When The Trust Is Broken

When the trust is broken.

Over the years I’ve had many parents cross my classroom door.

They have been let down, lied to, failed. Failed by a system but also failed by individuals.

When they cross my door, they are hostile. They are distrustful. They are afraid.

Those parents expect me to be the same as others they’ve come across before. We start our relationship not from a position of trust, not even from one of neutrality.

They do not see me. They see only a teacher. One of many. A replica of those who have failed.

And that is fair.

I do not blame them.

It is easy to look to the government, to blame funding cuts, rising pressures, staff disaffection.

But that is not the whole story.

We are individuals, each with our own conscience. Despite these things we can make a difference. We can give the humanity which is so often missing in the world.

There are people who do. I hope I am one.

There are people who work through their lunch hours, who call parents in their own time, who treat the children they teach in the way they would want their own children to be treated.

There are teachers who care. Perhaps more than they should. Or at least that’s what some would say.

There are people who do. I hope I am one.

But today. Today I am a mum.

Today I am the distrustful one. The one who has been failed by a system.

The one fighting for her child.

Today it is not education but health. A string of doctors, one after another.

All nice. All professional.

But each only seen once.

There is no relationship. No trust. Nowhere to turn.

Things are forgotten and promises are broken. The humanity is missing.

My baby is poorly and I am frightened.

And today when we see yet another stranger in yet another room, I know I will be hostile. And I know that isn’t fair.

But the trust is broken.

And unlike in my other world, my teacher world, this time it is not in my power to fix.


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