Suzanne Lambert Storyteller, Author and Blogger Dancing Daffodils
© 2013 - 2019 Suzanne Lambert | All Rights Reserved
Miss Patterson and the Dancing Daffodils Oh dear said Miss Patterson with a sigh. It was Monday morning again and she was sitting in the empty classroom wondering what on earth she was supposed to do. She’d had all weekend to think about it and had still not come up with any ideas. There was a new Head Teacher this term,  Mr Wilson. I have lots of new and exciting ideas for the future he had told the staff at their first meeting together last week. Miss Patterson had been extremely enthusiastic until the bomb had dropped. There was to be a school concert in April to celebrate his appointment and introduce himself to all the parents. I want to be a well-known face and approachable at all times to both parents and staff. It is also a chance for me to get to know your strengths and weaknesses so that we can work on them together. The theme of the concert was to be spring. New beginnings he said. Something else very close to his heart was bringing out the best in every single child, especially those who were falling behind or a little left out in any way. They were to find ways to let them shine. At that moment in every teachers mind came the name Lilly-May Allan. Nobody said anything but everyone knew. Miss Patterson unkindly thought, oh no, she is in my class this year what am I to do. None of the teachers uttered a single word but each of them was secretly relieved and felt awfully sorry for Miss Patterson.  They had all taught Lilly- May at one time or another either in lessons or in the playground and had dealt with the chaos that followed her around. Lilly-May Allan was as pretty as her name made her sound.  Bright blue eyes, fair wavy hair that refused to take notice of anything a comb or brush could do and the most beautiful smile that could light up a room. Little Lilly-May was 6 years old and looked like a gentle, sweet little child. Until that is, she moved. Lilly-May was the most clumsy child any of the teachers had  come across in their entire working career.  There was the incident in the art room when she had knocked the paint all over the floor, in the playground she had managed to trip everyone up with a skipping rope, almost managed to stun one of the dinner ladies with a ball and so it went on. Miss Patterson refused to let her clean the blackboard after the last incident when somehow the wooden duster flew out of her hand and went flying across the class room nearly taking young Sylvia’s eye out. On her way home after the announcement of the Spring concert, Miss Patterson had walked into somebody, trod on a gentleman’s foot  and dropped the contents of her bag whilst getting her purse out on the bus causing total mayhem during rush hour. When she finally got to sit down and look out of the bus window she took a deep breath and told herself to stop all this nonsense and calm down for goodness sake. Heavens above, she thought, I’m getting as clumsy as Lilly-May.  Miss Patterson didn’t have a problem at all with organising a school concert, in fact, she could see it all in her mind immediately. The children dressed as daffodils. The stage set as a garden strewn with pots of flowers and all the children dancing around singing songs.  There would be a bench on the stage where all the children would stand dressed as flowers swaying in the breeze.  Tonight after tea she would sit at her piano and begin to compose spring songs especially for the occasion.    Everyone always loved her songs. It would be Miss Patterson’s finest moment. The parents, staff and especially the new Head Teacher would be highly impressed. She had enjoyed a long career, worked extremely hard and was to be put forward for Deputy Head next year when Mrs Dawson retired. Deputy Head,  imagine, Miss Patterson had dreamed of this for so long and this was her chance to show everyone just how good a teacher she was.  As the bus trundled along through the busy streets she began once more to plan her spring concert. Maybe, she thought, I could make a big plant pot and Lilly-May could sit in it, yes over in the corner that would be fine. She wouldn’t need to join in the dancing. Suddenly out of nowhere tears stung her eyes.  What on earth was she thinking?  She had been a teacher for 25 years. In fact she was now teaching the children of some of her first pupils. Teaching wasn’t just about mathematics and history, it was about nurturing their talents. She taught them lessons on friendship and told them stories that she felt would make them believe in themselves and Miss Patterson never tolerated even the slightest unkindness in her class.  The next morning Miss Patterson arrived in school half an hour early and gave herself a severe talking to. There would be no plant pot for Lilly-May she would dance and sing around the stage just the same as all the other children and Miss Patterson would make sure she shone, sparkled and swayed in the breeze just the same as every other child. All she had to do now was figure out a way to avoid any major catastrophes taking place. It was a challenge. Miss Patterson stood up abruptly and her chair scraped across the floor.  Standing tall, chin in the air she told the empty classroom.  