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Summer Nostalgia

Miranda is a Primary Supply Teacher working in schools through Protocol Education in Manchester

Hooray! Summer term is truly here. And only a few eminently countable weeks until the long yawn of the summer hols.

I can see into your heart. Don’t tell me you’re not crossing off the days as they fly past like grass clippings from the old school mower. I love the summer term though. I have no problem with being on full-time playground duty, as is the lot of the daily supply teacher. I enjoy wandering about watching children madly frolicking on the fields, which are out of bounds for most of the year.

‘What are you playing?’ I ask a group of Year 3 boys who are romping on the grass in a state of bucolic ecstasy.
‘It’s called the rolling dead.’ They tell me. ‘You gotta roll about being dead and if you get up, you’re dead again.’

‘What are you up to?’ I ask three boys who have wrapped each other in skipping ropes. How in touch with their feminine side are these young lads, I am thinking. ‘They’re my slaves and I’m taking them to Guantanamo Bay for a good kicking,’ announces Taylor proudly, pulling tightly on his human burden, who groan in what I hope is mock anguish. 

Girls are doing what girls do, making nests out of grass and kicking over their rivals’ nests, spying on adults through the hedges of neighbouring gardens and making up bloodthirsty mystery stories about their innocent trips to get the watering can from the shed. Playground casualties line the walls and are dragged limping back into the classrooms by their comrades. Children run up to wobble their teeth at me. Some try to hide in corners to attempt naughty things together. Some things never change. That’s what I like about school. It reminds me that people are people are people despite what the papers might say.

I think it’s true that there are more troubled, challenging headbangers in the classroom who are prepared to hit, swear, tear things of walls or run about with no respect or, perhaps, no basic understanding of boundaries – and that’s just the TAs (only joking).  But spending time outdoors with the smell of daisies and creosote and the meaty drift of school dinners reminds me of the good, safe, sociable space we help create at primary schools.

Being out on playground duty, especially during the summer, provides teachers with an open window into the secret lives of kids. It can take you right back to the colours and textures of childhood and help you to appreciate that there there is so much more to the children we teach than the glimpses we are given in the classroom.  

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Tags: Miranda,Protoblog, Primary Teacher, Summer, Playground, Teach in Manchester, Protocol Education

Category: Australian Teachers

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