New Year Reflections for WomenEd

by Dame Alison Peacock   @AlisonMPeacock

What do I hope for in 2019?

This year for the first time in many, I spent the Christmas holiday with children.  Three children aged 9, 11 and 13.  We played games, we told jokes, we laughed.  This Christmas has been the happiest I can remember for a very long time. 

 I left headship in December 2016 and have spent the last two years throwing all my energy into working with teachers up and down the land to raise the status of our profession.  I have without doubt been busy.  However, what I learnt over this Christmas break was that everything that really makes my heart sing about education and indeed about life ……… is children.  I love children.  I love their humour, their vulnerability, their desire to learn.  Anyone who has heard me speak about education whether about ‘Learning without Limits’ or the Chartered College of Teaching will know that every presentation resonates with stories about children.  For me, teaching is a privilege and I am proud to call myself a teacher.  We can worry about research evidence, pedagogical style, ideology, but at the heart of the best teaching is a generous commitment and belief in the children we work with.

 My hopes for the year ahead are these:

 1.      Let’s help teachers to be celebrated simply for loving the company of children and young people.

2.      Let’s gather together as a profession to help each other in the spirit of collegiality.

3.      Let’s unashamedly do more of what makes our hearts sing.

 A career in education is one spent working tirelessly in pursuit of others’ achievements. If we are too tired to lift our heads and celebrate what makes us happy, ultimately we are all poorer.  Let us make 2019 the year when we take stock of the time we spend with children and ensure that joy is always within reach.

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