One of my lasting memories as a child from school was the feeling that I was not good enough. I was not clever, always quiet and never felt confident offering answers. During my career I tried to find ways to include all children and value their opinions. I think my childhood experience has always made me wonder what children thought of me as a teacher and Head Teacher. Did I inspire them, listen to them and support them? If you had to choose one of the following: knowledge, skills or attitude to give the children that would change their lives, which one would it be? Most teachers would answer attitude but the curriculum is mostly about developing knowledge.
What impression do you want to leave? Are you an inspirational teacher that children will remember for a long time or do you just get by day to day? If you are the latter then remember that for that child in your class that moment in time cannot be regained. So are you the best you can be? We know that teachers make a difference by teaching children the skills and values they need to become responsible, reflective and resilient. These and other skills are needed in the acquisition of knowledge and how that applies to life.
Children come from many different backgrounds and sometimes it may be hard to comprehend a child’s experiences because they are different from our own. However we can all provide children with a safe place in their lives – school can be that haven. A place where they are accepted, respected and encouraged to try. Teachers can make a difference and you never know when that can become life-changing for a child.
I know that there are certain children from throughout my career that I will never forget, I can remember their names and clearly picture their faces today and I know at that moment, in that place I made a difference.