End of year reflections

The birds are chirping in the trees, the sun is slowly rising, my family is still asleep and I’m sitting on my patio reflecting on the school year that has been.

This time of year is fraught with mixed emotions and I find myself oscillating between feeling proud, tearful, excited and sad in equal amounts.

This happens each year as we get to the last week of school and I begin to evaluate and feel the wonder of the progress each one of “my children” has made this year.

Loving ‘my children’

I marvel at the capacity the human heart has for love.  Every year I am given the privilege of meeting seventeen new little souls who are entrusted to my care.  We are all strangers to each other, having no real connection.

I care about them simply because they are children; and I have no real love for each individual child -yet.

Within the space of a few weeks, these little souls become “my children” whom I love with all my heart and will protect as bravely as a mother bear would.

“My children” arrive at the beginning of the year with eyes as wide as saucers, as quietly as little mice and many of them, as timidly as rabbits.

My loud voice, quirky ways and odd sense of humour shock them into silence!

It takes them a few days to realise that my bark is really worse than my bite and slowly they begin to relax and enjoy the fun atmosphere in my class.

Celebrating making mistakes

Right from the outset we begin to celebrate making mistakes, we apologise for being nasty, we learn to tell the truth, we foster good manners, we develop empathetic behaviour, we treat each other with respect, we aim to believe in ourselves and above all we learn to adhere to the one and only class rule – be kind.

Be kind to EVERYONE!!!

The magic of learning begins, and I step back and watch as each one of “my children” start to grow.

At Broadacres Academy we do not focus only on the academic side of school, but try to develop the soft skills not included in the curriculum.   It is these non-curricular skills that are so vital in setting our children up for success.

 

Their journeys to not belong to me

So, today I sit and reflect on the question, “How much have I been able to help ‘my children achieve’?”

In the first draft of this blog I documented the progress each child has made.   I had tears streaming down my face with amazement at just how far each one has come.

However, I have chosen to leave out all that information, as their journeys are so personal and do not belong to me, and as such I don’t have the right to share them.

What I have discovered through my reflection is that all my children have reached their own milestones in their own time.  They may not all be where they need to be academically, yet, but they have made tremendous progress.

 More importantly to me, they have grown as human beings.

They have developed the soft skills needed to be a person who lives with integrity, showing kindness and compassion to those they meet.

Letting go of ‘my children’

On Friday I have to say farewell to ‘my children’.  Other teachers will understand how hard it is to let go!!!

Each child creeps into our hearts, finding a special place to place their memories and to leave their mark.

I always hope that the teacher receiving ‘my children’ will love them and understand them just as I have and, to date, I’ve rarely been disappointed.

So………as I do each year, I cry and laugh, feel sad and happy and count my blessings that these little souls have left me with such beautiful memories.

Above all, I feel privileged and proud to be part of this noble profession they call teaching.