We have reached that time of year when the clocks have moved forward an hour and the days are longer. Summer is just around the corner and everyone enjoys the apparent normality of travelling to and from school in daylight hours.
Springtime is always regarded as a time of renewal and hope from the farmers’ fields to the Christian celebration of Easter. The life cycle of a school ebbs and flows with its own energy and is strongly influenced by the exam timetable. There is no doubt that at this time of year, senior students are nervously approaching the Easter holiday knowing that this is their opportunity to immerse themselves in revision ready for the summer exam season. Understandably this can create pressure and anxiety but it should also be the opportunity for endeavour to be rewarded and reaching an end goal. A chance for preparations and hard work to achieve a positive outcome.
The journey through school is an exciting yet challenging phase of our lives which we often do not appreciate as much as we should. Reports, exams and assessments are a fundamental and essential part of school life and yet they are essentially a measurement of progress and outcomes, not necessarily a deeper, wider indicator of the journey itself. Ernest Hemingway said ‘it is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end’. This sense of valuing the quality and experience of each day should be at the heart of all we do at school.
The quality of learning, personal development, spiritual understanding, social collaboration, emotional wellbeing, physical health and overall educational experience for young people must underpin our ethos, our delivery of that school journey. In lessons and beyond we cannot underestimate the role that teachers have on the lives of young people. Rudyard Kipling observed, ‘No printed word, nor spoken plea can teach young minds what they should be. Not all the books on all the shelves – but what the teachers are themselves.’ As teachers it is so important that we remember the positive impact and influence we have on the lives of young people. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to shape their journey through school, to that end goal.
We associate renewal, rejuvenation and re-birth with Springtime. A perfect opportunity to look forward with confidence, ready to embrace the future. Hopefully strong roots are already embedded, ensuring greater chances of success and better outcomes.