Teaching is not a 9 to 5, walk in and walk out profession. The students we teach become "our kids" and we carry the weight of not only their hopes, dreams and challenges but those of their families and communities as well.
I had the privilege of teaching a student in Year 1 and Year 2. He so desperately wanted to learn but was caught between the worlds of his beautiful culture and that of mainstream schooling. His family found it equally challenging to navigate both contexts. We spent many hours together building a safe and secure relationship and environment for him to thrive.
Towards the end of our time together, he came to me one morning with a powdered milk tin filled with Yerrampe (honey ants), used as bush medicine, to help with my hay-fever. He regaled me with stories of how hard it had been to find them and the time he had spent out with his family searching.
Forever I will keep with me the memories and photos of the Yerrampe. I hope that as he thrives during his high school years, he remembers those moments that helped shape who I am as a teacher.