I’m feeling a little nostalgic today as the sun streams through the open windows. I happen to be very lucky and teach in a beautiful part of the world- one that hits the headlines far too often during the rain. Tewkesbury is often seen beneath vast sheets of water that hides the trees and fields it pours itself a moat around the ancient Abbey. The floods spread and cover the landscape causing misery and worry to thousands.
Yet when the sun is shining and the water has drained away we are left with green fields and signs of nature at its best. My classroom has amazing views and this week I have enjoyed watching the PE lessons on the green fields, a beautiful space just beyond my windows. It seems so close yet just out of reach to me. I see the girls playing rounders and it has made me yearn for my youth again.
I watch those groups of girls, enjoying the sun on their skin and having the freedom to lose their inhibitions and whallop the ball and just run. I enjoyed PE at school, my body was fit and healthy as was my mind. Somewhere in adulthood I have lost that. The body is no longer fit and I wish had the opportunities again.
I stopped doing sport when I was in sixth form – not happy with the sixth form I went too I retreated from the things I excelled at. I stepped back from looking after myself for fearing I wasn’t good enough. I wish I could go back to me at that time and give some words of wisdom. Give some advice. Tell myself that all would be much better than I could imagine.
I have been having some odd dreams this week – I often do at this time of year because I am under pressure and stressed. My Year 11’s have sat their GCSE this week, the Year 12’s have completed one paper with one to go and the year 13’s just a short wait until they are sitting theirs. Their futures depend on these results and I so want them to do well. I have poured everything into teaching them and now it is down to them. Those dreams I have are about them and me. I often dream about getting my own results and sometimes it is the grades needed and at other times I have been disappointed. It reminds me that these children are incredibly young and really do not know just how important it all is. I think it is crazy how much hangs on the results and now when I look at these 17/18 year olds I remember how I felt at that age. I thought I knew it all, I thought I was an adult. It is only now that I see the enormity of making such big decisions so young. I now can’t believe that we are asking 14/15 year olds to decide what jobs and careers they want and expect them to know and understand their decisions. I am such a different person to who I was at that age and I now wouldn’t make and choose the same things. Making decisions at 16 about what courses to study, which path to tread seems strange – to know that you will be doing that job for some forty years.
I want to open my classroom window and shout down to those girls. I want to tell them to have fun, to feel the wind as they run and enjoy the moment.