Today was one of those days. I am a mother and had several children of my own, I looked after them, went and trained as a teacher, ran a house and did all of the things that those jobs entailed so if, 20 years ago someone had said, “Please look after these two six year olds for a day,” I would not have thought anything of it.
After today and having had two 6 year olds for less than a day why do I feel as though I have been put through a washing machine? How hard can it be to have 2 children in a 12′ x 9′ room? Apparently much harder than I had ever envisaged. Of course these children were not in my room because they had won the sitting still and colouring competition. These children were “tricky”.
I am all for inclusive education when inclusive means that all children are educated at a level appropriate for them, with the support that they need, with their peers but only if this does not cause a major disruption to the rest of the children in the class.
Today was not one of those days. There was obviously something in the air as it was not just 2, there were several across the school. Some should have known better, some were spoiling for a fight (saying to your ‘friend’, “You don’t know how to punch properly,” was only ever going to end one way), some follow the crowd, some take advantage of the other’s behaviour and a few staff off sick so 2 became 8.
My first class was ‘tricky’, one of THOSE classes but I managed to do some teaching and no one got injured. Surely 8 children shouldn’t cause a problem. These children have an ability, even when just told to sit on the floor, to drain you. They carry so much with them that you start to absorb it. After an afternoon where my job list didn’t even get looked at let alone started I felt inadequate. It isn’t just me, they have the ability to make us all feel inadequate. Like fire fighters though, we won’t give up.
The fire brigade must feel the same some days when fighting these massive fires fanned by strong winds. They always eventually win, the fire goes out; it may take a lot of people a long while and need a lot of damping of sparks that spring up but they win. We will win, we have to for the children’s sake, it may take new strategies, lots of people, lots of damping down but for everyone’s sake we will win. As fire fighters work in teams, so will we. We will all work for a common goal – children safe, in class, learning, and when they are we will have won. New fires will spring up that may not respond to the current fire fighting methods but no fire burns forever and we are prepared to fight for as long as it takes. We know that we will feel burnt out and tired but the end goal is worth it.