Today, I turned to a Year 6 pupil and asked the killer question: “What will you miss most about primary school?” He made an ‘oooh, that’s hard’ noise and considered this question for a few seconds. He then turned to me and earnestly muttered, “I’ll miss the teachers. They do so much for me and I’ll miss not being with them.” At first, I thought: Pffft, you’re just trying to sweet-talk me for a glowing report! However, throughout the rest of the day I realised how much I still echoed this notion about my own primary school teachers.
I miss Mr Fincham: the only male teacher at my primary school at the time. The staff performed an adaptation of The Flintstones theme tune for him during his leaving assembly. I miss Mrs Lucas, who always joked about getting a magnifying glass out to read my tiny handwriting and whose soft, slow voice was very therapeutic. I miss Mrs Waites – my reception teacher – who for the whole of my primary school life I believed lived near me. This was purely because she’d once drawn a box with four ‘windows’ on the board and said it was her house. Naturally, I was therefore convinced it was the spitting image of one just down the road from me.
I miss Mrs Henry (who I believe is now Mrs Parrett and still works at my primary school) as she taught me how to do bus stop division and always took the time to make me feel better whenever I felt low. I miss Mrs Edwards and Mrs Barrett who gave the world’s quietest sneezes and the world’s loudest sneezes respectively. (I could hear Mrs Barrett sneezing despite the fact she was a corridor and two closed doors away.) I miss Mrs Welch who used to run the orchestra in the small room just off of the courtyard. I also remember I told her once that I’d caught hay-fever off of my friend so I couldn’t do PE. She promptly told me, “You can’t catch hay-fever,” to which I replied, “Well, I did,” and waddled off, slightly disappointed that she didn’t believe my blatant lie.
I can only hope that I’m remembered just as fondly by pupils twelve years after they’ve left primary school. In the grand scheme of things, it’s just a short amount of a child’s whole life that a teacher spends with them. However, I believe it really can have an incredible influence and impact on their future.
To those teachers that put up with me at primary school: thank you for helping me become the (questionably) functioning adult I am today.