NQT · Reflective Practice

My Memories of Primary School

My Memories of Primary School

I met up with a childhood friend the other day and at one point in the afternoon we reminisced about our experiences of primary school. Well, she reminisced. I tried. To be honest though, I don’t think I had the brainpower at the time to retrieve memories of last week, let alone memories from over ten years ago.

Wracking my brain now, however, I have managed to recall snippets of memorable occasions. Some good, some bad and some downright ugly.

I visited my primary school to recall some memories. Parts of it are unrecognisable now due to building work and the inevitable passing of time.

Year 2 – The Miserable Memory

“You’re a miserable boy,” my teacher spat at me with her thick Scottish accent, all the while leering at me with her cold eyes.

I can’t even recall what I did to provoke this reaction from her. After all, I was an innocent little thing back in those days! It’s true; I didn’t smile much as a child. However, I wouldn’t go as far as to say I was miserable. Plus, is that really the way to cheer anyone up?

This is a memorable experience that does not benefit me to any degree other than to show me what not to do. I don’t remember why she said this to me and I cannot fathom how she expected this to do anything except dampen my mood further. Luckily, I’m no longer a sensitive seven-year-old boy but I still remember the malice in her words to this day.

Year 5 – Cupboard Conundrum

Harriet, I’m sorry. It was me. I hatched a plan to shut you in the PE cupboard. I don’t know what demonic creature possessed me to do this. I had a fleeting moment of rebellion. Even to this day, I have not told anyone that I invented this cruel idea.

The irony of this whole situation is the fact that I was accidentally ‘locked’ in the cupboard too. When word spread to Miss A that the prank was my doing, she told my parents. I protested to my mum that it couldn’t possibly have been me as I was stuck in the cupboard too. To make my point even more convincing, I used my mum’s make-up to create an incredibly unconvincing bruise on my forehead. (How she never saw through my deception is a mystery.)

I hope you’ll be happy to know that Miss A saw through my lies and I was indeed punished for this misdemeanor regardless of what I told my parents. Lunchtime Club wasn’t even as bad as I thought. If anything, being punished that day kept me out of the cold!

Clearly my penchant for acting and concocting stories began at an early age. I promise that these days I channel my creativity and theatricality into productions and writing, rather than locking children in cupboards and forming lies and applying makeup to get myself out of trouble.

Phew. Glad that one’s off my chest.

Year 6 – Mind My Own Business

One day, my friend and I scored 49/50 on a spelling test. Most of you would cheer “Hooray!” but no. We weren’t happy. We were in uproar. The teacher had clearly spelled business wrong. Surely the i had to come before the s? Buisness. Not business.

Even now my spellcheck is mocking me, telling me that buisness is not a word. I was so convinced I had the correct spelling. I personally think this is a great memory because the – somewhat irrational – horror I experienced that day has always helped me to remember how to spell business.

Some people seem hell-bent on preventing children from having any kind of ‘negative memorable experience.’ But if they don’t have occasional moments such as these, how will they learn from these mistakes and have a positive experience in the future?

Despite changes to the school, I always feel incredibly nostalgic seeing this iron gate that leads into the KS1 back playground. They used to have a willow tunnel/shelter. I often wonder if it’s still there.

Closing Thoughts

These three primary school memories randomly pop into my head every now and then. I’m not quite sure why these stick with me in particular. I do sometimes have flashbacks to other memories, such as forgetting to take my pants off during a swimming lesson and forming a faux-wrestling club out of the school field in the summer term but those three mentioned earlier are the ones that will interrupt my headspace at the most inopportune moments and I can’t quite put my finger on why.

I wonder what my pupils will remember in ten years time. I hope the experiences they have of me are positive and that I don’t accuse them of being miserable children.

I hope that – much like myself – they’ll have learned something from their time at primary school that they can use in later life. (If they haven’t…I’m worried.)

Linking to my previous post about teaching targets, (https://teachingtrafford.wordpress.com/2017/03/29/teaching-targets/) perhaps some of my outdoor lessons will provide memories for the children to look back on fondly as they grow older. Perhaps one day I’ll even bump into a former student who would recall a memorable learning experience I provided.

That must be a pretty great feeling.




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