Twitter and the world of blogging has been alive this week with talk of getting back to school. I say alive....... of course I generally follow and am followed by parents. I suspect the rest of twitter's 465 million account holder's couldn't give a rat's ass.
Never the less as I approached the school gates this morning, and ran away rather quickly a few things occurred to me.
Firstly, this is the first time in 12 years that I haven't greeted a new class today. I guess from the outside you'd think the first day is quite hard for teachers. They've had six weeks off (looking after their own kids) and they've been thrown back into the hustle and bustle of a busy school. Yes it does take a little while to get up to speed. However, the first few weeks of a new school year was my absolute favourite time. I loved it!! Because it only has one objective - get your class to behave.
It doesn't matter what kind of school, good teachers know that it's all very well staying up till 2am making paper mache models of the Taj Mahal, but if you can't get the kids to sit down and listen it's all wasted effort. The early days are spent drilling the kids back into classroom rules, school rules and any little personal foibles you have as their new teacher. One of my foibles was teaching the kids that if I gave them some free time as a reward, e.g. putting rugby games on during the world cup, then if anyone came in they had to pretend to be working. Job done! Every teacher has foibles but they are all as different as the staff themselves.
Either way it was a strange feeling to be on the other side of the gate at 9am.
The other thing I noticed was the different approach to the first day depending on which parent brought the child to school. Almost all the mums dutifully guarded their little treasure right up to the classroom door. Most of the dads slowed the car down just enough to let the child roll out of the passenger seat. My lad just ran in. If I'd wanted to say goodbye to him I'd have needed a loud haler.
It also struck me that when you are connected with a school, time stands still. Let me give you an example. If you went on holiday to Spain for six weeks, on return stuff would have happened. Life would have moved on at it's usual pace without including you. However, when school ends for the summer everything stops. When you return on the first of September nothing has changed. This is because the only thing that connects you all is school. You gravitate to the same mums and dads and talk about the same stuff you were talking about in July. The teachers slot straight back in to work mode and the kids pick up with all the friends they only see in school. Nothing in the school world has moved on without you. It's just as if six weeks of everyone's life has mysteriously disappeared.
I also learned a quick parenting lesson this morning. Our son has grown. That's what they do. So we bought some new uniform shirts. Unfortunately we didn't buy a new jacket. As such he wandered into school without a care in the world with his T shirt dragging round his ankles and the waist of his jacket up to his armpits. He looked like he'd been dressed by Jedward.
So there you have it. The first day is over with. We can all relax and...............................oh bollocks is it 3 pm already. Bloody hell that went quick.
*rushes to car*