When we become teachers, we have no idea of the journey that our classroom practice will take us on.
On Wednesday, a close friend informed me that a parent of a child in her Year 3 class had died.
She felt heartbroken for her pupil, sadness for his family and loss, a personal sense of loss. As mummy herself, her heart strings were pulled knowing he had said his goodbyes not fully understanding that it was final.
For my friend, the next weeks will be hard but I am confident she will care and nurture her pupil. She will listen, understand and comfort when required. She will create happy, playful moments. She will ensure that the school is sensitive to times when mothers are being talked about and give him room to speak about his mummy when he wants.
She will remember this child for days, weeks and years to come. She will share his grief and try to protect him throughout his time at her school.
Teachers take on roles that aren’t nailed down in job descriptions. They carry their students in their hearts and minds.
At times, the needs of our children often mean we assume parenting roles.
We become the constants in their lives. They seek our attention, our discipline and our praise.
You may wonder why I chose to blog this piece. His mummy was a colleague in my last school. A beautiful lady inside and out. I’ve struggled for words to support my former colleagues knowing there will be a vacant seat in the staff room. My husband and I cannot imagine the pain her family feel but the biggest comfort is to know that the school her child attends will do an amazing job nurturing him and in the future his sister.
I cannot tell you how proud, I am to know my teacher friend will go beyond what is expected of her in the days, weeks and years to come because she has shared and emotionally invested in his life.
My friend and her colleagues are doing a walk for the cancer centre. If anything demonstrates compassion beyond the classroom – I think this does. A walk originally planned to show their support will now be done in Jill’s memory.
Should you wish to sponsor her please click the link below: