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The “Teacher Mum”

This is such a new concept to me, like many first time school mums, it is a minefield. The expectations, the waiting at the school gates, the meeting of new parents and children, meeting the teacher and the reading and homework. It’s a whole new ball game. 

I’ve adjusted to life a school mum quite well, I only do it once a week as I work but I love drop off and collection, preparing his school lunches, reading and finding out about Jenson’s day. I love every part of it and treasure it. We had parents evening next week and I couldn’t wait to hear about his progress. He did amazing, I loved seeing his classroom work, the wall displays ans hear how he was getting on, superbly infact. I felt happy with his progress so far as we also have access to Tapestry, an online learning journey. This is amazing. I get live updates when they upload an observation and I can also upload things we do, it is so lovely to see what he has done. 

It was so bizarre being on the ‘other side’ of the table, I am so use to just talking about the child and filling the silence, making sure there isn’t any gaps and avoiding questions at all costs! As a rule that you learn, you always ask the parents perspective and feelings at the beginning, then you can run with the rest of the appointment on your terms and that way you avoid over running. Jenson’s teacher knew all of the tricks of the trade, something you learn with experience. 

The sharing of career, however, has meant we have an understanding. I know that it isn’t always possible to hear children read, that teachers are human and forget things and that his teachers works her arse off. Especially when she is adding tapestry observations at 9pm on a Friday or 3pm on a Sunday. I relate to that life. 

As a teacher mum, I also know the importance and value of supportive parents. I understand that he needs to read at home every night, know his sounds, count and recognise numbers and calculations. I’ve given him the best possible chance by teaching him how he should be taught, lower case letters, numbers, correct formation of letters and numbers, letter sounds etc. It has meant that he is off to to the best start and will therefore shine and thrive above his peers, not because he is a genius (which he obviously is), but because he has had lots of opportunities. I also find myself over excelling with his homework, I really enjoy the opportunities it gives us to be together, we have been on a nature walk, number hunt, shape searching and we are taking his bear on a trip. We have had good feedback so far! 

I also understand her pressures, the fact that there are 29 other children in the class, with a variety of needs, some more complex than others. I know that the parents are different, some more complicated and some so laid back they forget to dress their child. I get that she doesn’t have eyes in the back of her head and some things do go unnoticed but it is my child in her class, I want him to be the centre of her world. Her main focus. I want her to adore and love him, challenge and push him, which she does but I hate that I do not have that involvement. 

The hardest bit has been separating myself from him. Spending maternity leave and all summer with Jenson to then nothing, someone else seeing him more and teaching him things when thay was my job. The logistics are perfect for a teacher Mum, but it’s in my heart that I struggle to deal with someone else doing my job as both a Mummy and a teacher. I imagine it will just get harder.  

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School Eve

It is starting school eve, Jenson is starting primary school tomorrow. I have been prepared for this day coming as it approached and I have been reasonably calm about it. Having spent the last God knows how many months worrying about me returning to work, that is now out the way, so my mind has nothing else to distract itself with. 

On Friday, I was on playground duty. A new reception starter came to me crying as she missed her Mummy, my heart broke, I cuddled her and even got her a cheeky packet of raisins. A second child came crying to me because she needed the toilet and didn’t know where they were, a year six pupil took her off. It was then that I realised this is how my boy will be feeling. My heart sank and that anxious tummy feeling appeared. 

For weeks, Jenson has been asking “how long”. This week in particular, we have been working in sleeps. The excitement and anticipation as it arrived has been so lovely to see. 

Today, has been a big day. We have been talking about Jenson’s “big day” and he knows tomorrow is so special. We chose his uniform and laid it out ready for the morning, we packed his PE bag and book bag, Jenson chose his school dinners and then we made his snack. His school shoes are by the front door along with his box which has his favourite things and things that are all about him, it’s full of tractors, photos of his family, days out, gadgets and Jenson’s best memories. 

I have been in the worst mood today, very emotional and worried about him. I’ve tried to explain his day to him the best way I can, knowing exactly about a school day and comparing it to my own school but his reply of:

“I know Mummy, nursery told me.” 

That fills me with such confidence, he is ready. He feels ready and he feels safe and in the knowledge that he knows what to do. I am panicking though, what about when he goes for dinner? Will he like it? Will he eat it? Will they cut his dinner? What if he knocks something over? It’s all so little and I know I adore the children at my school help each and every one where possible but Jenson is my baby. What if he can’t find the toilet? What if he just wants a cuddle? What if he is tired? So much is going through my head. 

