Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 333 – Appreciation

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“It’s the little things, that matter.”

Ritu Bhathal

Today, Spidey and I decided to have a little chat about appreciation…

Friday marked the end of one of the most surreal school years in my career, and indeed, the career of many other educators. Last year was weird enough with the whole term long lockdown, but, dare I say it, it was easier, in many respects, because there were no real expectations, besides getting through. We did what we could to help our children, and hoped for the best, after all, none of us had been through a situation like this before.

This academic year, however, put fresh pressure on the whole sector, because, all of a sudden, we were meant to, overnight, become experts in remote learning; with no training or guidance, drop our usual techniques, and set learning in a whole new format. We were to, at the ping of an email or text, down tools and disappear home, if our bubbles burst, and embark upon that remote learning process, just hoping our pupils were able to access everything they needed.

We ushered in another lockdown and almost big term of full remote learning for all. There was the constant threat of OFSTED still planning drop in visits… Seriously? Maybe they would have been more welcome, had they been visits of encouragement, and thanks for doing all you are doing?

We were tirelessly trying to teach new things, as well as ‘catch up’ on lost learning time, to bring this generation of lockdown learning kids up to speed.

All this, coupled with, for me and my team at least, coming to grips with being a Phase Leader, managing a team of seven, and implementing a new framework for our Early Years department, as early adopters.

It was tough.

But we made it.

There were many up sides to the year too, though, and I can’t forget that. This year, the relationships we developed with the parents, were unrivalled, compared to other years. During lockdown, we spoke to our parents weekly, if not more, allowing them to be open about any worries or concerns they had about their children.

I’m not saying that we don’t have these conversations usually, it’s just that the lockdown ensured a more one to one personal connection, regularly, as we wanted to make sure our children were accessing their learning. In a typical year, we will see parents daily at drop off and pick up, and there will be snatched conversations, if needed, with the parents evening chats, too. Unless there was a specific reason to speak to the parents, outside of this, that was it.

This year it was so different.

They shared so much with us, meaning teachers sometimes became councillors for the parents, as well as educators for their children. I have walked through this year, virtually holding the hands of people who have been going through relationship troubles, those coming to terms with their children having severe Special Educational Needs, losses in their families, including miscarriage, having to relocate somewhere, meaning they won’t be with us next year… Dare I say it, they were almost friends…

And this end of year, as I hugged each child on their final way out of my classroom, (yes, I hugged them. They were a part of me, this year…) I was greeted with a round of applause by the collected parents. My already moistened eyes brimmed full of tears.

Some parents hung back, until my little classroom, one they had never been able to see inside this year, was empty.

One approached me, with her own eyes watering. “Mrs Bhathal, can I please give you a hug, if you don’t mind?” Me? Queen of hugs? Well as that is one of the biggest things I missed during this pandemic, threw my arms around her. She whispered the sweet nothings every teacher wants to hear in my ear. “Thank you so much for everything you have done for my child, and me. We will all miss you so much!” This was followed by several other parents stepping up wanting to do the same.

By now, my tear dam was fit to burst. And it did, once I got back home, that night.

These parents had been so generous with gifts, to top it off, as well as my wonderful colleagues. I read the accompanying cards, and the words touched me, deeply. (I’d not be lying if I confessed that as I type this, there are tears, rolling down my cheeks.)

All this, after reading something on a Facebook Group, I am a member of, as well as on Twitter, about certain people who were ranting about why teachers should even get a thank you card, seeing as they had barely worked this year! (Come, live a week in my shoes during term time, then try saying that to my face!)

I’m an exhausted, emotional mess, right now, and looking forward to switching off from school for a couple of weeks, at least, but I am feeling so, so appreciated, right now. Below is what I posted on Facebook, and the overly generous gifts that I received.

If you swipe the picture, there is more!

So… tell me, has a shower of appreciation ever brought you to tears?

I’m attempting something today, with a voice recording of my post. It isn’t highly edited, but I’d love to know if you enjoyed hearing it, as well as, or instead of reading it!

namaste

Wishing you a wonderfully peaceful Sunday, Peeps!

51 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pauline, creator and writer, The Healing of Life blog...
    Sep 16, 2021 @ 11:18:37

    Learning appreciation so important for life!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Jas krish
    Jul 30, 2021 @ 18:18:30

    Yes the last two years have been exceptional for students, teachers and parents. The sudden total dependence on technology has its ups and downs .
    The going had beeen specially more difficult for the children with special needs. The school provided these children the only platform for interaction with the outside world and that stopped raising the stress level of both kids and parents. Shifting to online teaching was not easy but teachers across put in extra efforts to give their children the best.
    Best gift a teacher can get is the appreciation of the students and the parents.
    Very well articulated .
    Stay blessed always.
    🙏🌹🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. robbiesinspiration
    Jul 27, 2021 @ 05:48:31

    Hi Ritu, I am glad you received recognition from the parents for you amazing efforts this year. I think teachers [and the medical world] have carried an enormous load over the past 18 months. It has been hard for everyone but I think teaching has been one of the most difficult professions during the lockdown. Teachers have had to deal with all the emotional and other issues that have come up with the children as a result of all the turmoil and they have, as a group, done very well. My son Michael, has really battled with on-line. He is a remedial child and very social and the whole lock down has been incredibly hard for him. Our teachers have been amazing and supportive and I really appreciate them. Enjoy your well deserved holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Jul 27, 2021 @ 07:35:19

