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Starting school

Posted on: February 6, 2013

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This handsome, beautiful boy has finally started school! I have been looking forward to this day ever since he was born, I think, and now my boy has donned his big, green hat and taken the first confident strides towards his education. I couldn’t be more proud of him.

I have watched many of my parent friends struggle with the thought of sending their babies off to big school. In fact, a year ago, I also struggled to imagine a time when he and I would both be ready for this. However, in the last year he has blossomed and matured in so many ways, gaining confidence in himself, learning to make friends, developing an interest in numbers, and realising some of his other strengths and talents.

Watching him grow and learn at Preschool and Family Day Care this year has taught me to accepted that there is only so much I can do as a parent. Even though I am a Mum and a teacher, in his world, I am his Mum. I can’t be both to him. As his Mum, I am more loving than a teacher, but less patient.I am more giving than a teacher, but less kind. I am firmer than a teacher, but less strict.

In fact, that is what is so special about teaching. As a teacher, I get to be that special someone who guides a student in their learning, working with them each day, building a rapport, gaining their respect and trust. Obviously, I have also built relationships with each of my own children, but the goal is different. In parenting, I am growing a complete human being, giving him all the emotional and physical stability he needs to take his place in society and contribute to it. Teaching is similar, but the focus is on preparing him with some of the tools he will need to get there in the end; teaching him to learn.

When I first realised that this wasn’t going to be my job with my own children, I was sad. I didn’t want to share my son with someone else, and let them have such important status in his life. But I am learning that the more special people he has in his life, the better off he will be. He will be that much more confident, resilient and happy, because he is being surrounded by, not only his parents, but grandparents, aunts, uncles and teachers, too. As his Mum, I can’t be all of those special people for him, but I can provide them for him.

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So, on my boy’s first day of school, there were no tears shed by anyone. Tiernan, who is super ready and super excited, saw no reason to be sad. And I, being super ready to let him start this next stage of his life, had only a big lump of pure pride and joy in my throat.

Which I soon swallowed.

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1 Response to "Starting school"

I had a similar feeling of pride Anna. Your teacher/parent perspective is really insightful. I feel so lucky that Scarlett’s seems to be taken with her teacher and is coming home each day excited about all that she is learning. I must say though, that this week has been so tiring – for me!

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