There’s been a lot in the media lately about work, working overtime, loving your work or going above and beyond. That, combined with the teachers’ strike, reminded me of one time I felt a teacher had gone way past loving their work, and into superhero territory.
I’d had one of those weeks fortnights months, where I had one tiny hiccup after another. Nothing too serious mind you, but enough to make me incapable of organising our clean undies into our drawers or ensuring a semi-regular supply of fresh fruit and veges. No naked scurvy-ridden varmints just yet … only the usual string of appointments, assemblies and ear infections.
It led to some interesting exchanges, like when I confessed to my kids that I was confused about how to start dinner and Abigail (she was 9) patted me on the shoulder, eyed me sympathetically and offered to start chopping a salad. Awkward.
One day Abel’s preschool* was holding an Easter parade and BBQ with a jumping castle and fairy floss and a raffle and… you get it, the whole fete fiasco. It was a beautiful day with glorious sunshine and hardly a breeze to be felt. Families turned out in droves, the kids’ hats looked fantastic… but then something odd caught my eye.
I noticed Abel’s teacher, Superlady (no exaggeration, the lady is indeed Super), sitting down chatting to some parents. It was odd because I don’t think I’ve ever seen Superlady sit down except to work at her computer. Hmmm… I let the thought go until about 15 minutes later when Superlady breezed past me, busily corralling kids over to a craft station. A curious piece of paper encircling her wrist caught my eye. I looked hard at it and… no… really? But… surely not?!
It was a hospital ID bracelet.
A quick word to Superlady confirmed that the night before she had been rushed to hospital after falling unconscious with an asthma attack. I kid you not.
Superlady had climbed out of her hospital bed, pulled on a dress, popped on some makeup and headed into school to hobnob with 40 families over sausages and chocolate. On a Saturday. Although a part of me thinks Superlady was crazy to jeopardise her health for the sake of a barbeque, I can’t help but admire her passion for the little ones under her tutelage.
As we left the preschool that afternoon, Abel stopped to say goodbye to Superlady. Her daughter happened to be standing nearby with a camera and asked Abel and his teacher to pose for a quick snap. I’m going to ask for a copy of that photo and look forward to the day Abel will look at it and appreciate just how much he mattered to his first, most wonderful, teacher.
Have you ever gone above and beyond the call of duty? Have you ever witnessed someone going above and beyond in their work? Did you have a teacher who went above and beyond for you?
*In the ACT, preschool is the name for that very first, non-compulsory, year of schooling undertaken by 4 year olds right before they hit ‘big school’. It’s called kindy in Victoria (and Queensland?).
Karen has written 5 posts.
Sometimes I’m just Karen. But mostly I’m his wife, their mum or that person banging on about footy or uni or food or the decline of modern civilisation. Karen blogs here.
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