When things just click at school it’s really rather lovely to see. It’s been a long hard slog for Monkey. He’s been playing catch up with the other kids from the minute he started in the Nursery class really. By Year One you could see just how big the gap was and the frustrations it was causing him. He’s been lucky to have some wonderful teachers and support over these last two years to help and encourage him to be the best that he can be. It’s not about being top of the class, it’s just about helping him get what’s in his head out on paper or vocalised.
My son has always been happy to spew facts and figures to me constantly, to talk about imaginary worlds and everything he’s taken in. But sharing that with the outside world has been a struggle for him. He hates being the centre of attention, he shies away from people when they ask him questions. It’s been his normal for a long time. Of course, that’s not so great when he’s in a school environment. Somewhere where he needs to join in, to be heard and to share what he’s learning.
It’s often hard to watch, to know that he is more than capable, that it’s all there in his head. Helping him to express himself has been a learning curve for all of us. But we’ve had great support from his teacher. Having the same form teacher for Year One and Two has helped Monkey no end. He craves familiarity and routine, and he’s had that this year.
He’s with a teacher who I can see, really does believe in him and his abilities. Can see that it’s there. Has helped him to work out the best way for him to express himself and it’s been wonderful to see him blossom this year. He is a totally different boy to the one who started in Year Two in September.
We have beautiful joined up handwriting, not all the time, but when he wants to, it’s there. His reading is on such a different level, but it’s not something he really enjoys. He’s still far happier being read to. But he’s doing word searches, reading so much more when we’re out and about and at least showing an interest, that just wasn’t there before.
When things just click at school it’s a rather wonderful thing to watch. With some of the homework, dreaded though it is, I can see that he clearly knows what he’s learning in school, has taken it in and can apply it.
But for me the growth isn’t just about his ability to read, write and do his maths, as wonderful as that is. For me, it’s been so much more about him growing in confidence. To have the confidence to go on a play date without me even picking him up from school is massive. Last weekend, when the two of us went glamping he made friends within a matter of minutes. I’ve never seen that before. He left my side and ran off, had fun and made friends. It made me quite emotional, and my heart just sang. Wonderful, just wonderful.
At school, he’s struggled with speed, he reads slowly, writes slowly, struggles at times. But apparently this week he has been absolutely flying, showing everyone what he really is capable of. Showing them what I’ve always known was there inside him.
He loves his form teacher, she’s sussed him out and he’s responding so well to her teaching. He’s having his extra one on one session with her weekly and it’s clearly given him that extra help to spur him on. His got his SATS at the end of the month, it would be nice if he passes, but actually I don’t see not passing as any sort of failure. He’s climbed such a big mountain these last few years, and his growth this year has been just amazing. The f world is not a word I’ll be using to describe his abilities and progress in any way, shape of form.
He’s already starting to ask about Year Three, who his teacher will be and who will be in his class. I have no answers yet. I’m nervous about it myself. It was such a boost for him being in the same classroom with the same teacher this year as last, I’m worried that a totally new environment will knock him back a bit. One of his best friends is leaving school at the end of this month, and I think Monkey will find that hard when he really sees that J is no longer in his class. He’s in a small school with a number of mixed year groups, so I’m not sure how Year Three will be structured class wise. All will become clear in July.
I think that Miss P, his current teacher, will be one of those teachers who will stay in his mind for years to come. Someone who helped, inspired and understood him. I don’t know about you, but I still remember a number of teachers throughout my school journey, the ones who nurtured me and those who inspired a love of literature, history and made school fun.
When things just click at school it’s a relief and a joy. I’m hoping that Monkey’s progress this year will really help him in the years to come. He will always be my little star, no matter what the future holds. But it would be so nice for him if things weren’t quite so hard, not quite such a big struggle. Just a bit smoother.