We will do it, just you wait and see. Over the next few weeks twenty two very excitable 5 and 6 year old children sat around the piano in the school hall practising their flower songs written especially by Miss Patterson for the spring concert. Hours and hours were spent making the big yellow petals which were glued onto bright green hairbands. Lilly-May naturally got her hands stuck to the glue, dropped yellow paint all over her dress, fell off the plant pot during rehearsal and had to be sent to the school nurse for the second time in one day. Miss Patterson took a deep breath and said to herself for the hundredth time that day all will be well on the day Elsie, all will be well and turned her attention to cleaning up the paint and soil from the floor. All the letters had been sent out to invite the parents to the very special spring concert featuring Miss Patterson and the dancing daffodils. Late nights in the school hall and weekends at home had all been worth it when Miss Patterson finally stood back and looked at her handy work.   The school stage was covered with green tissue paper to look like grass. There were big pots all over the stage that the children would stand in dressed as daffodils. There were twenty two big cardboard daffodils with each child’s photograph in the middle. One of her more inspiring ideas she thought. The parents would love them. A big yellow smiling sun hung from the beam above the stage. A large plastic plant pot with the largest yellow daffodil stood on a painted wooden post with the words ‘Welcome to our Spring Concert’ painted on it. Just enjoy yourselves Miss Patterson told the children knowing full well that parents always loved anything their children did. It mattered not whether they sang out of tune, bumped into each other or forgot their words. Experience told her the parents would love it regardless. If it goes wrong curtsy, smile and pretend it was meant to be she told them laughing. It was the evening of the concert. Some of the daffodils were standing in plant pots, other on the pretend grass and some in a line on the bench, all ready to sway, sing and dance. The school hall was full to capacity, some parents having to stand at the back and down the sides of the hall.  A hush fell as Miss Patterson walked to the front of the hall to take her place at the piano. She slowly lifted the lid, took a deep breath, said a quick prayer, flexed her fingers and began to play the first notes as the curtains opened to thunderous applause, oohs, aaahs, a few tears and flashes from cameras. So far so good thought Miss Patterson with a smile on her face that hid the terror she was actually feeling inside. All went well until the second song when Lilly-May got over excited and as she threw her arms out to the side at the end of the song slapped the faces of the children at either side of her.  The school hall burst with laughter and Lilly-May took a curtsy.  Miss Patterson, her heart beginning to slowly sink, simply smiled pretending to all the world that it was meant to happen. Ten minutes later Lilly-May caught her foot in the pretend grass and as she twirled round the stage managed to take the green tissue paper with her ending up covered from head to toe at the end of the song. She glanced over at Miss Patterson who managed a very weak smile and once more Lilly- May curtsied to howls of laughter and thunderous applause. Keep going Elsie, just another five minutes Miss Patterson whispered to herself with a smile plastered on her face that gave absolutely nothing away. Almost finished, the children were singing the last song.  Miss Patterson sighed with relief. No major catastrophes.  She glanced around the room the parents and staff were all smiling at the children. Mr Wilson looked very impressed and seemed to be laughing and thoroughly enjoying the whole production. Miss Patterson nodded her head to the children and began to play the final notes of the last song. The children began to climb out of their pots to take centre stage as they began to sing the daffodil song. They were waving, singing, dancing and Miss Patterson was very happy indeed. It was then it happened. Suddenly during the very last line of the song.  Almost in slow motion. Lilly-May took her place on the bench at the back, waved her arms in the air and hit the sun hanging from the beam.  The sun swung forward, and knocked the big plant pot standing on top of the wooden post. It wobbled to the left………………..ooooooh said the audience And then to the right………….……aaaaaaah said the audience And then to the final crescendo of the music that Miss Patterson was now playing with her eyes firmly and tightly shut, the plastic plant pot fell perfectly in time to the music and landed on Lilly-May’s head. Lilly-May might have been unable to see but she still managed to curtsy. There was only a moment’s pause before the whole school hall erupted into thunderous applause. Shouts of bravo, well done, amazing echoed around the hall.  Very slowly Miss Patterson opened her eyes, looked around and with a rather stunned look on her face, took a bow. Mr Wilson hurried over and shook Miss Patterson’s hand.  Quite incredible he said to teach 5 and 6 year old children comedy. The timing was impeccable, well done, really well done. Miss Patterson just muttered and murmured thank you as her face became redder by the minute. The noise level in the hall was deafening, everyone was talking about Miss Patterson’s comedy spring concert. Thanks God I got the afternoon off work I wouldn’t have missed that for the world. Thank God for something different, I thought I had seen it all. Thank God for Miss Patterson, said the Head Teacher. Thank God it was only on one night, said Miss Patterson
