Few of us bother to thank and encourage our children's teachers, even when we value them highly. If teachers receive scant praise from parents they have even more reason to feel disenchanted. With this thought in mind, my wife and I wrote to the staff at Ladybrook primary school in Stockport, where our two children have been pupils. Our second child, Helen, was transferring to secondary school this summer, so it was time for us to say goodbye. I hope our letter might inspire other parents to put their thanks on paper.
Dear Sheila and all the staff at Ladybrook, It is with much sadness that we anticipate Helen's leaving Ladybrook for high school. As a family, we have many happy memories of the school going back to when James, and then Helen, started in the reception class.
There seems to be little appreciation expressed in this country when it comes to the quality of education in our schools. Perhaps this is because it is perceived as a "free" service and consequently of little value. All we can say is that we have placed a very high value on the education our children have received at Ladybrook and would like to record our special thanks to you all.
We were looking at some early years' school photographs the other day and realised that almost all the teachers have changed since James started. Despite this and other changes, the ethos of the school has remained unchanged. Parents of prospective pupils these days remark about the atmosphere of friendliness coupled with a serious approach to learning. These were our first impressions too.
James and Helen will always look back at their days at Ladybrook with great fondness, as we will. The education they received goes well beyond the marks recorded on a page or register. It has done much to help them form positive attitudes towards others and a sense of social responsibility. Even if we, as parents, don't often take time to say thank you, please never underestimate the lasting influence that a good primary school teacher has on his or her pupils.
Thanks to you all, with best wishes from Ros and Michael Wilson
Michael Wilson is a former parent governor at Ladybrook Primary School, Bramhall, Stockport.