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Letting go...

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by jackhold, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Hi all
    Wasn't really sure where to post this but need to get it off my chest...
    It probably sounds strange so if fellow open-minded linguists can't help, I don't know who can...
    The thing is, I'm getting anxious and sad about my Year 11 class leaving in a few weeks. I really am struggling to adjust to the fact that this group of kids, who I have come to really care for and have invested so much time and energy in, will be gone in less than two months.
    It probably goes without saying that I am a (relatively) new teacher and this will be the first GCSE group I will have seen right through so I feel doubly attached to them. Obviously classes/students come and go and it's a fact of life. I also know that teachers should not have 'favourites' and that pupils should never be considered friends. I would like to stress that I absolutely do NOT see them as friends but it's almost like I care about them as if they were my own children. I'm worried about what will happen to them in life, wonder if our school has actually done anything worthwhille for them, feel like I could have done more for them...
    Writing this, I realise how ridiculous it sounds but I have to post because it is something that is playing on my mind and will continue to do so for the next few months.
    I know from past experience that life goes on and the nature of the job means that something else will come along to keep me busy and too stressed to worry about this but right now it's all I can think about. I'm not sure I'll feel this kind of attachment to any other group (which might be for the best) and I wonder if it is right to continue teaching without the same level of attacement...
    I know this can probably be attributed to a number of thngs : I have spent many years watching these kids develop; have spent a lot of time and energy working with them and for them; have had emotional highs and lows with them etc and that is something that will just end. I suppose it's as difficult as any other relationship.
    My only concerns are: is it normal to feel this way? has anybody else felt this way? how do you deal with it?
     
  2. Hi all
    Wasn't really sure where to post this but need to get it off my chest...
    It probably sounds strange so if fellow open-minded linguists can't help, I don't know who can...
    The thing is, I'm getting anxious and sad about my Year 11 class leaving in a few weeks. I really am struggling to adjust to the fact that this group of kids, who I have come to really care for and have invested so much time and energy in, will be gone in less than two months.
    It probably goes without saying that I am a (relatively) new teacher and this will be the first GCSE group I will have seen right through so I feel doubly attached to them. Obviously classes/students come and go and it's a fact of life. I also know that teachers should not have 'favourites' and that pupils should never be considered friends. I would like to stress that I absolutely do NOT see them as friends but it's almost like I care about them as if they were my own children. I'm worried about what will happen to them in life, wonder if our school has actually done anything worthwhille for them, feel like I could have done more for them...
    Writing this, I realise how ridiculous it sounds but I have to post because it is something that is playing on my mind and will continue to do so for the next few months.
    I know from past experience that life goes on and the nature of the job means that something else will come along to keep me busy and too stressed to worry about this but right now it's all I can think about. I'm not sure I'll feel this kind of attachment to any other group (which might be for the best) and I wonder if it is right to continue teaching without the same level of attacement...
    I know this can probably be attributed to a number of thngs : I have spent many years watching these kids develop; have spent a lot of time and energy working with them and for them; have had emotional highs and lows with them etc and that is something that will just end. I suppose it's as difficult as any other relationship.
    My only concerns are: is it normal to feel this way? has anybody else felt this way? how do you deal with it?
     
  3. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    It hasn't happened to me as I've worked my entire career on supply (long and short-term placements) and with the exception of a few pupils I've been more than happy to let go of the classes I've taken over temporarily!
    However, I can appreciate that an MFL teacher has the opportunity to get to know pupils more extensively than in other subjects, given that our schemes of work are all tailored to eliciting personal information from pupils. Pupils tend to want to give the correct information, rather than just any relevant answers in correct (or incorrect!) French, Spanish, German so we get to know about their families, their hobbies, what they like to eat, where they went on holiday, what they want to do when they grow up and which subjects and teachers they like and dislike.
    To some extent we are like the primary carer who taught them their mother tongue.
    If you have made such a good connection with this group, no doubt some of them will be back in touch from time to time, to let you know baout their A level successed, university places etc. On my last longer-term supply placement I had a group of girls turn up to see their old teacher. They were on study leave for 6th Form exams.
     
  4. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    It's good that you care for your pupils - you're probably an amazing teacher. My kids go to a small playschool for 2 1/2 to 4 year-olds and the lady who runs it is usually in tears when she does the good-byes at the end of the final 'leavers' concert'. It really makes me feel happy to send my kids to a place where they're cared for as people.
    If these guys prey on your mind particularly then that might be because you're a bit worried about their futures. I don't know. I've never felt that strongly about a group leaving before but then I've always worked in schools with Sixth forms, and I don't think I've ever bonded with a group like that.
    Still, when we have the end of term assembly, I feel a sense of pride and belonging whenever a group walks in that I teach and that I have a good relationship with - and the other day I turned to my colleague and proudly pointed out my years 7's, saying: 'these are mine', and she laughed at me (in a good-natured way). I feel like mother hen towards my pupils.
     
  5. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    I was in tears when I left my first form group (we relocated so I left them before they'd finished school). But then you get used to the comings and goings of students. Sometimes they keep in touch, particularly if they're doing your subject further on, sometimes they drop by to tell you how they're doing (I'd plant the idea in their mind, along the lines of "don't you dare disappear without ever coming back to let all your teachers know how you're doing"). I think your first group is always going to be special, particularly if you've had emotional highs and lows which you might not with another group. But as you said, it's best for your sanity to not have such intense relationship with all your classes, otherwise you couldn't function properly. It makes you a better teacher, actually, because you are more detached and can see what's in their educational benefit more clearly.
    Have a special last event, like a French breakfast, or something, to say goodbye, and perhaps a group photo which you can treasure.
     
  6. Hi,

    I have and do feel like this quite a lot. I teach Year 11 French, German, Spanish and Italian so saying goodbye to 110 students after 5 years is awful. I care for lots of them as one is a budding linguist!

    Express this with your faculty/department... I did!
     
  7. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    On the other hand,I'm over the moon at the thoughts of waving goodbye to my two S4s! I will not miss them.
     
  8. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Same here catmother, it only takes your first lot of "challenging" Y11 to cure you of that symptom. Is it bad that I'm counting the number of double lessons on Friday afternoons before they go on study leave? [​IMG]
     
  9. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    I've been counting since we came back after Christmas! Only 3 more lessons per set when we come back from Easter holidays. Bliss! Feel sorry for English and Maths who will get most of them back for Higher next year. Good luck to them.
     

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