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The Wonder of being in School

    12 March 2021

The Wonder of being in School

To coin, the opening comments from head teacher John Tomsett and his blog, I have been teaching for 23 years, I taught children from the age of 3 months to 18 years, on three different continents and with three different education systems and, at the age of 43, this much I know about The Wonder of being in school.

The first wonder must be the sheer enjoyment of working with children. As teachers we have the aspiration to work with young people and make a difference to each and every one. Eighteen children in any classroom, make any learning environment full of complicated individuals that need dedicated care and attention, every single day. Teachers should break down barriers and build relationships with all of their children; even the hardest to reach.

Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, “They don’t pay me to like the kids.” Her response; “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.”
The second wonder is the classroom. Classrooms are a fascinating place in which to work. They are detailed, delicate and delightful; full of character, emotion, sound and sometimes even smell! Learning happens outside of the classroom as much as inside the room. It is not the curriculum, the education system or even the rewards of learning that make children excited about the learning, it is the way they feel when they come into school. When they enter their space.

The third wonder, to me, is the school community we have. It has been amazing having all our children back in. The smiles, the laughter, the feeling of belonging – it is like coming home. Seeing the big smiles from children and parents when they walked with their children or dropped their children off, reminded me of the fact that ‘it really does take a village to raise a child’. The children surprised us with their eagerness to learn and engage, to share, discuss and ask. Yes the last eight weeks wasn’t what we would have liked but the children have shown us, once again, there is really nothing they can’t do.

The fourth and final wonder of teaching is time. On average a young person spends 190 days in school per year. That gives them around 2470 days of school, this is around 18,525 hours. Time spent working, learning, exploring, growing and deciding who they want to be.

As a school community, we have the opportunity to make children truly excited about learning and growing and exploring.

I spent this week teaching, visiting classes, checking in with our children and you only have to walk down the corridors to feel the buzz, see the excitement and wonder ‘spill out’ of lessons and rooms. When learning becomes fun we see it – we see it in corridor displays, work exhibitions, dress up days – we had quite the few 100 year olds in our Reception and Year 1 classes not to even mention the effort that went into World Book Day – and in the way children interact.

We might have been concerned that our children had lost some of the wonder over lockdown but as a teacher and parent I could not be more proud to have found ‘the wonder’ very much still here at Sherfield School.

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