Writing in the Guardian, the latest Secret teacher says they know it’s part of teaching, but saying goodbye to the children at the end of a year is tough.
…I miss last year’s class. From the beginning I knew they were different and would be hard to let go. Things seemed to sing with them – the parents were supportive, my headteacher trusted me and I hit the ground running. Reading books had a system, homework went out on time and standards were high from the get-go. It felt manageable, and I adored them. Of course, you always feel that way about your class, but I fell in love and, like anyone in love, an ending seemed impossible. It came, though, in July.
I’m still young enough and vain enough that I want to be paramount to each child in my care. Narcissistic it may be, but one of the benefits of teaching year 2 is that they love you and they tell you that, which makes all the hours of painstaking planning, resourcing and assessing worthwhile. I keep every card, note and present; I still have a postcard from one of last year’s boys on my desk. It says: “You will always be my favourite”…
The first few weeks of September I saw one or more of them every day, usually in the playground. A particular favourite of mine, Priti, jealously guarded me, holding both my hands so my new class were left out. When others protested, she said: “She’s still my teacher, not yours”. A parent confided in me that their daughter missed my “warmth”. I made the right noises – she’ll love it, soon she’ll forget about year 2, she’ll get on so well with her new teacher – but really I wanted to say: “I’m finding this hard, too.”
I know it’s selfish, but part of me (the part you don’t talk about as a professional) was glad they were finding the transition hard. For every teacher who loves their class, you want them to be happy, but you also want them to remember you. And as the weeks pass and the memories fade, you both move on…
Is this a natural reaction from a teacher of very young children or is there perhaps something a little bit unhealthy about wanting the children to love and miss you?
Your thoughts and feedback?
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