One child will be taking the PSLE in mid-September. I arranged with his Mommy to terminate his enrollment in end-August. Children should be allowed to relax and unwind in the 2 weeks leading up to PSLE so that their performance would not be unduly affected by stress. The other children overheard my conversation with Little XXX on his impending departure.
Child A exclaimed, throwing Little XXX a look of pity and shock, "He's leaving? Why?!"
As the other children threw Little XXX more pitying glances, I explained, again.
Child B hopefully suggested, "He'll come back after his PSLE, right?"
This was a very strange question because I had thought all the children understood that they were being taught by me in order to tackle the demands of the PSLE. Laughing, I replied, "After the PSLE, there's no point in coming back. You'll be big by then. Too big to attend class with Dr Pet." Meanwhile Little XXX, looked miserably at the floor between his feet.
Then Child B looked up at me with stricken eyes and said in an aghast whisper, "Will that happen to me too?"
I really wanted to laugh out loud, but the child looked so sad that I thought it would be unkind. So I said seriously, "Yes, you will be taking PSLE in 2 years. At that time, I will also ask your Mommy to pull you out by end-August so that you will have time to relax before the big exams. You should be happy right? You don't have to do one compo, one compre and one listening compre every week, anymore. You can play!"
A pall descended upon the whole class, like someone had announced the death of a beloved pet.
Happily, the irrepressible Child C piped up merrily, "I have 2 years more!" Now this one, he really lives in the present.