New Academic Year Resolutions – a plea

By September 5, 2016 No Comments
loco parentis

I’ve seen lots of blog posts these past few weeks… Ten things for NQTs, ten things for educators as we start this academic year, ten things as a teacher wanting to use tech, as a leader, so forth and so on…

New Year Resolutions are funny things… around the actual January new year celebration time lots of teachers take to social media and share ideas around the whole nurture thing. For me, the start of a new academic year brings trials and tribulations for us all. As an NQT you’re nervous in starting your first post. Nervous that you can’t believe you’re finally going to be let loose with your own tutor group without a tutor of your own standing in the wings observing and commenting on much of what you do. Teachers who have been teaching for some time but just starting their first middle leader job will be nervous too. “What if I’m found out to be a fraud? What if I don’t really know what I’m doing?”. The same goes for those moving up to senior leadership positions too or those starting a new promoted role in a brand new school.

It’s the same for children too. As a child moving from Year 6 to Year 7 you’re wondering what ‘big school’ really will be like. It’s the same for really young kids too. As a parent of a 5 and 7 year old, I know how nervous they were going back to school today. “What if I’m bullied again, Dad? What do I do?”. Being a parent is so very different to being a teacher. I know straight away what advice I would give one of my tutees or a student in my class but what do I say to my 7 year old son who’s been clearly worrying about this for the past 6 weeks?

As a parent, I have to trust that my son will do these things. I have to trust that the school will do the right thing. I have to trust that his new teacher will keep an eye out too, given that they have been contacted to ask that they are mindful of this. But it’s tough. Real tough.

So in this era of people writing other blogs about five things, ten things, twenty things… I’m going to ask you to do just one simple thing in this one simple plea…

In this new year, please go the extra mile in keeping an eye out for the kids in your care. For once, I’m not speaking as an educator myself, but as a parent. Loco parentis means something to me. It’s latin meaning ‘in the place of a parent’. Every teacher knows this. As the guardian of so many children including mine, can your resolution be to look out for the shy, the sensitive, the hidden child in your classroom who may seem to be getting on just fine on the surface but when you scratch away a bit is far from fine. Please look out for all the children. Those that are singled out for abusive comments, words, actions and unfortunately sometimes more. Please look out for them.