Suzanne Lambert Storyteller, Author and Blogger Dancing Daffodils
© 2013 - 2019 Suzanne Lambert | All Rights Reserved
Miss Patterson and the Dancing Daffodils Oh dear said Miss Patterson with a sigh. It was Monday morning again and she was sitting in the empty classroom wondering what on earth she was supposed to do. She’d had all weekend to think about it and had still not come up with any ideas. There was a new Head Teacher this term,  Mr Wilson. I have lots of new and exciting ideas for the future he had told the staff at their first meeting together last week. Miss Patterson had been extremely enthusiastic until the bomb had dropped. There was to be a school concert in April to celebrate his appointment and introduce himself to all the parents. I want to be a well-known face and approachable at all times to both parents and staff. It is also a chance for me to get to know your strengths and weaknesses so that we can work on them together. The theme of the concert was to be spring. New beginnings he said. Something else very close to his heart was bringing out the best in every single child, especially those who were falling behind or a little left out in any way. They were to find ways to let them shine. At that moment in every teachers mind came the name Lilly-May Allan. Nobody said anything but everyone knew. Miss Patterson unkindly thought, oh no, she is in my class this year what am I to do. None of the teachers uttered a single word but each of them was secretly relieved and felt awfully sorry for Miss Patterson.  They had all taught Lilly- May at one time or another either in lessons or in the playground and had dealt with the chaos that followed her around. Lilly-May Allan was as pretty as her name made her sound.  Bright blue eyes, fair wavy hair that refused to take notice of anything a comb or brush could do and the most beautiful smile that could light up a room. Little Lilly-May was 6 years old and looked like a gentle, sweet little child. Until that is, she moved. Lilly-May was the most clumsy child any of the teachers had  come across in their entire working career.  There was the incident in the art room when she had knocked the paint all over the floor, in the playground she had managed to trip everyone up with a skipping rope, almost managed to stun one of the dinner ladies with a ball and so it went on. Miss Patterson refused to let her clean the blackboard after the last incident when somehow the wooden duster flew out of her hand and went flying across the class room nearly taking young Sylvia’s eye out. On her way home after the announcement of the Spring concert, Miss Patterson had walked into somebody, trod on a gentleman’s foot  and dropped the contents of her bag whilst getting her purse out on the bus causing total mayhem during rush hour. When she finally got to sit down and look out of the bus window she took a deep breath and told herself to stop all this nonsense and calm down for goodness sake. Heavens above, she thought, I’m getting as clumsy as Lilly-May.  Miss Patterson didn’t have a problem at all with organising a school concert, in fact, she could see it all in her mind immediately. The children dressed as daffodils. The stage set as a garden strewn with pots of flowers and all the children dancing around singing songs.  There would be a bench on the stage where all the children would stand dressed as flowers swaying in the breeze.  Tonight after tea she would sit at her piano and begin to compose spring songs especially for the occasion.    Everyone always loved her songs. It would be Miss Patterson’s finest moment. The parents, staff and especially the new Head Teacher would be highly impressed. She had enjoyed a long career, worked extremely hard and was to be put forward for Deputy Head next year when Mrs Dawson retired. Deputy Head,  imagine, Miss Patterson had dreamed of this for so long and this was her chance to show everyone just how good a teacher she was.  As the bus trundled along through the busy streets she began once more to plan her spring concert. Maybe, she thought, I could make a big plant pot and Lilly-May could sit in it, yes over in the corner that would be fine. She wouldn’t need to join in the dancing. Suddenly out of nowhere tears stung her eyes.  What on earth was she thinking?  She had been a teacher for 25 years. In fact she was now teaching the children of some of her first pupils. Teaching wasn’t just about mathematics and history, it was about nurturing their talents. She taught them lessons on friendship and told them stories that she felt would make them believe in themselves and Miss Patterson never tolerated even the slightest unkindness in her class.  The next morning Miss Patterson arrived in school half an hour early and gave herself a severe talking to. There would be no plant pot for Lilly-May she would dance and sing around the stage just the same as all the other children and Miss Patterson would make sure she shone, sparkled and swayed in the breeze just the same as every other child. All she had to do now was figure out a way to avoid any major catastrophes taking place. It was a challenge. Miss Patterson stood up abruptly and her chair scraped across the floor.  Standing tall, chin in the air she told the empty classroom.  