On the 21st July this year, I waved goodbye to yet another class – my tenth one in fact. That feeling at the end of term when ‘school’s out’ and we count down to 3:30 (3:20 in some cases) is a strange one: one filled with hopeful anticipation due to sheer tiredness and a desperate need for 6 weeks without school but one filled with a sense of loss. In most cases the children I have taught merely go home, come back 6 weeks later a little taller with perhaps a new haircut or two and then enter a new class. That’s good, it means I get to see them around, we can still chat, have fun and I can still share in their lunches…
With year 6 it is different. I have only ‘let go’ 5 Y6 classes in my ten years (14 if you include the 4 I trained at Ripon College – great years indeed) but those 5 classes have been fantastic ones. None more so, perhaps, than the most recent bunch. We did so much this year and have so many fond memories, our spell-binding performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and our end-of-year ‘splash time’ being just a couple of the highlights.
I think letting go of a year 6 group is particularly hard because you have invested so much time and energy into them: preparing for SATs; the intense SRE sessions (sex & relationships education); the performances; transition and everything else. Not saying that other year groups don’t invest time and energy you understand – I have taught all years in KS2 and know the different pressures – but they still get to see their hard work paid off when they return in September. For Y6 teachers, we may get a rare visit from them but we know that we have prepared them (hopefully) for secondary school and for their first big adventure – the first big change in their lives.
I still occasionally see or speak to year sixes I have taught in the past and am so proud of what they have achieved. It’s great (yet a clear indicator of how fast time is passing) to see them grow and develop. I wish all the very best to the sixes of Shelton 2011.
Come and see me soon guys… just not too soon.