YOU CAN COUNT ON SCHOOL HOLIDAYS TO HIGHLIGHT WHAT A GREAT JOB OUR TEACHERS DO THE REST OF THE YEAR
This is how I know I could never be a teacher. Two kids whom I have brought into the world are my limit. The idea of managing as many as 30 each day, and 30 not related to me, is the stuff of nightmares. All the shoelaces that need tying, the stream of endless questions, negotiating hormonal preteens, and – horror of horrors – arts and crafts! Teachers cop a lot of flack and, in my time as a journalist covering the education round for many years, I heard every one of those criticisms.
The education system is a mammoth beast with many flaws and complications, and no doubt there are some teachers who are past their best-before date when it comes to their patience, enthusiasm and ability to be all they need to be. This is not a criticism. I wouldn’t last a week, let alone a career in a classroom.
The thing about teaching, though, is our kids can’t afford teachers who have hung on past their best. It can’t be seen as just a job.
Teachers are mentors, nurturers, role models, and ultimately spend more time with our children than we do. It’s parenting without the childbirth and I have nothing but respect for those who dedicate themselves to it. Yesterday marked the end of junior school for my oldest child, and she has had seven outstanding teachers see her through these formative years, including four men for the past four of those. Similarly, my son has had truly amazing teachers, who have brought out the best in him (and one who has even managed to get him to brush his hair when I have failed for nearly a decade).
These people have shown a duty of care for my kids well beyond just crossing t’s and dotting i’s. Great teachers see the bigger picture. That resilience is more important than results. That being inquisitive takes you further than intelligence. That self-belief is more important than study when it comes to success.
So Mr V, Mr R, Mr P, Mr C, Mrs O, Miss P, Mrs H and a special mention to Mrs B for Year 6 maths – thank you for nurturing my girl through junior school. For encouraging her to believe in herself, for being there for her when I cannot, and for always going over and above what is expected of a teacher.
To Mrs S, Mr M, Mrs S, Mrs H, Mrs V and a special mention to Mrs W for Year 4 maths – not only does my boy now brush his hair, he doesn’t complain about homework anymore (much).
You are all miracle workers!