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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 8 March 2021

Watch: heart-warming moment Dubai pupils surprise teacher with a birthday drive-by

A grade 6 teacher of Hartland International School saw his pupils for the first time since school campuses closed in March

Nearly a dozen pupils of a Dubai school drove by their teacher's residence to wish him a happy birthday.

Grade 6 pupils from Hartland International School in Dubai sat in cars as their parents drove past their teacher, Daniel Slack, cheering and wishing him on his 32nd birthday.

A video shared by the school on their social media account shows Mr Slack was overjoyed to see his pupils and their parents pull up outside his Dubai Hills apartment in a parade of cars on June 8.

The drive-by celebrations is a social media trend that is catching up in different parts of the world as movement restrictions stay in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Daniel Slack, a year 6 teacher of Hartland International School received handmade birthday cards from his pupils. Courtesy: Daniel Slack
Daniel Slack, a year 6 teacher of Hartland International School received handmade birthday cards from his pupils. Courtesy: Daniel Slack

Wearing a mask and practising social distancing, Mr Slack went over to several vehicles to receive birthday gifts and handmade cards.

“It was absolutely amazing. There were about 14 to 15 of my pupils in the cars and it was incredible to see them again. They were all honking and it was quite a celebration,” he told The National.

“I had no idea this had been organised and it was a great feeling, especially seeing my pupils after nearly three months.

“We see them on Zoom regularly, but seeing them in-person again was really special.”

The surprise was organised by the parent representative at the school who had asked Mr Slack to meet her outside of his apartment so she could give him a birthday card.

School campuses across the world were closed in order to contain the spread of the virus and distance learning was implemented.

The trend of drive-by celebrations is especially popular in the United States, where principals and school staff members drive by pupils’ homes to celebrate their graduation, birthday and proms.

Keeping with the trend, The American University in Dubai will confer degrees by drone at a midsummer drive-in convocation ceremony next month, it was announced last week.

Updated: June 10, 2020 01:49 PM

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