Somebody’s Child

This articulates very well the feelings I had a couple of years ago when a friend’s child was being drummed out of his Secondary school for his ‘bad’ behaviour. It always seemed to me that while he was certainly not completely innocent of any wrong-doing that his behaviour wasn’t quite so bad as the repeated suspensions and finally expulsion meted out would suggest. I felt that the school were making an example of him, possibly to the benefit of many, but at the cost of one individual boy – that they had lost sight of the fact that this boy was a CHILD.

Freeing the Angel

One of the most striking differences for me between teaching in primary, and teaching in secondary, is the depth of the relationship that we can develop with each child. This is not to apportion blame: it is a simple fact of mathematics. In primary, those 30 children very quickly became ‘my class’. In secondary, those 250 children very quickly became ‘that tricky Year 9’ or ‘my favourite Year 7 group’. In secondary you get a flavour of what it is like for primary teachers, when you work with a GCSE or A Level class, or when you have your own form group. But it is still not quite the same. In primary you get to meet the parents each day, as they wait to pick up their children: there is no escaping the fact that they come from a family. In secondary, your first contact might be at a parents’…

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To my colleague who thought her morning was bad because she got stuck a little while in traffic…

I know that having children is a privilege, and that some people who don’t have kids would swap places with me in a heartbeat. I know it’s wrong to think that people who don’t have children have it easy by comparison, and that their frustrations are of lesser significance. But sometimes when I hear people … Continue reading To my colleague who thought her morning was bad because she got stuck a little while in traffic…

What I have learned since my son started school

I have learned that there’s a difference between emotional, intellectual and physical readiness to start school.I have learned that school is tiring for the little ones, even for a child used to nursery.I have learned that Receptions teachers have almost supra-natural patience and an incredible ability to impose order over chaos.I have learned what an … Continue reading What I have learned since my son started school

Dinner conversation with a 3 year old: a poem

There's a dinosaur in the corner, and he's very naughty, Said James this evening, while eating his tea. He won't eat his dinner, said James with glee, Won't he? Said mummy. That's naughty indeed. And what about you, little monkey? Will you eat your greens? No, silly mummy! Monkeys don't eat beans. They eat sausages, … Continue reading Dinner conversation with a 3 year old: a poem

My own little Maggie Simpson

Tichoux often channels Maggie Simpson. She’s fiercely independent, strong willed and freakishly self-reliant for a 14 month old. Like Maggie, Tichoux is exceptionally easy-going and undemanding except when she isn’t – like when she’s very tired or hungry. Hmm, I wonder who she takes after?. At nursery they tell me she is so good that … Continue reading My own little Maggie Simpson