Going into teaching it never dawned on me that it would be quite so easy to become attached to certain kids.
The reason I decided to teach was because I liked working with children, and I always liked the idea that someone might look up to me. I don’t think I ever realised that one day someone would actually look up to me though.
As far as my tutor group are concerned, I’m almost certain that they hate me 75% of the time, and I am wholly certain that I hate them around 25% of the time.
But there are a small number of kids in my tutor group who make my day. They’ve got a personality, and they’ve got respect too. They’re clever, sparky – and some are a little rough around the edges. But I like that.
One kid in particular has totally won me over. She’s pretty ballsy, and mouthy, but she has this fragile side to her, and having seen her cry on many occasions, I’ve felt this urge to try and help her.
And I was doing pretty well with doing so. Teachers around the school had commented on her improvement, and congratulated me on my hard work. I was mentoring her, as well as doing a bit of nurturing. She needed love, and care. And actually, I started to see a different kid to the mouthy one that started Year 7 and was left with this confident, and caring kid, who was really proud of herself doing well.
Then last week I got the news that she had decided to move school. And I don’t mean that she was relocating, she was going to a school about 10 minutes walk away. She’d been on the waiting list for over a year, and decided that a fresh start might help her (because some of her teachers still “hated her” – which they didn’t of course.)
In the moment that I got told this news, I felt completely and utterly devastated. As mentioned, it never occurred to me that I would become this attached.
But I had.
The most devastating part of this though was the fact that after I found out, she never came back to school. And as of this week she started at her new place.
Last week, I got my tutor group to send her a card, delivered via her sibling who attends the school, and on that evening I got an email from her, saying thank you for being the best teacher she’d ever had.
That totally got to me. And to make things worse (or better – I’m not sure.) As I walked into a meeting after school this week, she came and saw me to let me know how she was getting on. She seemed really happy, which I was chuffed about – naturally. But I can’t help missing that spark that she brought to my tutor group, or to my subject lessons too.
When she left school that afternoon I realised something. Someone looked up to me. It had actually happened. I had made an impact on a kid, enough for them to keep me in the loop even when they’re gone.
And as soppy as it might be, I think that’s my favourite and proudest moment of my teaching career so far.