Has education always been kind? – Headteacher Jane Frankish
Has education always been kind? It is a question I am considering as retirement beckons and the end of my journey nears.
Starting teaching life as an NQT in Manchester in 1986, I was terrified; I was at a school in Cheetham Hill (you were placed from a pool in those days, you did not apply for a job), a school which would not have been my first-choice school but shaped me as a person and made sure that I became resilient.
I was, however, protected by a special lady called Andrea, who nurtured, supported and protected me from some pretty stark times. Andrea made sure her home was like my second home, and she was beautiful on the outside and inside. She was my guardian angel and someone who still sends me Christmas cards to this day. Her kindness and generosity ensured I didn’t sink and leave a profession I loved.
Leaving Manchester and returning home to where my real family was based ensured I had a local network of support nearby. My family is…” ACE!”
Many people have shown acts of kindness in various schools I have been lucky to work in, from leaving me a sandwich on my desk at lunchtime to an embracing arm of support in more challenging times.
As you rise up the ranks, you realise that kindness comes from many different sorts of people, some who live different lifestyles to you but are bonded by the simple word that transcends every barrier we know…. kindness.
My life as a Headteacher has been blessed by being at the most fabulous school, having children who bring smiles to a grey world and staff who care. Many reach out in times of challenge that make the job easier and lift the mood. They are there at the drop of a hat, and they care; they understand.
Examples of kindness range from verbal, such as, “You look nice”, to physical such as a hug, various presents etc. Each action is appreciated; it doesn’t have to be expensive or more elaborate than others, but it has to be heartfelt.
My original question is, has education always been kind? No, but having the pleasure of having so many fabulous children reach out and experience the magic that education allows us to create eases the pain; meeting so many energetic thoughtful and inspiring teachers and educationalists and having Governors that get it has undoubtedly made the experiences kinder!
People give in different ways; they are all fabulous in their unique ways. I hope that the educational warriors think about children, children, children… As I enter the last few months, I hope to experience kindness on every level; I certainly have from my DH, leadership, John and co…
THANK YOU FOR THE RIDE!
Headteacher Jane Frankish
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