Monday, 23 July 2007

Twenty-two: Laud my profession

'My Daddy is a Giant' Carl Norac

Remi 6 years old
It's only 3 days into the 6 week's Summer holiday and already I miss them. These indefatigable, rumbustious kiddies that arrive at my classroom door every September, anxious, eager, confident, shy, happy, tense and some even weeping copiously. Behind them their equally anxious, some overprotective, some neglectful parents, few wanting to stay, but most wanting to run away as fast as their legs can carry them.

It is an awesome, mindblowing, deafeningly tiring, frighteningly responsible job that I do. They say 'those that can - do, those than can't - teach'. That may well be the case, but I defy anyone out there to try and do what we do in the space of a 6 hour day.

'The Lion King'
Poojan 6 years old.

If you consider that a day has 24 hours, of which we sleep 12 hours (well kids do anyway) and they are at school for 6 hours of their waking day, that will give you some idea of the magnitude of our work. In these modern times parents work long hours, which means that, from Monday to Friday, we are with their children, nurturing and educating them for more hours than they are. Those of you with children, have all heard them say 'but my teacher says.....' Even my own used to say this to me when they were at school! We take on a 'godlike' form to thse youngsters.

At the end of another academic year, they bundle out of that same classroom door they came in to 10 months before, weeping for another reason, not wanting to leave and go to a new teacher. Fraught with all sorts of problems, filled with oodles of joy and crammed with loadsa successes, I can only thank God that I chose to do this job 39 years ago, and love it as much now as I did then.

I laud my profession and pay a tribute to all of you who work in it, at whatever level, whatever age group and wherever you are. Here's to us!

'No printed word, nor spoken plea
Can teach young hearts what mand should be
Not all the books on all the shelves
But what the teachers are themselves.'