When Teachers Understand

For as long as I can remember I have worried about the Bear’s transition to secondary school. I simply couldn’t imagine how she would cope with the move from her tiny and very supportive primary school to a huge sprawling campus where she would have to deal with multiple teachers each day.

And the truth is the summer before the move and the first week of being there were hard. Really hard.

There were times when quite frankly it felt like we had stepped back years in our journey as old anxieties reared the head and leaving the house became increasingly difficult.

But once the initial move was done, I have to admit I have been pleasantly surprised. The Bear has not just coped, she has thrived. In fact I would go so far as to say, that now two thirds of the way through her first year, she has never been so happy.

This is in large part down to fantastic teachers who truly get her.

As I sat last night at parents evening – the first contact I had had with many of them – I was awed by their responses. From their understanding that it was anxiety rather than unwillingness that means it takes her a little longer to begin, to their amazement of her insatiable appetite for facts and unwavering attention to detail (yes she does correct her teachers) But do you know what shon through even more? Their love for her. Each of her teachers talked about what a pleasure she was to teach, how intelligent she is and how hard she tries.

I came home, and I will be very honest that I shed more than a few tears.

I was relived. I was happy. I was impressed.

The Bear picks up on every discrepancy. She remembers every fact. She can procrastinate for England. She desperately wants to do well.

Her teachers knew all that. They understood it. They are supporting her with the things she needs supporting with, and cheerleading her at the things she is good at.

In the words of one “She is brilliant. She says it exactly as it is. I love teaching her.”

So often in our world teachers are criticised, and it is true that sometimes we as teachers get things wrong. But what we should recognise is that there are some incredible teachers out there, who one child at a time are changing the world.

And that needs celebrating. It needs appreciating.

It needs shouting from the roof tops.

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