Last year, I was witness to the retirement of one of my favourite teachers from my primary school years. Lucky for me, this teacher became my colleague a couple of years into my teaching career and I was fortunate enough to learn from one of the best. I saw the way he interacted with his students and I saw the relationships he formed with parents. I saw the commitment he showed to our small, yet fiercely loyal community and I saw the raw emotion that oozed from him as he sat there at his retirement presentation, as past students, past colleagues and past parents, one by one, spoke with love about this amazing man that had impacted the person that they had grown to be. I felt honoured that this man had not only taught me, but inspired me to be a teacher.
I remembered laughing in his classroom as he did the funny and ridiculous voices of Roald Dahl’s ‘Grand High Witch’. I remembered him comforting me when I embarrassingly passed out on a 40 plus day. I remember him telling me that I was going to do amazing things when I grew up. I remember him breaking down how to trade when subtracting, because my creative little Maths challenged brain just couldn’t cope.
I remember him sitting with me, teacher to teacher, and bringing me back down to earth. When I got caught up in the data and the meetings and the assessments, he reminded me that, whilst all of these things are important and part of it all, they are not what teaching is about.
And as I sit here, on the eve of another school year, he has come to my mind. And has made me reflect on what this year means for me.
I am a teacher…..a teacher who is striving to be just like him.
A teacher who interacts with her students in a way that makes them feel valued, respected and loved.
A teacher who forges strong and open relationships with the parents of her students.
A teacher whose commitment to our community is second to none. Who, when things get tough, or frustrating, or just plain exhausting, will just put her head down and continue….
Cause being a teacher is not about me. Being a teacher is about my kids, my parents and my community.
So to my kids for this year…..
And Let’s love.
If I can manage that, then I can only hope to become half the teacher who inspired me.
So, it’s the last week of the school holidays. Those teachers among us understand the inevitable pull between the conflicting messages that my brain is sending….my left practical (hardly ever used) side is yelling at me like a drill sergeant. “Get off that arse full of Christmas cheer and New Years champagne and get sorted!” I should be in at school. With only two more days, I really should be in at school. But, on the other side of the chocolate coin, with only two days left, I really should be down at the lake with my kids! The right hand, creative, airy fairy, emotional (and ridiculously overused) side of my brain is telling me to stay in bed, watch Netflix with the kids and take advantage of those last few days of just being Mum.
The right side usually wins.
This morning I compromised. I stayed in bed, but pulled out my laptop and got onto Pinterest. Again, those teachers among you realise that this is an essential part of programming, classroom setup and…..procrastinating. Lots of beautiful things popping up….amazing classroom door designs, hair cuts/colours/styles, healthy recipes containing quinoa that get pinned but never made, when a quote pops up that makes me laugh.
“16 Things Successful People do on Monday Mornings”
It was insiprational! They wake up early, they exercise, they arrive early, they visualise the week’s successes…..and my favourite, ‘They add a blanket of humanity to their emails.’ If you need to add a ‘blanket of humanity’ to your emails, there is something seriously wrong!
Why had I not thought of these things before!
All of this time, I had thought I was being successful…..just by getting out the door.
They should rename this list
16 Things Successful Single, Childless People, or Those With A Full Time Live In Nanny do on Monday Mornings.
It made me think about my own list. What do I need to do on that first day back to ensure I am a success. So I made up my own list…..I hope it helps!
16 Things Successful Mums do on Monday Mornings
Are you out the door with moderately presentable offspring, looking some what appropriate for work? Is everyone, except you fed, washed and dressed?
YOU ARE A SUCCESS!