      Thank you, Robbie. It’s also been tough,,when you are battling with folk who know nothing, yet assume we’ve done nothing over the pandemic. That hurts. So thankful that our parents have been so wonderful 💜
      I’m glad Michael’s teachers were supportive of his needs 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  4. Trackback: Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 333 – Appreciation by Ritu Bhathal – DEEZ – News about Art, Books & more
  5. OIKOS™- Art, Books & more
    Jul 25, 2021 @ 22:45:38

    Reply

  6. OIKOS™- Art, Books & more
    Jul 25, 2021 @ 22:42:05

    Congratulations, Sis! You, and all of the others teacher did a wonderful job. The audio version is fantastic. I am not exactly spoiled by your Prime Minister to immediately understand speeches in English. Lol Enjoy your free time, Sis! Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. johnrieber
    Jul 25, 2021 @ 17:43:09

    It seems that social media has brought out the worst in some of us…it’s widely believed that our Educators, along with our first responders and medical personnel are the true heroes of this pandemic…shocking that someone would ever suggest otherwise

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. pranabaxom
    Jul 25, 2021 @ 17:13:38

    “gotbgv” ??

    A big THANKS and hugs to all teachers. These are not easy times. Sad time for the students too to miss out on the personal interactions with their teachers and peers.

    Some of the stories I hear back from home are really heartbreaking. While in many urban areas the challenges of remote learning, though difficult, are being tackled, in many poor, rural areas and poor households with limited or no internet facilities, these challenges are nearly insurmountable. The chasms between the haves and the have nots will widen further.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  9. thereluctantpoet
    Jul 25, 2021 @ 17:07:59

    Reblogged this on The Reluctant Poet.

    Like

    Reply

  10. willowdot21
    Jul 25, 2021 @ 17:07:12

    This is beautiful Sis and hearing you read it was wonderful too. You deserve every hug and every gift 💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. Jennie
    Jul 25, 2021 @ 16:42:46

    Yes, it’s the little things that matter…like those hugs. I am clapping and cheering as I read this beautiful post, Ritu. You are so right in all you do- for children, parents, and those of us who read your wonderful blog. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. Liz Gauffreau
    Jul 25, 2021 @ 13:41:42

    Your reccording of your post turned out beautifully! Kudos to you and your colleagues for caring so deeply about the children you’re charged with teaching.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  13. Chris The Story Reading Ape
    Jul 25, 2021 @ 13:21:11

    Well done Ritu, and your team, it’s teachers like you who make real differences to the kids you teach 🤗❤️🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  14. haryanvi hunter001
    Jul 25, 2021 @ 12:54:21

    I am from India 🇮🇳and please like my blogs and follow me love you all

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  15. Keith
    Jul 25, 2021 @ 12:29:50

    Ritu, thanks for what you do. Your comment about counseling parents speaks volumes. It used to be, parents would listen to a teacher’s concerns and help rectify the situation. Now there are some parents who would prefer to point fingers at the teachers. Or, maybe just as bad, there our parents who simply abdicate their role in the process. That is sad. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  16. CJ
    Jul 25, 2021 @ 11:08:57

    You have worked so hard, I’m not surprised you received so much appreciation, it was very well deserved. Lovely to hear your voice as well. I’m wishing you a lovely summer break now, again, very well deserved.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  17. Anindya
    Jul 25, 2021 @ 10:32:11

    Yes, Ritu, this year and the last have been tough and hardest for everyone. Since losing my Father last year, life had been tough and lonely, since the guide over my head has left me, but still we, at the family, had toughened it out and life’s started to move again. Hard times for kids and school students specially, and their acknowledgement of your efforts is always well appreciated 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  18. Vignesh S Raj
    Jul 25, 2021 @ 10:30:56

    This is such a heartwarming post 🙂 You deserve all the appreciation 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  19. April Munday
    Jul 25, 2021 @ 09:39:27

    How wonderful that they were so appreciative. I suspect that online teaching/learning has given many parents more of an insight into what goes on when their children are at school.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  20. Books & Bonsai
    Jul 25, 2021 @ 08:58:21

    So glad they let you know how much they appreciated you this year, Ritu. And you have such a lovely speaking voice!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  21. tidalscribe.com
    Jul 25, 2021 @ 06:56:50

    I hope you can wind down and have a good holiday now.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  22. lssattitudeofgratitude
    Jul 25, 2021 @ 06:55:51

    I have had years where some parents were just amazing. The last year teaching I had such a wonderful group. I was brought to tears more than once because of their kindness.

    I applaud all the teachers for doing an amazing job the last two school years. Most have no idea of what you have gone through.

    I love the audio. What a treat to hear you read your blog.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Jul 25, 2021 @ 07:19:24

      Thank you!
      It has been incredibly tough, for so many people, across all areas of life. I can only comment upon my own experience, in teaching. The emotions we feel are so real 🤗

      And I’m glad you enjoyed the audio version! 😊 Thought I’d try something a little different!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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