Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Thank you teacher!

This academic year is coming to an end with some momentous changes for my three youngest children.  Ella has finished college and is awaiting her A'Level results.  University life beckons come September, bringing with it some big changes for us at home and for her as she begins her further education in Manchester.  It's an exciting time for us all and I think it will be a wonderful opportunity for my daughter to truly find herself and embark on the amazing life she deserves. We will of course miss her, but she'll only be an hour away so I predict lots of weekend visits!

Kizzy will be going up to the secondary school that her three older siblings attended.  She is more than ready for it and is excited about being in 'big school'.  Her SATs results were excellent and I'm sure she will do really well (if he doesn't get lost en route to lessons!)  Kizzy is so sociable and has lots of friends, so I hope she'll fit right in and enjoy all the opportunities that present themselves. She looks so lovely and so very grown up in her new school uniform with a blazer and house tie.

Kizzy in her new uniform

Little Freddy has completed his year in Reception and will be a Year 1 in September.  He is still not up to the 'expected' level in reading and writing, which may be down to the trouble he has with his eyes and his inability to distinguish individual letters within a group.  He has a hospital appointment in August to look at what is going on with his eyesight. In spite of his vision problems, Freddy is really sharp with a quick wit and a keen interest in everything he does, so if a particular issue with his learning is identified, he'll be ready for the challenge. I'm planning on doing some extra work with him over the summer holidays in hope of bridging the gap between what he can do and what he struggles with to build his confidence.  But, regardless of whatever level he is achieving, I have seen Freddy flourish in the school environment. He is so much more sociable, kind, friendly, outgoing and confident, and his manners are impeccable.  He volunteers to do things, loves sharing his knowledge and is an expert when it come to using technology. The reading and writing will come in time.

I have been fondly remembering my own school years.  There are some teachers who I will never forget and whose influence helped shape me as a child.  From my first teacher Mrs Gallie who was maternal, gentle and nurturing to the positively terrifying Mrs Phillips who taught us through our 12+ exams, each and every one of the people who taught me made a difference.  My Junior school maths teacher, Mr Webster was a formidable character with a tendency to throw chalk at pupils and who carried around a dummy to humiliate those children who insisted on sucking on their pen lids.  But I really liked him!  I was delighted to see a photo of him come up on Facebook the other day on the event of my old school's centenary celebrations.  Thirty five years on and he looks just the same as I remembered him...just a bit older.  It made me smile.

schooldays, seventies
Me at Junior School in the 70s

I have such vivid memories of my school years.  I can still recite poems I learned, remember stories I wrote and recall actual lessons and what we did in class.  I hope my own children are making their own lifelong memories of their schooldays now, which will be stored away and looked back on with fondness in years to come.  

Teachers play such a big part when it comes to remembering this part of your life.  I still think back on Mr Goodchild the chemistry teacher who made us all hold hands and run around the science lab pretending to be molecules.  And my history teacher Mr Long's impression of  the hunchbacked King Richard III will never be forgotten.  A good teacher never leaves your thoughts. 

So as this term ends, I will encourage my kids to say 'Thank You' to their teachers. Many of their teachers will not be forgotten over the years.  Freddy's teacher is absolutely wonderful and I am so glad he has her for another year.  He needs a nurturing environment where he is valued for who he is.  Kizzy did not get along very well with her year 6 teacher some of the time, but that experience is a lesson in itself.  Knowing that not everyone is going love you in life and learning to deal with it and come up with strategies to get along is a very important skill.  

When it comes to gifts, you really can't go wrong with wine, flowers or chocolates to say thank you.  A lovely treat to start the summer holidays!  The Cadbury Thank You boxes are a great idea and at just £1.99 for a 48g box or £3.99 for a 180g box, they are a great value gift with a lovely sentiment.

confectionery, thank you gifts
Thank You gift from Cadbury

So, thank you to all the teachers out there, past and have made a difference!


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