The last few weeks have seen me revisiting places I haven’t seen for years. My old secondary school seems a lot smaller now than it did when I was there. The corner shop still stands, albeit with a new face behind the counter. The proprietor in my hey day was a frosty old man who used to admit pupils in ones and twos. It used to be a favourite stopping off point for all of us on the way to school. I remember his younger assistant would sell the more daring amongst us two cigarettes and a match in a paper bag. The off-licence was gone; a sign of the times I suppose. I recall cider used to be the tipple of choice, especially before the Friday night disco at the Cricket Club.
I know you’re thinking, ‘she’s lost the plot’ but I just wanted to share a few thoughts. You see, I’ve been reflecting a lot lately, remembering the scrapes I got into and the dodgy characters I hung around with, and I realise that I am the way I am because of those scrapes and those characters. If I’d had a totally sheltered, restricted upbringing, I wouldn’t be who I am.
When I walk through secondary schools these days I can see so many similarities between the kids today and those of my generation. Puberty, teenage angst, friendships, romances; so much is going on it’s a wonder they can focus on lessons at all. The TAs I see spend a lot of time supporting the children emotionally. They are able to see the bigger picture, and they understand the importance of settled friendships and emotional stability in children. They are impartial, yet the fact that they listen and understand helps to remove some of the worry from the shoulders of the young people.
Leaving them to focus on learning.