Saturday, 21 January 2012

After the chalk dust settles.

I watched a supply teacher work so bravely today. 

It is a difficult group to manage effectively, with intellectual, emotional and behavioural needs.  It might be a small class but with ages from 5 to 10, it ranks high in the 'plate-spinning' difficulty ratings. And she stuck to her post.  So I wanted so celebrate her effort and achievements.

It was at the end of the day when we chatted together, midst the detritus of a Friday classroom, that we recognised that we naturally gravitated towards the negative, to what went wrong, to what was difficult, to what hadn't been achieved. We reflected on how it takes so much effort to see what had been achieved and how we can feel that uncomfortably guilty when we smile at what we have done.

Ours is a profession in which there is always more we can do, always more depth possible to planning, always more we can communicate, always more we can innovate. We are always so conscious of what we failed to complete, or attempt, or support that we become almost blind to our considerable and conscientious efforts. 

I hope, that after our Sondheim-like moment in the classroom, we might have gone away thinking, "I did that, and it was good." And, if anyone wishes to comment, I would love to hear what you think we need to do to keep or perspective when all about us is chalk dust.


  1. Great piece and well done for taking the time to watch and taking the time to talk, and for taking the time to encourage!
    There are not enough like you out there!

    1. Thank you, genuinely touched by your comment.