Do not ever underestimate the impact we have on young people’s lives as teachers.
We really are the ‘glue’ that holds it all together and leading up to the summer holidays uncertainty, loss of routine and fear can set in for our most vulnerable students.
As a parent, I know only too well the need of structure in children’s lives and for our most vulnerable students, the summer holidays and loss of the structure and support, that every member of the school community provides can create turbulence.
The fact that colleagues like myself, shout up and down the road about lateness and encourage students to run in, moan about uniform, jewellery, shoes, bags etc. Smile and laugh with, at or near students – before they have even set foot into amazing and learning fuelled classrooms provides and satiates needs that aren’t met in our most vulnerable homes.
This is what I mean about being the ‘glue’. This routine, the fact that I have spent most of the school year, like many colleagues in the profession, picking up the same students, about the same things, tells me that they need me to do it and shows them that I care.
As an early riser, I get to school and have my ‘specials’ sat outside my office reading. The look on their faces every morning when I say ‘Hi’ by name and watch their faces light up (yes he knows our names!) may well be the first positive interaction with an adult of the day.
More ‘glue’ holding it all together.
I am inspired by @jazampaw-farr story, watched her video and read her blog. We have a huge responsibility to ‘smile more, engage before educating, and go the extra mile to humanise students. Reassure them that the community of school will be here when they aren't’. The ‘glue’ in their lives disappears for 6 weeks and instability and fear can set in.
So, I am asking us to remember that we are the ‘glue’ and with that comes and responsibility – say ‘hi’, make jokes, smile a lot, ask about plans over the holiday, be warmer and more engaging, because for six weeks the ‘glue’ isn’t there! As adults, we can change our dysfunctional lives and do something about it (or try to at least!).
Our vulnerable students don’t have the luxury or the agency to do this and are stuck, relying on us and an over stretched care system to satisfy their basic needs, to provide love and care, which goes on holiday for the summer!
So please, make the last few days magic for your students!