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Best Days of your Life?

So it's time to start thinking about the school year that lies ahead for our little darlings. How well do you remember your own school days? What are the things you remember most powerfully? Do you feel in touch with your own childhood? Does the remembering make you feel good or bad?

I’m a great believer in parents being involved with, and having a relationship with, their children’s school, but this can be a difficult thing to achieve. Partly that’s because of the busy lives we all lead. With the best will in the world, there are only so many hours in the day, and our list of things-to-do pulls us in very many different directions, so that no matter how much we may want to play a greater part in our offspring’s school life, we can struggle to make the time.

The other factor is that of personal history. It’s incredibly difficult to persuade fully grown adults, who are free to make their own choices, to re-visit the scene of some of the most influential, and often miserable, times of their lives.

Even for those of us who, in the main enjoyed school, often the things that stick are those moments when our hopes were dashed, our self-image taken down a peg or five, our best efforts relegated to the bottom of the class.

We can all recount one or two memories from school that came to define some aspect of our personality, and they may not always be great or particularly auspicious occasions - just some seemingly throw-away moment for the grown-up in question, can be the seed of something from childhood that we then carry around for our entire adult lives.

And yet, although we know this to be true for ourselves, we are quite often rather slapdash in our awareness of when we are forming these moments for the next generation.

None of us are perfect, and it would take super-human vigilance to be constantly aware of the impact we having on the children and young people in our care. However we owe them the best of our observational powers, so that when we have, perhaps, caused more hurt or impact that we meant, we have enough awareness to register the reaction and to make a move to ensure that nothing more than we intended is being read into the moment and nurtured for a negative stew in the future.

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