Today I stood on the other side of the classroom.
It is a far scarier, far more emotional side to be on.
It is the side of the unknown. Of nervous excitement and of worry.
Today it was ‘new class’ day. The day when children visit their new class for a morning, an afternoon, a day.
But today, for the first time, it wasn’t my new class day.
I wasn’t stood as the teacher, welcoming my new class into the classroom.
I wasn’t smiling at parents, desperately reassuring them that their children will be fine.
I wasn’t chatting to children, asking them what their favourite toys are and if they have any brothers or sisters.
I am so used to being the teacher in the classroom, grinning at children and their families as they meet me for the first time, excited to start ‘big school’. I am so used to being the teacher in the classroom that I never thought how I’d feel being the parent in the classroom.
Today I found out.
Today I took my still-three year old to visit his class at ‘big school’. At bed time last night he said he wanted to “stay with you all the time Mummy.” Normally I crave time to myself on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis. But at that moment I could have easily granted his wish. At that moment I wanted another year with him before he started school. A year to stay with him all the time.
We don’t have another year. I’m so proud of the little man he is becoming and I love watching him grow.
But standing on the other side of the classroom this morning, he was my baby. He was my little boy and he seemed just that; little.
And as I walked away from the classroom, swallowing a lump in my throat, I wondered how many parents get in their car and cry after dropping their children off in my classroom for the morning.
Today I stood on the other side of the classroom. The day after next I will stand on the usual side of the classroom and I will know so much more about the parents bringing their children to meet me.
I will know that they are excited. But that they are also nervous and worried and desperate to hug their children and not let go.
Because the moment they let go is the beginning of something big. It is the beginning of their children becoming more independent of them. It is the beginning of saying goodbye to them five days a week.
Standing on the usual side of the classroom, I know my little man is ready to start school. But standing on the other side of the classroom just reminded me that our time is precious. He is growing up so fast.
But, if the other side of the classroom has shown me anything, it’s that, to me, no matter how big he gets, he will always be my baby.
I’ve been nominated for a Mum and Working Award for writing passionately about both my jobs – being a Mummy and being a teacher. If you fancy being really nice to me you can vote for me by clicking the link below. It’ll only take a minute – promise! I’ll send you virtual cake and gin.