I can’t wait to see his classroom, the new furniture and how it is set up. I want to see his peg and tray label and appreciate the time and effort his class teacher went to during her holidays to make it extra special for my boy. Jenson is a dream child to me, he is my son and I adore him more than life itself. He is also the type of a child a teacher loves, so enthusiastic and keen, cheeky and loving, chatty, thoughtful and hardworking. 

I can’t wait to walk with him, hand in hand to his new adventure. He has chosen shorts and a fleece for tomorrow and then school dinners so the excitement of a packed lunch and other uniform on different days is too exciting. 

Good luck my gorgeous boy, you are going to smash it.

Reach for the moon little one, even if you miss, you’ll be amongst the stars. 

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School Ready

On Tuesday, our local children centre had a school transition market. There were lots of our local schools and preschools there, including Jenson’s preschool which is where I heard about it initially. There was an email sent out by the Children’s Centre yesterday too. 

There wasn’t much to ‘know’ in all honesty, I’m not sure if that’s because I am prepared for that transition being a teacher myself and I know what to expect or whether it I just parent instinct. I feel really relaxed about the whole process. I am pleased that I am feeling like this as it is such a huge deal and I have spent the last 8 years of teaching realising that and reassuring parents, it’s only since having children that I really appreciate how much of a big deal it is.  

  

 

Monday will be a huge day when we find out what school he will be going to and after that, his first day will be massive. I am excited to go to his new school and find out about it with parents evenings but I know Jenson is ‘school ready’. Both Scott and I and his preschool have made sure of that. I am so proud of the progress Jenson has made at school, he is counting confidently, can recognise numbers and uses his Numicon well, he knows his letters and sounds and is starting to blend sounds to read, he recognises key words and has his own reading book. This is huge for my little cherub. Socially and emotionally, he is also ready. He is good at caring for himself, toileting and dressing and undressing himself. We have alsways worked hard at promoting his independence. 

Everything that was drummed in to my yesterday was support at home, how children can be supported at home and the impact of this on their learning. I know all of this. I listened and took the resources to help, who doesn’t love a freebie! There was lots on reading and play at home. Rhym was also really promoted, a child who knows 5 or more rhymes apparently finds writing and reading easier. 

Rhyme cards

 

More rhyme resources but this is a bath vinyl wall sticker

  
The event was good but outdated. There should be one in the Autumn term in preparation for school admission applications, parents visit schools but this gives families more time to be school-ready. The preschools will also have more of a purpose, Jenson is 8 weeks from leaving and Emeline is 2 years from joining. It was good they were there showing how they’re working together but if they were there earlier, the benefit would be substantial long term.  

The worst thing about your child expecting to be ‘school ready’ is the additional pressure, there is so much pressure on little people and schools and what is expected. So many boxes to tick and milestones to meet, there is so much to achieve to be ‘school ready’, can’t quite believe we are at this point though. It’s scary! I worry that from now, it’ll be constant targets and progress towards the next one and endless pressure. I hate how the school system is, I know he will flourish and will be fine but I always want his childhood to be filled with dirt, mud, play and endless fun and I want that promoted, I don’t want him as a focus or a figure in a pupil progress meeting! 

Come September it will all be a haze anyway, in the meantime, I’ll be making sure he is up to school ready standard!  

  

    

Phew, we can do this and more

 

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The final countdown

The end of the Easter holidays is here, I have that sad teacher feeling. Not because I have work tomorrow but because there is one term left. One term left of maternity leave, one term left of preschool for Jenson and one term left before he starts school. I feel that it just illustrates how quick time is going and life is just laughing at me. 

 

We haven’t done anything adventurous this holiday, we’ve played at home as Emeline has been poorly but according to Jenson, that has been a huge highlight for him. It has been so lovely not to rush him out and spend time with him, I absolutely love having him at home. I realise that there isn’t much ‘time’ left before it is time for me to get back to work and I want to spend my maternity leave with both Jenson and Emeline, days out and family time. 

 

The idea of Jenson starting school terrifies me, we find out his school place next week and that I am fine with. I am happy with our local schools, I know he will do well and feel safe in the knowledge that the staff will love him and look after him the best they can. I know this because I am a teacher and I feel that way about my pupils. It’s a nice safety blanket. I put Jenson to bed earlier and saw his cute, round face with a gappy toothed smile just like it was when he was an eighteen month old, then all of a sudden I am back with my four year old. It has gone amazingly fast and I need it to slow down. 
I need to prepare myself for this summer term, a lot is happening and changing. I also need to be realistic and think about my return to work. It makes me feel sick to my stomach. I love my job but I am so worried about returning and leaving Emie.  

  

Plenty of wine and quality time together this term to help me manage all the changes!