Welcome back to King in the Classroom. Week 1 complete. Good job. How’s that adrenaline? You know, the fighter pilot pulse that pumped through you first morning back. It screams at you internally, ‘how on Earth do we do this again?!’ Everyone gets it, whether you’ve been teaching 2 years, 20 years or 0. Everyone has the doubt.
We as a profession are riven with it. A sense of doom for many approaching that first week, with an internal voice saying ‘you really going to do it like that?’ It’s natural and understandable for an industry that is built on a ginormous dollop of love and care. Nobody gets into teaching if they don’t like kids, at least I’d like to hope that those that do are quickly driven out with burning torches and pitchforks. However this love can on occasion end up causing teachers to doubt whether they are good enough, if they are the truly capable.
Twitter has been rife this week with people questioning ‘how do I do this again?’ ‘Does everyone feel like this is the year they get found out?’ This are both justifiable questions and questions that scream at a deeper feeling. Fear. Fear that the task we’ve been given is too great. It sits like a cat in your stomach over the summer waiting to stir as September approaches. But remember, in a few weeks’ time you will have put it to sleep. Your hard work, care and devotion coaxing it back to its slumber. And though it’s true, the cat will be there next year, hopefully it will be just that little bit smaller.
So it’s one week down and be honest can you name all your children yet? I’m generally pretty good at it but obviously it helps if you’ve stayed in the same school and may have known some before they became your little crew. Something I’ve thought a lot about over the summer is relationships with the quiet children. It’s something that is sometimes mentioned or even discussed but each year I feel like there are 1 or 2 children that I’ve not quite fathomed. Generally quieter than others or naturally introverted I guarantee if you think about it, it’s been the same in your classrooms over the years. Some children find it hard to make those bonds, those connections. It may not be down to some deep internal trauma but simply because they are shy, reluctant to open up. So this year I made myself a promise. After a few weeks I’ll think about who it is I have struggled to unlock, who has held back, who hasn’t been belly laughing at my frankly hilarious jokes and I will do my level best to unlock that child. Sitting at the end of the year writing parents evening comments some were easier than others. That’s ok. But every child, the quietest, the loudest, the introvert or extrovert, deserves to feel valued in exactly the same way.