It’s that time of year again. Where teachers have a constant loop of Christmas songs playing in their heads. It isn’t even December yet, and we still manage to find the songs playing, dimly, in the backgrounds of our brains. This year, we haven’t gotten so far as even deciding which songs to sing whilst telling the Christmas story.
I do remember this time last year though, his lordship had declared that he didn’t want to be in the Christmas show. He’d spent the entire afternoon spinning on his bottom, polishing the hall floor with his trousers, refusing the join in and take part.
He didn’t want to sing the songs.
He didn’t want to go on the stage.
He didn’t want to have a speaking part.
He just didn’t want to do it.
If it was any other child, I would have put on my stubborn face and stood my ground, forcing him to take part, whether he liked it or not, but by this point of the year, I think I was flagging already and struggling to maintain my composure. He was wearing me down, daily. He couldn’t handle the noise and I couldn’t handle the defiance. I left him to it, spinning around at the back of the hall, as the other children practised their songs.
The next practise session, I left him in the classroom with my TA to sit around. No doubt about it, he probably managed to sneak onto an iPad whilst she was busy building props and spaceman costumes. He had a sly way of sneaking onto an iPad within a split second, then, when you caught him and told him to get off, the argument would escalate into a tug o’war over the electrical device. It didn’t help that a girl in the class is JW and can’t do any activity even remotely religious, so she was sitting at the back of the room/hall playing on an iPad anyway. Even though she wasn’t taking part in the show, she could still tell you the words to the songs, just from listening to the other children sing them.
His lordship on the other hand, was different. We would try to squeeze in a last minute practise at the end of the day, before home time, and he’d scream all the way through it or try to turn the music off. He has ear defenders which you’d remind him to wear whilst we were singing but he’d still kick up a fuss, claiming he could still hear the music and it was too loud. His tantrums were becoming unnecessarily frequent and over the most insignificant things as well. I had to explain to his mum that he didn’t want to do the Christmas show, if it was ok with her, we’d give him some extra work to do whilst we practised and performed the show, she wouldn’t need to come and see it, if he wasn’t going to be in it. She didn’t seem bothered which proved to me why he wasn’t bothered about it either.
I think this was the moment, last year, when I realised that it would be a long year. Yet, I still chose to keep him and the class rather than teach different children at the end of the summer. What is wrong with me?
I’m betting a bag of haribo sweets, that his lordship won’t want to take part again this year – which is probably for the best, seeing as he will never be in school for the afternoon practises.