Accompanied by four teachers, the kids seemed on top of the world. Chatting away, laughing loudly, holding onto their little lunch packs carefully as they made their short three-stop journey. Six for me, FYI.
As the teacher in charge was moving up and down the car checking on each of them I couldn’t help but watch how they all responded to him.
I’d never noticed it before, but every single child looked at their teacher with such fondness, such admiration. I was quickly reminiscing about my own primary school teachers for the rest of the day.
Primary school couldn’t have been a happier place for me. I struck gold with the teachers I had - the people who would guide me through those early years, and without doubt play a part in helping me become who I am today.
Mrs Williams in primary one and primary three and her late mother Mrs Love (not a relation of mine!) in primary two - an incredible woman who I both loved and feared in equal measure - were the best a young child could ask for.
Teachers do get a hard time. They’re not miracle workers, they do make mistakes and they sure all are not the ones I’ve been lucky to know - but the difference a good one can make on a single child’s life? HUGE.
It was watching that class yesterday that I remembered how you don’t know the personal circumstances any individual is coming from, but if they can step in that classroom and feel safe with that one teacher, how great is that? To be able to do that for a child, or a group of children every year. To help nurture an entire classroom full of the next generation. That must be a damn good feeling to go home with at the end of the day.
I've experienced the exact opposite too. That's a story for another day but one name almost destroyed everything I believed in when it came to the role teachers had. I'm thankful I've moved past that now and know that one bad egg shouldn't tarnish my memories.
Both my aunt and uncle are teachers and my sister is currently at uni with the aim to doing the same. I’m so excited for her! I know she’ll be an incredible teacher and will always give 100% to every single child who she crosses paths with. What better reward could their be than an entire classroom full looking back at you with such admiration?!
Although, I will note that I was very grateful the tube journey was short. A pack of small children really can make quite a noise!