I have been teaching now, for what seems an age; I am in my 16th year of teaching. (I will write another post at some point about my rebellious streak in terms of writing the way I do, despite being an ‘educator’). I have had somewhere in the region of 400 children pass through my hands. I have seen many things; the poorest, the sweetest, kindest, rudest, the most ill-mannered. Some names have completely fallen out of my head, either through their behaviour, personality or attitude. Other names have stuck – again for the same reasons. There is a reason my son is not named Ben (this was the name I was always going to name my son since I was young)- class of 2003/04 put paid to that!
My feelings towards my classes have varied greatly, from complete love and protection all the way up to cartwheels on the last day of term. My favourite class has to be my very first class in 2000. I graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University and was employed at Haveley Hay Junior School (although it amalgamated in the year I joined). I started work in September 2000 and my first class was Year 3. They were completely adorable. I suppose there were some characters, but I can never really remember having a problem. I remember receiving constant praise for how wonderful they were. When the last day of term came around, I cried. They cried. We were all a mess.
I often wonder where they are now. They will be 23/24 – making their way in the world and may well have children of their own. I think of G, the nigh on bald headed little boy who would send me little notes telling me how much he loved me; J, who was scouted for Manchester City when I was his teacher, despite him being a Manchester United fan. An amazing mathematician, he often had me in stitches – I remember whizzing through a spelling test – “Once, Twice..” with J chiming in with “…three times a lady!”; T, who I would berate about her handwriting (I feel so terrible about it now, but it was so unreadable at times, she had such great ideas that I just couldn’t access).
I have become so jaded in my teaching that I wonder what I was like back then. Was I relaxed? Did they think I was terrible? Did they love me as much as I loved them? Where are they now?