It is Friday afternoon and I’m waiting for you on the playground, just as I always do. I can see you there at your classroom door, hat askew, coat half off. I watch as your lovely teacher, let’s call her Mrs X, straightens you up and helps you pop your violin on your back before she sends you out.
She is a good’un, I think to myself. And suddenly there you are next to me. “Mrs X is leaving at the end of term”, you say; and your eyes fill with tears. All around us your friends are sharing the same news. And I don’t know what to say because I understand every little bit of your sadness, how could I not? Mrs X has been a fixture from the very start of our time at your school, right from your first settling in day over 2 years ago now.
I remember so clearly taking you into that Reception classroom for the first time. I just couldn’t believe it was happening. You. Starting school. You were such a little one. But there was Mrs X and I had a good feeling immediately. Anyone could see she was vibrant, competent and charismatic. I knew straight away you would be fine. She clapped her hands and you all gathered around her – like magic really. And that was it, the start of your school career.
From that day on, I watched with amazement as you got to grips with holding a pen properly, with phonics, with maths, and generally with the new routine of school. You hung onto every word Mrs X said. You even went through a phase of adopting her accent at home. You learnt to read, to write; and shy little you gained the confidence to stand up in front of the class with a copy of your treasured WhatCar magazine for Show & Tell. Amazingly, you grew to love doing Show & Tell. From your car magazines you moved on to telling jokes and even performing a magic trick…..I’m not sure how that one went actually, but still. Mrs X made you believe you could do it; and you did.
So when, at the end of Year 1, we learnt you would be in Mrs X’s class again for Year 2 there were happy children and happy parents all round. I hope she knows, I thought, how much she is appreciated.
And now here we are, part way through Year 2. Mrs X has pushed you, encouraged you; and crucially, understands what makes you tick. She has helped you grow in confidence whilst respecting the essence of your personality. She also knows that you would rather jiggle around in your chair than put your hand up to go to the toilet, so she looks out for that too. And tells you to straighten up your trousers afterwards.
No wonder, then, that you had tears in your eyes when you told me that you will be finishing this school year without her. No wonder I did too.
And now a new chapter begins, but you will never forget the last one. So three cheers for Mrs X, and all the other amazing teachers just like her. She will always hold a very special place in your heart, and so she should.