One of my students has just been telling me about her birthday party. It was a fascinating discussion.
First of all, it's important that you know she was a new pupil this year, relocating after a big family move. For this reason, she knew no-one from this area, from local out-of-school clubs or family friends. Coming to this school, she was a complete stranger.
Yet today, mere months later, she's telling me about the small group of friends she's inviting to her house; "Nothing fancy," she said, "I don't like big parties." I was stunned. So often these days, we hear of young people having tantrums in shopping centres, craving the most expensive gadgets.
Children deserve a lot more credit. I wonder at what point adults lose their fearlessness.
This child came into a room of 29 strangers and instantly built a relationship. In many ways, it's a sink or swim situation. But pretense doesn't last long - especially when you're 9 - so there must be genuine friendship there. I'm pleased to teach a class of such accepting characters. And kudos to the guardians for setting up the communication to facilitate this budding group.
Interestingly, I also heard a parent today, explaining to her son how meaningless possessions are. As she spoke, she pointed to her head, and to her heart. "These are all that matter," she said. He beamed a sign of agreement.
Supportive families deserve a lot more praise. I wonder at what point they notice the outcome of their generosity.
This child was being given a simple life lesson; a message that would last longer than the time it would take for him to grow out of the expensive jeans he wanted. A message far more valuable than any label. I'm so pleased our pupils go home to mindful messages from caring people. Ignorance and jealousy are the main causes of conflict, yet here we are showing our young people what really leads to happiness.
A short post this afternoon, simply because I had to tell you.
I enjoy my job most days anyway, but observing these episodes today have added to the increasing number of reasons why.
Respond if you please.