Friday, 8 April 2016

G is for Glasses (To see or not to see...)

Welcome to my posts for the A to Z Challenge 2016.
This year, I am posting 
Special School Stories
 tales from either my time as a teacher or teaching assistant within classrooms in the U.K. or from my own school days growing up around the country

One of the banes of a teacher's life is making sure that all those children that should be wearing their glasses ARE wearing their glasses!  Some children need them on constantly, others may need them for seeing the board or for when they are reading or writing up close.  Because not all the children that need glasses wear them all of the time as a teacher you need to remember to remind the children to wear their glasses throughout the day and keeping track of who wears what and when can be hard!

That's why when I said one morning, "Now those of you who have glasses make sure you have them on so you can see the board, " I waited for the inevitable movement of children going to their drawers or out into the cloakroom to retrieve glasses and put them on.  I then began my lesson and looking around those upturned faces of the children, aged five and six, sitting cross legged in front of me, noticed one child who was peering very earnestly through her owl-like glasses.  I didn't think much of it at the time and continued on with the lesson, but later on as I was about to send the children to their chairs I noticed the child now had her glasses in her hand.  

"Put on your glasses, Diana," I said.

"I don't think I need them," she replied smiling.

"I'm pretty sure your mum wouldn't say that," I said knowing how many parents often asked me if their child was continuing to wear their glasses in class.

"She wouldn't know," was Diana's rejoinder.

"I think she might if she asked me," I countered.

"But she doesn't know I wear glasses," Diana said putting them back on.  I did a quick mental recall of was Diane's dad on the scene, thinking it might be him that had taken her to the optician's when she was staying with him and maybe he hadn't told Diane's mum?  But no, I was sure Diane never had any dealings with her dad.  I dismissed the other children from the carpet to begin their written work and walked over to Diane as she got to her feet.

"Well who took you to the optician then?  The place where you got your glasses?" I asked (maybe it had been Grandad who I knew did look after her at times).

"No-one," she said and by now her bottom lip was beginning to quiver and her eyes looked huge behind those lenses.

"Well, where did you get these glasses from then?" I asked, by now feeling really rather confused.

"From Grandad's drawer," she suddenly sobbed.  "You're always asking us to put on our glasses so I thought I ought to get some."

"Oh no, Diane - only the children who actually need glasses to see things properly need to be wearing them.  Can you see me properly now?" Realisation was flooding over me!

"No," she wailed, "everything's blurry," and with that she took off the glasses again.

I could see how in her mind she had been trying to be the good student and several of her friends wore glasses so having her own pair had probably been something she'd wanted for some time. I was having a hard time fighting back the laughter as well as thinking how come I hadn't twigged she didn't wear glasses!!!

"Well in that case you don't need to be wearing them and I think we'd better keep them safe until it's home time and you can give them back to Grandad, don't you?"  Dianne nodded and I passed her a tissue to wipe her eyes and watched her skip back to her place whilst I wondered just how Grandad had been coping without his glasses?  Mr Magoo came to mind!

So now it's your turn.  Did you wear glasses as a child and did you wear them in class or did you make excuses as to why you couldn't?  Did you ever borrow anything you shouldn't and take it to school with you?  Did you ever covert anything one of your friends wore or used at school? Did you have your eyes checked whilst at school or do you think you should have done?  You know I'd love to know so leave a comment below!


  1. I remember a few years ago when my granddaughter wanted to wear glasses so bad. She faked an eye exam at school. They called me and told me she needed to be seen by a doctor. So I took her and guess what we found...perfect vision!! Now she needs to wear glasses and I am constantly saying..'put on your glasses'.

  2. I loved your story. What goes on in a child's mind, huh?
    I was told by the school nurse that I needed glasses. My parents took me to an eye doctor who reassured us that my vision was fine. I admit I was a little disappointed. I thought wearing glasses would have been cool. Now that I need to wear them all of the time, I wish I didn't have to.

  3. I've worn glasses since I was five and never had to be reminded to wear them. It boggles my mind the things parents expect teachers to take care of for them. I could never teach small children. Teens are so much easier.

  4. No never had to wear glasses. A sweet story of the girl who didn't need them! Such a dear :)

  5. I didn't need to wear glasses until I was in my late 30's and still only need them for driving, reading and tv/computer work, but I'm lazy so keep them on all day... I perhaps need a teacher to tell me to take them off! ;)

    It's taken me 3 goes though to find glasses that I actually like - it's hard when you come to it later in life, but so glad I can do without them.

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

  6. Yes, I wore glasses as a child. I'm horrible near-sighted and always wore them or I wouldn't have been able to find my class, much less see the board. So funny about the child and the "Grandpa" glasses. Perhaps they were for reading. I've reached the age where I'll have to have 2 pairs, one for distance and one for the computer screen. Yup, I need "Grandma" glasses! Must swallow pride, open wallet, and actually go get them. *sigh*

  7. Thank you for dropping in at my place earlier. I started wearing bifocals when I was in my first year of high school (I was about 14, I think). I wore them until I was about 20 and then I bought contacts. Oh! Such a nice surprise. The contacts fixed my eyes and by the time I hit my thirties I was no longer wearing anything. That went on until I was in my mid fifties and had to get reading glasses. Not strong, mind you, but even now in my sixties I wear less than 2.00.But for distance: 20-20 both eyes. Heeheehee

  8. I have worn glasses since I was 10 so never faked that but yes, so much on children's mind.
    thank you for leaving such an encouraging comment on my blog :)

  9. So sweet.

    I was supposed to wear glasses. :)