There is a problem with having perfect attendance. Sure, the accolades are nice. It's nice to get that gold star. But you don't get missed very often. This is what I noticed the other day on the desks of one of my colleague's room: "I miss you." It was the beginning of a letter to the teacher who had been out for a few days, and the substitute had taken it upon herself to have the kids send best wishes to their teacher who had been absent.
When you're six years old, if someone is out of your life for three days, it feels like a very long time. It's a big chunk of their lives, percentage-wise. I know this, not because I'm absent from school very often, but because of the nature of my job I am periodically pulled away to do this or cover that. Those are the days that kids don't get computer class. This makes them sad. When they see me again out on the playground, I am generally treated to hugs and high fives, and the kids ask for assurance that I won't ever leave them again. I try to let them know that I will do whatever I can, but sometimes people have to go away to do other things.
This is especially true at my school. Teachers have left, sometimes in the middle of the year. Programs that students have enjoyed have ended, leaving them wondering about the routine of life. Friends that they have made in class suddenly move to another school, or city. Even parents go away. Permanence is a tough sell in this neighborhood.
Of course they miss their teacher, and we hope that he comes back very soon. To stay.