To the parents of my new class of children….

To the parents/guardians/carers of all the children in my new class this academic year,

I am your child’s new teacher. One of them anyway. I will only work three days a week.

But please don’t worry that this means I wont know your child properly. Or that I wont look after them or teach them properly.

Yes, I teach part time. But teaching is really a tiny part of what I actually do. It’s the part I have always known how to do. It’s the part you can be taught at university or whilst trudging the steep learning curve that is your very first year of teaching.

But it’s not the steepest learning curve of my life. That honour goes to motherhood.

And that’s why I will not care for your child ‘part-time’. That’s why I’ll plan lessons on my ‘days off’. That’s why I’ll phone you when I should be having my lunch just to reassure you that your little one has stopped crying after you left her in hysterics this morning. That’s why I’ll send a post-it note home with a praising comment about how your little boy wrote his name for the first time today. That’s why I wont shrug off the fact that your little girl is scared of the school toilets and why I’ll work with you to overcome the obstacle. That’s why I’ll cry with joy and pride when I hear your little boy talk about surviving open heart surgery at five years old.

Because now I understand. Not just what it’s like to be a teacher. But what it’s like to be a mum. And if I’d left my boy in hysterics at the door at 9am, I’d appreciate the phone call at 11.30 to tell me he was actually fine and had stopped crying by 9.15. I’d be overjoyed to get a note about his achievements so that I could share in my little boy’s success at writing his name. If my boys were afraid of something, I would want their teacher to take it seriously.

I have always known a lot of this and I have often practised a lot of this. But now I really understand all of it.

I get it now. Your child is your world. You don’t want them roughly dragged from your arm kicking and screaming in the morning when they arrive at school, even though that’s a quicker solution to their separation anxiety and I’ve got lessons to teach. You want to know that someone will put their arm around them, read them a story and allow them to ‘be’ until they’ve calmed down.

You want to know that someone is investing in your child. Not just because they might get a high mark for their reading. Or because they’re really good at running and will win a few races at Sports Day. But because they love Frozen. Because they have an infectious giggle. Because the way they say ‘basketti’ instead of ‘spaghetti’ is completely endearing. Because they are one of the kindest children in the class. Because they know every word to Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’.

Teachers are so pressured to get results. Academic results. But what do we want in this world? There are some very academic people on our planet who use their understanding of maths, or chemistry or technology to prey on others. To make bombs. To commit fraud. Surely the most important things we teach should be compassion, kindness and understanding.

That’s what I want for my children. So that’s what I want for your children. I want to nurture them. I want to teach them the things that can’t be measured by tests: respect for others, fun, excitement, assertiveness.

I’ll teach and care for them as I would my own children.

Every. Single. One of them.

From Mrs H

xxx

Rhyming with Wine
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Twinkly Tuesday
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18 Comments

  1. Aaah this is SUCH a lovely post. Your pupils (and their parents particularly) are lucky to have you. I hope that my boys have such a wonderful teacher when they're old enough to be at school. Thanks so much for linking up with us xx #TwinklyTuesday

  2. Thankyou soooo much for writing this, I worry and am so anxious about sending my little boy to school next year, it just doesn't seem possible that he will be there next year but I feel reassured reading this that hopefully all will be ok and there will be someone looking out for him 🙂 Thanks for linking a lovely post up with the #bestandworst hope to see you again! 🙂 x

  3. Awww, I love this! Beautiful! Brought tears to my eyes. My daughter is now in Year One and my son is in pre-school and it's so very hard to leave them. So reassuring to read this. I hope all teachers feel the same! #binkylinky

  4. This was so lovely to read. My twins started nursery two weeks ago and it's been such a stressful time. They've never been in nursery before as they're always been looked after at home so this was reassuring to read. Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky

  5. This is such a good post, and so relevant to me right now as my little girl has just started reception. Luckily she loves it, but I know that she needs the personal touch, because she is used to it from nursery and she loves having those personal relationships. I really hope that her teachers are like you! #BestandWorst

  6. what a lovely post, and I am sure you make both a great mum and an amazing teacher. My middle daughter had a teacher that sounds a lot like you, and she made a huge difference to my daughter in her first year at primary school.

  7. I can only hope, when the time comes for my two to start school, that they find a teacher that has the same experience and passion as you do for both your job, and for being a mum. "To the parents of your new class of children: Congratulations! You just struck gold" xx Thanks for linking with #fartglitter x

  8. Oh, lovely. I'm going to share this on my Facebook page. I'm a teacher too, and becoming a parent actually made me stricter. I thought it would make me softer, but instead, I made my boundaries clearer and protected the silent majority from the disruption. It's definitely made me a better teacher – but I am secondary! #BigPinkLink

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