I can't believe it's the end of the half-term holiday already. As per usual, I haven't got anywhere near far enough down my list of jobs to do, but I do feel refreshed, which must be good, right?
Looking back over the last half term, I realise I haven't really mentioned school at all. This is a bit of a shame as I have a number of funny stories and commentd from the children to share. I have had a blast this half term. I have 18 children, all pleasant and good fun to spend the day with. We spend a lot of time laughing and I was thrilled by the comments from some parents about their children are now enjoying school and home is no longer a battleground about reading and other homework. It's times like that that I think, yes I did make the right choice when I left industry to take up teaching.
I had another buzz like that on Wednesday at the Proclaimers gig. The couple whom we hadn't seen for over 5 years were people I knew from church and socialised with, but they were also previous parents of mine. I taught their youngest when he was in Year 3 (age 7-8). I know time is passing, but nevertheless I was still caught slightly unawares when she told me that D and his best friend N whom I also taught (brilliant boys, very bright, lovely sense of humour, etc, etc) were now studying Maths and Further Maths in Year 12 (Lower Sixth in old money). Nine years? Where did the time go? The buzz came from the comment she made about how it was me who had turned D onto maths and shown him it could be fun, and she thanked me for it. How nice is that?
Although thinking back, I would say D & N's curiousity about maths had a lot to do with it. Being the mean old teacher I am, I wouldn't answer questions like "Is half even or odd?". After all, where's the fun in that? Instead I made them write a letter to the Head of Maths at one of the local High Schools, which we then faxed to her. (Yes, prior to schools having widespread email access!) This resulted in several faxes flying back and forth as she explained that she called them NEVENODD numbers (neither even nor odd) and challenging them to work out how many of these NEVENODD numbers there might be between 0 and 1. They loved it! And the reasoning they put into it was brilliant. Good thinkers, those two were.
To me, that's what education should be about - enquiry and reasoning. God bless you, D & N, for reminding me of that!