The end of another academic year is here and my heartstrings are being tugged and my emotions are running high. I have built such strong attachments to the people who have helped me to care-for, educate and nurture my children all year. I did not cry at my own wedding, I did not cry when my girls were born, but I cried my heart out last night as I wrote the thank you cards for the teachers and teaching assistants who have cared for my girls this year. I have placed so much in their hands. Each term day I take my children and place them in the hands of adults who are not family members. Each day I entrust the safety, the well-being and the shaping of my children’s minds, knowledge and development into the hands of their teachers. And from here I shall call you all teachers, because you are. Anyone who spends significant amounts of time with a child becomes their teacher. Because children model and mimic the adults around them. And from the delight I am taking in the people my children are becoming, I know that their teachers have been so worthy of this trust. I am filled with appreciation for you all.
Each of my girls had their challenges this year. My youngest became very sensitive and inflexible in her behaviour after Christmas. For a while she chose to wander around at nursery looking very sad rather than playing with the others. I spoke with the teachers, cut back her nursery hours and she blossomed again. She is now so bright, sharp, chatty and engaged that she’d talk and play and spend all day showing what she can do and telling her stories if she could! She has learnt to hula-hoop, to write her name in bubble writing and to belly-laugh in sheer delight with her friends.
My eldest daughter found the loss of two teachers earlier in the academic year hard to adjust to. She also was ill before Christmas and being physically run down and emotionally affected by losing teachers she was very attached to caused a great deal of anxiety and unhappiness for her for a time. A new teacher arrived to teach her class, a teacher who remained with them for the rest of the year. She was just the tonic my daughter needed. She was the right person in the right place at the right time! I am so grateful for the teacher and the person that she is. This year my daughter has learnt to read and voraciously reads all words in her path (this is only a negative when the buses have posters on them educating people about chlamydia!), she has regular correspondence with, the tooth fairy, she sings, chats, bounces, runs, skips and questions constantly and is such good company.
At times this year I have felt vulnerable and unsure. Luckily I’m part of a team effort in raising my daughters. The teachers are a big part of the team.
Above are just a few of the special people who have given so much of themselves for the happiness and education of my daughters. If you are one of their teachers and your photo is not above, I just haven’t caught you yet! But this is for you too. Thank you to you all. You have my trust, my love, my appreciation and my support. You do a challenging job and you give much of yourselves in its pursuit. My gratitude to you all.
And my children are aware of the changes afoot. They are aware of the pulling away from something that they love in order to move to the next stage. And they are so ready for the next step.
As for me, I seem to have invested a great deal of love, trust and attachment to my children’s teachers. It feels hard to let go and move on. I guess this is what the long summer break is all about; time to adjust to the need to invest in the next set of adults who will become my children’s teachers and my partners in educating and shaping them.
But for now I shall indulge myself in the ending of this year and all it has meant. My love and gratitude go out to Miss Solomon, Mrs Fuller, Mrs Butler, Mrs baker, Frances, Penny, Sue, Kelly, Sally, Olivia, Jill, Maureen, Noreen, Ruth, Marie, Catherine, Jade, Miss Keppel, Miss Skinner, Karina x x x
I’m off to collect my youngest daughter from her last day at nursery now. We’ve been attending the children’s centre there since she was 4 weeks old. Tears are threatening (mine, not hers!) so I’m off to find the Kleenex.