We will do it, just you wait and see. Over the next few weeks twenty two very excitable 5 and 6 year old children sat around the piano in the school hall practising their flower songs written especially by Miss Patterson for the spring concert. Hours and hours were spent making the big yellow petals which were glued onto bright green hairbands. Lilly-May naturally got her hands stuck to the glue, dropped yellow paint all over her dress, fell off the plant pot during rehearsal and had to be sent to the school nurse for the second time in one day. Miss Patterson took a deep breath and said to herself for the hundredth time that day all will be well on the day Elsie, all will be well and turned her attention to cleaning up the paint and soil from the floor. All the letters had been sent out to invite the parents to the very special spring concert featuring Miss Patterson and the dancing daffodils. Late nights in the school hall and weekends at home had all been worth it when Miss Patterson finally stood back and looked at her handy work.   The school stage was covered with green tissue paper to look like grass. There were big pots all over the stage that the children would stand in dressed as daffodils. There were twenty two big cardboard daffodils with each child’s photograph in the middle. One of her more inspiring ideas she thought. The parents would love them. A big yellow smiling sun hung from the beam above the stage. A large plastic plant pot with the largest yellow daffodil stood on a painted wooden post with the words ‘Welcome to our Spring Concert’ painted on it. Just enjoy yourselves Miss Patterson told the children knowing full well that parents always loved anything their children did. It mattered not whether they sang out of tune, bumped into each other or forgot their words. Experience told her the parents would love it regardless. If it goes wrong curtsy, smile and pretend it was meant to be she told them laughing. It was the evening of the concert. Some of the daffodils were standing in plant pots, other on the pretend grass and some in a line on the bench, all ready to sway, sing and dance. The school hall was full to capacity, some parents having to stand at the back and down the sides of the hall.  A hush fell as Miss Patterson walked to the front of the hall to take her place at the piano. She slowly lifted the lid, took a deep breath, said a quick prayer, flexed her fingers and began to play the first notes as the curtains opened to thunderous applause, oohs, aaahs, a few tears and flashes from cameras. So far so good thought Miss Patterson with a smile on her face that hid the terror she was actually feeling inside. All went well until the second song when Lilly-May got over excited and as she threw her arms out to the side at the end of the song slapped the faces of the children at either side of her.  The school hall burst with laughter and Lilly-May took a curtsy.  Miss Patterson, her heart beginning to slowly sink, simply smiled pretending to all the world that it was meant to happen. Ten minutes later Lilly-May caught her foot in the pretend grass and as she twirled round the stage managed to take the green tissue paper with her ending up covered from head to toe at the end of the song. She glanced over at Miss Patterson who managed a very weak smile and once more Lilly-May curtsied to howls of laughter and thunderous applause. Keep going Elsie, just another five minutes Miss Patterson whispered to herself with a smile plastered on her face that gave absolutely nothing away. Almost finished, the children were singing the last song.  Miss Patterson sighed with relief. No major catastrophes.  She glanced around the room the parents and staff were all smiling at the children. Mr Wilson looked very impressed and seemed to be laughing and thoroughly enjoying the whole production. Miss Patterson nodded her head to the children and began to play the final notes of the last song. The children began to climb out of their pots to take centre stage as they began to sing the daffodil song. They were waving, singing, dancing and Miss Patterson was very happy indeed. It was then it happened. Suddenly during the very last line of the song.  Almost in slow motion. Lilly-May took her place on the bench at the back, waved her arms in the air and hit the sun hanging from the beam.  The sun swung forward, and knocked the big plant pot standing on top of the wooden post. It wobbled to the left………………..ooooooh said the audience And then to the right………….……aaaaaaah said the audience And then to the final crescendo of the music that Miss Patterson was now playing with her eyes firmly and tightly shut, the plastic plant pot fell perfectly in time to the music and landed on Lilly- May’s head. Lilly-May might have been unable to see but she still managed to curtsy. There was only a moment’s pause before the whole school hall erupted into thunderous applause. Shouts of bravo, well done, amazing echoed around the hall.  Very slowly Miss Patterson opened her eyes, looked around and with a rather stunned look on her face, took a bow. Mr Wilson hurried over and shook Miss Patterson’s hand.  Quite incredible he said to teach 5 and 6 year old children comedy. The timing was impeccable, well done, really well done. Miss Patterson just muttered and murmured thank you as her face became redder by the minute. The noise level in the hall was deafening, everyone was talking about Miss Patterson’s comedy spring concert. Thanks God I got the afternoon off work I wouldn’t have missed that for the world. Thank God for something different, I thought I had seen it all. Thank God for Miss Patterson, said the Head Teacher. Thank God it was only on one night, said Miss Patterson.