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File picture of Daniel Slack, Year 6 teacher of Hartland International School, at a concert Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: In a heartwarming gesture, students of Year 6 at Hartland International School, Dubai, decided to give their teacher, Daniel Slack, a birthday surprise by driving past his apartment to wish him.

Since the last three months all schools have been conducting virtual learning classes and students and teachers have been missing the familiar buzz of school interactions.

A video of the unique birthday celebration shared on Twitter by the school principal Fiona Cottam shows a delighted Slack being greeted by students driving by in cars on June 8. The students had balloons, hand-made cards and small token gifts for their teacher just to tell him how much they missed him.

Slack told Gulf News: “After months of distance learning, the celebration on Monday was a really special moment. Since March, my children and I have maintained contact via daily video lessons. Being able to see and hear each other, if only briefly and whilst maintaining social distance, showed just how important it is to have a physical presence. The experience was something completely different! This was organised by an amazing parent representative who coordinated with the other parents. I thought I was just going out to collect a birthday card. It was never intended for this to release into the public realm and I know many children who find themselves in a similar position across the world would rush at the opportunity to do the same for their teacher. As a school community, we are incredibly privileged to be in a position where something like this can be possible, especially at a time when so many are struggling.”

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Principal of Hartland International School , Fiona Cottam

Speaking to Gulf News, Cottam said: “This gesture was so unexpected and certainly a best kept secret but is so reflective of our amazing parent-student body. It clearly shows that our children miss their teachers and I know that Slack along with all other Hartland teachers, miss their students. It hasn’t been easy for any of us being apart from the community, but what a birthday treat from Year 6 class for Slack. This is definitely a birthday that he will always remember.”