School is so very important for many different reasons. School helps with cognitive development as well as teaching children a range of valuable skills and filling them with the knowledge that they need in order to be successful later in their lives. But this would not be possible without the teachers.
Teachers are not given the credit that they deserve. They help to shape and form children into successful adults, they invest their time, effort and energy into making sure that every child succeeds and that they all receive the help and guidance that they deserve. Yes, I know that not all teachers are brilliant… but the vast majority of them are! I feel as though primary school teachers, especially those who teach nursery and reception classes, are the ones who are overlooked the most. I have heard too many people saying they ‘can’t believe infant class teachers get paid to just play games all day’… play is a huge part of early years development!
Why is Play So Important?
Play helps children to develop many different skills. Through playing in groups children learn key communication skills as well as learning problem-solving skills. It is important to allow children to explore their imaginations, to create new games and also to take risks. Taking risks enable the children to see just what they can and cannot do, they learn to be resilient and independent as well as building up their confidence and self-esteem. This means that you should not wrap your children in cotton wool 24/7, let them climb trees, let them pick up insects, let them balance on things… let them be children! Of course, this does not mean that you should not supervise them and I am sure there will always be a limit, for example, if your child wanted to run across a road, you would obviously stop them because that can be life-threatening. But other activities such as climbing and balancing (although the children may still get hurt if they were to fall), they are very rarely life-threatening, and it lets the children figure out what they are capable of.
You should try not to interrupt children when they are playing, as using their imagination and building up their skills very important and if children are always told what they should be playing with, or how they should be playing with something, they are not being given the chance to grow and to learn.
Teachers are there to supervise play and to encourage children’s imagination as well as guiding them so that they learn new skills. Children often encounter conflict with one another when playing, maybe they disagree on who should play which character, or who gets to use a certain toy or object within the game that they are playing. It is important to let them have this conflict and allow them to work things out amongst themselves as this helps them to build on their problem-solving skills as well as their communication skills and empathy. Teachers will intervene if the conflict becomes too much… but often they will not solve the matter for the children, instead, they will talk to the children and help them to better understand the situation from one another’s point of view and ask them questions in order to guide them to a solution.
Qualities That Good Teachers Would Be Expected To Have…
How The Times Have Changed…
If you were to ask various people across multiple generations, what their experience was like in regards to teachers/school, their answers would all be very different. The laws, policies and procedures in schools have changed dramatically over the years, with children receiving physical punishments up until 1999! Corporal punishment in state schools was banned in the UK in the year 1986 but continued in private schools until 1999.
There are very strict laws and regulations in place in regards to safeguarding children now. If a child today, was to be physically punished or even intentionally humiliated by their teacher, the teacher would be suspended and an official investigation would be put into place. It is not very often that something like this takes place in schools today as such behaviours are treated in a very serious manner.
Q1. During the last 6 years of your daughter being in school… what is the best experience you have had with the teaching staff?
Oh wow, this is a tough question. Mainly because there are so many I could mention. I think I would say, how approachable and patient they all are. They don’t just endeavour to help the children at school, they always strive to make family and friends feel welcome and happy. Parents/Guardians can go to them anytime about any concerns etc.
It sounds like your daughter’s school tries very hard to create a warm and welcome community for all students and their families.
It really is. I can’t imagine going anywhere else!
Q2. How would you describe the teachers you had when you were at school, in comparison to teachers today?… did you have positive experiences as a child?
Academically, I had some excellent teachers. I don’t remember much about my primary school teachers but I had some wonderful teachers in high school. The best were those with a sense of humour and those prepared and willing to explain various aspects of the lessons in different ways so that everyone could understand. I received a very good education and came out with results to be proud of. I think the main difference now is the standards of pastoral care and emotional development. There is a much broader curriculum available to children in school today. There is also more support available to those with additional needs and their parents/guardians. Support staff are also an integral and valuable asset to schools.
I have to agree, there are lots of different types of teachers these days! Rather than having one class teacher, students usually have the attendance of a Teaching Assistant as well as having specially trained teachers for emotional support and helping with children who have special educational needs, making sure that all students are treated fairly and receive equal opportunities.
Q3. Has there been a specific incident within your daughter’s school, that teachers have dealt with in a positive way? And has there been any negative experiences?
My daughter has been finding it very difficult recently to adjust to school life in her current year. Her teacher and I worked together to try and get to the roof of the problem. Her teacher then suggested she take a small toy of her choice from home, into school every day. This seems to work quite well and helping with my daughter’s anxiety levels.
I think a more negative experience was probably a misunderstanding near the beginning of my daughter’s time at the school. It was in relation to an aspect of her additional needs and I didn’t really know her new teachers/class TA’s very well and found the situation to be quite stressful and may have judged the situation a bit too quickly and harshly.
I am glad that the teachers worked together with you in deciding what the best step was in helping with your daughter’s anxiety and I am glad that it seems to be working well for her!
It can be hard to communicate with new people about the likes of additional needs. But I am glad that this issue resolved and that you feel as though you were a little harsh… it is good that you can look back and reflect on the situation.
- You can find out more about Judith’s experience with her daughter’s school teachers here: UnicornsAndOtherAnimals – National Teachers Day
Thank you so much for answering those couple of questions for my Blogtober post! I really appreciate it and I wish your daughter all the best with her future studies.
If you would like to share your experiences in regards to teachers, either from when you were at school yourself or from your children’s school, please do not hesitate to comment below!
Have Hope Always xo