The school children and the moon

I was a very new teacher at the Infants’ Dep’t, Bass Hill Primary School, in South-West Sydney. School class numbers at that time were large, and classrooms didn’t each have a television. We squashed the whole school into two classrooms with one television, black-and-white of course. We waited, and waited, while the children became increasingly restive. We let them out at one point to have something to eat and run off some of their energy. At last, the moment arrived: Neil Armstrong stepped down onto the surface of the moon, with those immortal words. I recall that we’d been told the moon’s surface might not be solid – it could be fine dust so deep that Armstrong might sink into the surface. There was giant relief when that didn’t happen. For me, the experience is tied up with the expectation of the children. Seeing those black-and-white images now is a special memory, I hope some of those 5 to 8 year old have it in their memory banks as well!

Trish Roberts