On the last day of the year, waiting for those doors to open and release the children for the last time until September, I am reflecting on the wonderful teachers that we have been lucky enough to have contact with on our school journey so far. There are certain things about the school system in the UK that don’t sit right for me, but I can’t fault the lovely people who have been involved in educating my gorgeous girl in the last two years.
I am a rebel at heart, I struggle with the constraints of the education system and the perceived squashing of creativity and freedom of thought and expression. (Blame my slightly hippy parents! 😉 ) But I have always known that I’m not cut out for homeschooling my two. I love the idea, I really do, but I know that I would be rubbish at it. I’m too selfish for a start, I want some time to do my stuff, to try and create a business, to get back some me time and to live for myself for a bit after giving up nearly 8 years of me to be a devoted Mother to them. I also know that I would struggle to lesson plan and that I would find it tough to get them to a standard of education where they would seamlessly flow into secondary education without a hitch. My maths is poor to awful for a start!
So it’s school then. And my word have I struggled with the idea of losing them behind those gates, no longer in control, letting someone else have them for large proportions of the week. It’s probably been as difficult for me as for them. But then my baby girl started and I discovered that school can be a really wonderful and caring place, if you find the right one. Recently there was a concert and I sat watching her teachers doing the actions along with the children and offering support to the children that needed it, overwhelmed by performing to an audience and I felt so glad that she has them to guide her.
The women that have taught her so far have been amazing in my daughter’s life. They are lovely, caring women that hide their enormous workload from the children and make things fun for them every day. You can really see that they care. It radiates from them. And my daughter adores them and all of the teaching assistants that play an enormous part in her life now. Writing notes to them daily, talking about them so fondly, excited to get back to see them after weekends and holidays. At the school disco, the teachers dance with the children, and it must be so uncomfortable for them, with the parents all hovering around the room watching, but they ignore it all and throw themselves into it for the children’s enjoyment.
These people work so so hard to make the day fun and exciting, to think outside the box, to work to engage the children, tailoring the lesson to at least 25 children, all of whom have different abilities, different ages, different learning styles.
They feed the children’s passions, encouraging them to choose library books that they will actually enjoy reading, my daughter will now sit and read and write for fun, when she started reception, she didn’t know a single phonic and now she reads as naturally as I do. The difference is astounding in such a short time. She also does art, holds frogs, does P.E, and when she has had emotional difficulties they have supported her through them too.
All whilst jumping through hoops to meet the requirements of the government sacrificing their home lives in the process. I know so many wonderful teachers who have given up the job because the pressures of offsted, marking and paperwork has meant that they have no time whatsoever with their own families or work long into the night, and it makes me sad that future children have lost out on the chance to have these amazing people shaping their educations.
If I can’t be there myself every minute of every day, then I am glad that their teachers are, and I’m so relieved that my children’s emotional, mental and physical welfare seems as important to them as it does to me. I am so grateful to them for taking a child who cried every morning before school, who has been carried in wailing, and helping to turn her into a bright, cheerful and happy little soul who is passionate about learning and enthusiastic about her day.
Next school year it will all be change again and we shall have two new teachers to get to know, I shall have to choose which child to wait with in the line in the morning and although it will break my heart to leave the other one, at least I’ll be safe in the knowledge that they are going to be well looked after, supported and will have so much fun once they are inside.
So really, I just want to say thank you for being a surrogate me for all those hours, the time and effort you put into her doesn’t go unnoticed by us and we so appreciate your care for her, I’m very glad to get her back for the holidays though, I’ve missed her!