bryn another joke. Yvette fell off her chair. Again. Marisse was actually asleep. The last instruction that she had given the class had slid across and through them without even ruffling their hair. Nuclear attack was starting to look like a reasonable response.

As she drew the breath that was going to fire the first salvo in the ongoing war she noticed Jack. Jack who never caused trouble. Jack who never excelled. Jack who had never once been called to the front of assembly to accept an award. Jack, who was at this very moment explaining to Audrey what they had been asked to do and quietly helping to make it happen.

“I must call his parents and tell them what a great job they’re doing”, she thought. And then, just for a moment she had a blinding vision of every single one of them they way their parents, or grandparents or caregivers saw them. The whole room shone. Every one of them blazed with light and she realised that this was what they really were. Beautiful beings. Not perfect. Not even always very nice. But beautiful because they were loved and they were worth the love they were given.

She breathed out. The glow departed but the scene had changed.

“Class!” she called loudly. They all turned, looking a little scared. “I love teaching you”, she said. No response.

“Just thought I’d let you know”. No response.

The bell went. They all left quietly. They all left shining.

Stephen Daughtry

Secondary Chaplain