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Student Wellbeing 2021
Student Wellbeing 2021- Now the exciting season has ended, its back to work and school for many of us. However, it is always good to keep in mind that not everyone has been able to celebrate properly this 2020 Christmas. We have written a short story that shows how students can support and respect one another…
It was as if Christmas never came! You know, everyone says that December is the busiest year – however, I beg to differ. January is busier and everyone is frantically getting ready to go back to their normal routines. No more cosy nights in the living room, no more Christmas dinner leftover butties, no more carols or Christmas lights.
Amongst all the rush, one school in particular was getting ready for the new term. Classroom displays were being put up, floors were being mopped, Christmas decorations were being taken down. For one teacher, it was getting a bit too much. Mr. Green had a big pile of cut out letters to put up on his wall, then he must finish some paperwork, rearrange the chairs and he even had to clean up the library – but everything must be right, it was only a few days until his students were back.
The week had begun. Corridors were no longer empty and cold but full of laughter and colours. Year six were talking about their future high school, year five watched in envy. Other children rushed around hanging their coats and skipping to the playground. Mr. Green was happy to be back and his students were too! Each of them was excited to tell Mr. Green everything, they had done over the Christmas break.
When the bell rang the class quieted down. No one really made a sound. Mr. Green was surprised to see such good behaviour, especially on such an exciting day. Without a second thought, Mr Green wrote on the board:
One by one, students told Mr. Green their favourite present they have received this year. An Xbox, a Ps5, a football, a new dolls’ house, colouring books and glitter pens, a new pet, a new baby brother! The answers went on and on, Mr. Green was amazed, until he realised that some of his students were not giving answers.
“Santa doesn’t really come to our house!”
“Why?” Another student asked Adam.
“So does Santa not like you?” A student asked again.
“Yes! He likes us! My mummy says he just respects our choice to celebrate differently!” Miguel replied.
“Why though?” Students asked.
“In our house we are Jewish” Adam said proudly “We celebrate differently, we have Hanukkah which mummy said is not Christmas but celebrated around the same time – sometimes we have two Hanukkahs!” Adam explained that traditionally, in Hanukkah there were no exchanging of gifts. However, his family, and many others do get each other presents.
Questions were passed around, and answers were given, everyone was so excited to learn about new traditions. Even Mr. Green was sharing how he shared Christmas with his partner and family. But there was one student who was not saying a word.
Mr. Green had noticed that Zara, another student, had not said anything today. Zara is a happy student, she likes to read books and laugh with the rest of the class, so it was odd for her to be so quiet. Mr. Green decided it would be best to ask her not in front of the class.
When the bell indicated break time, Mr. Green asked Zara to stay behind for a second. Zara gulped, was she in trouble for not speaking today? Zara slowly walked towards Mr. Green who smiled and asked her to sit down. Mr. Green was concerned for Zara’s quietness, and he just wanted to make sure everything was ok.
“Are you ok Zara? You’re normally chattier?”
“Well, everyone was talking about presents” Zara shrugged “Me and Mummy couldn’t celebrate Christmas this year because Daddy isn’t very well.”
You see, Zara’s dad has been in the hospital since the start of November. The doctors say he will get better, but he needs to rest. For Zara and her mum, things were getting difficult. Mr. Green nodded, then he realised, that not everyone is lucky enough to spend their Christmas with their whole family, especially during these confusing times. This thought sat heavily on Mr. Green’s mind during the rest of the day.
The end of the school day was coming to an end, and Mr. Green knew exactly what he had to do. When the class was quiet and distracted with work, one by one students wrote on a card how grateful they are for having Zara as a classmate. The card was passed around without Zara noticing, one of the students had even drawn a big heart. Mr. Green knew this would put a smile on Zara’s face.
At the end of the day, when students were getting ready to go back home, Mr.Green paused.
“Before you all go, Zara there is something we would like you to know” Mr. Green said to the class. “We know times are hard, but we are here if you need to hold someone’s hand. We may all be different, but we love the same! We made you this card, which comes straight from the heart”
Zara could not believe what she could see, her friends now family. When she got home, she showed her Mum who also was thankful. But there was yet one more person to see – Zara was excited, she could not wait to show her Daddy.
It only takes one action to spread kindness.
We are all different, but we all should love the same.