So many chocolates! I was so blessed to received box upon box, upon box of sweet chocolately goodness. It's nice to feel appreciated by the parents and children you work so hard for all year though I'm not ashamed to admit I had to re-gift some simply because of the sheer volume received by both hubby and me.
My favourite so far has been the Cadbury Dairy Milk Tray. I found a chocolate I've never comes across before - the chocolate mudcake. 'What should I expect?' I wondered to myself. 'Will there be actual cake inside?'. I bit into the most delightful dark chocolate gooey centre coated by the outstanding Cadbury exterior.
To look at the chocolate from the outside you had no way to know what was inside. It was a circular plain chocolate with no detail on top. Yet inside was a cornucopia of flavour. There were other chocolates that gave themselves away more easily. The strawberry centred chocolate was clearly shaped like a strawberry. You knew exactly what sort of delicious to expect.
Children (and adults) are not that dissimilar to chocolate if my time as a parent and teacher has taught me anything. I sound a little Forrest Gump I know but the analogy works for chocoholics like me. I have a daughter who appears to be a strawberry chocolate but turns out to be a mudcake. She looks and acts differently and because of this people place certain expectations on her. This is a flawed approach because though the exterior might tell you one thing, the inside is beautifully unique. When she was just 6 weeks old I was so sick of people saying 'kids with Down syndrome are such happy kids' that I took a photo of her crying just to prove to everyone she was just like every other baby. So many expectations have been made about her over time and I am so happy to write that she surpasses them all. Her report card showed that while she has areas to work on (as we all do) she is working so very hard to achieve the best she can. She has to work so much harder than the other kids just to achieve the same. No wonder she is exhausted at the end of term.
I've come across many children and adults this year who are the chocolate mudcake. Seemingly plain on the outside but with so much depth inside if you are willing to look beyond the exterior. Children who have been mislabelled or put in the too hard basket. Adults who judge on a Cadbury coating rather than the individual centre. They look into the Dairy Milk Tray and judge. It isn't hard to work with a child to turn a hard centre into something that is softened to learning, it just takes desire and dedication - a chocolate addiction. A heart that can appreciate that even compound cooking chocolate has its place and time.
Enough blogging, I'm hungry!
PS: Was delighted to be given such thanks by students and parents, but I did tell them all that my thanks is seeing my students happy.