Kiss and make up, it's the right thing to do

19th June 2009 at 01:00

Did you fall out with anyone? In which case, it is time to put things right. A school is too small a community to carry grudges. Maybe put yourself in their shoes, and wonder whether perhaps you might have been a tad to blame.

So what if they got it wrong, and you still feel you were right? Will it matter in 10 years' time? Two of my friends died of cancer earlier this year, another is battling it. In all truth, that gets things in perspective.

Maybe a full-scale apology might be out of the question, but a friendly overture might not come amiss. Think how much easier next year will be, if you sort this one out.

We all get things out of proportion when we are stressed, and most teachers are stressed. Some teachers carry heavy loads at home as well: I met an ex-colleague who told me her mother had senile dementia and was staying with her, and her daughter had a drug problem. Maybe your workmate has more than his or her fair share of worries that you just don't know about.

What about pupils? Hopefully, new timetables allow you to leave your worst nightmares behind. But if not, it can be worth talking to PCS (pupil care and support), and you might be amazed to find that that particular child comes to school each day when life at home is so dire.

When there is conflict between staff and pupil, it is the staff member who is the adult and who should be able to turn things around. Now is the time to do it, before the long summer holiday.

Then, of course, there is the black bin bag. Fill it, and another and another. Leave your cupboards and drawers looking tidy before you head off for the holidays. It makes such a difference come mid-August if you walk into an orderly existence.

So we will kiss and make up, tidy our desks and thank our lucky stars that we have a job, that we are well and that we have such long holidays.

Have a good break.

Penny Ward is a secondary teacher.

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