So Sophie had her first school Parents Evening last week and I was fascinated to experience what it was like.
Gotta say…it was weird.
It’s Miscarriage Awareness Week and my wife’s doing a bake sale at work to raise money for Tommy’s, a charity which endeavours to conduct research into miscarriage and stillbirth and support families undergoing these traumas.
Nothing particularly unusual about that.
However, she’s doing three half marathons as well.
And that’s because the experiences Tommy’s helps couples through are very close to our heart.
Delve a little deeper, uncover the heartache we personally went through two years ago this month and you’ll see the scar tissue is still raw.
I don’t tell our story at all to curry sympathy or to make anyone upset.
But if in some small way it helps people be a bit more open (and donate to this excellent charity too via her Just Giving page) it’s definitely a good thing.
It’s a very strange irony but as I adjust – quite happily – to the lack of school in my daily life, Sophie is revelling in her first few days of pre-school.
For me, it’s been a real joy to take her along and experience those new times with her. It’s something that would have been simply impossible had I stayed put.
For her, it’s been a wide-eyed adventure into the unknown and one that apparently she is absolutely loving.
A couple of weeks ago, i decided that the best way for me to enjoy a Daddy day with Sophie and Harry would be to spend it on the beach.
Setting aside the fact the nearest beach was 60 miles away (ish), I packed lots of things, bundled the little ones into the car and headed off.
Looking out of the rain-spattered Windows as I joined the M56 out towards North Wales, I wondered if it was really such a good idea after all…
Dear Bollin Primary
Last year was tough.
We were dragged through the mud by the press, the school was almost torn in two, tears, sadness and anger were the dominant narratives. We were abandoned by the people who were meant to protect us and the authorities weighed in to crush us when we were down, providing the barometer by which the school is now judged by the outside world.
All the while, our remarkable children ploughed on through.
And now, as school returns after hopefully a refreshing summer’s break, I think there’s plenty of reasons for you to be fiercely optimistic about the future.
Here’s just a few.
So, as my last post suggested, the world of education and teaching is littered with many trials and pitfalls and has been, at times, a tough place to work.
And yet, as I leave, there are so many memories, good times and aspects of teaching that will remain with me always.
In the name of balance, here’s just a few of the things I am going to miss.
Today, I woke up for the first time in eight years as a former teacher.
My notice period officially ended on 31 August so technically now I’m a free agent.
Still, the usual leaving time is within the first five years so at least I’m above average.
In the first of a short series, I wanted to unpick the reasons why I left, partly as closure for me but also to see if anybody else could relate to my experiences.
I think most children go through it – that time where your best friend exists in your head but you’re pretty sure they’re actually real.
I remember having one who was not very good at stopping my shots when we played football together – surprisingly – but any other details have long since faded.
As parents it’s important to go along with the pretence, encouraging your child’s social development and including the imaginary friend in everyday life until they get bored with them.
Which may have to be soon for us as with Sophie’s army of pretend pals we’re going to need to do some dramatic upsizing!