Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Comparing stars to candles, different children same school.

The year before last I became a parent governor at my kids' school. I love it as it's such a fab school and being part of working for their success is a real privilege. I also get to squirrel all of their ideas that are really brilliant for our school and use their capacity when we don't have much left as a small school. The Head, Graham Chisnell (@chizkent) is an admired colleague and for me the bonus is that he started as a head of a small village school. So he gets it. Always been on my go to list of colleagues. Feel fortunate to regard him as a friend. 

When I became a governor and we talked at my first meeting about my term of office and when it would end I quipped 'oooh you'll have my son by then, you may decide to re consider!'  I don't want to compare my two children,  I know Graham and his staff don't intend to so why did I say that?

I find my son's behaviour harder to manage than my daughter's.  I'm not saying my sons behaviour is worse, it's just harder for my natural default, and for my mum's who looked after him pre school.  

If my daughter misbehaves she does it in a very compliant way.  She mastered subtlety years ago, knows exactly what to say and rarely gets caught. She is also bright, loves school and works hard.  She has been awarded the position of head girl this year in year 6 which I know she had hoped for since year 4. She deserves it. She works hard, she has a good heart. She's not perfect, she is subtle.

My son also has a good heart but he is not the poster boy for subtle! He is big for his age, loud and has all of those qualities (purpose, courage, bravery) as does daughter that really help as an adult but can hinder in the context of school. Where, as he wailed on Monday, you have to do what the adults say all the time!  He needs to learn to conform a bit more and he's with the best adults to teach him to do so. 

Yesterday daughter won the spelling bee. Proud. Today son indecently exposed himself at register time & thought he was pretty funny. Embarrassed.  That's parenting I suppose! They are both loving their learning. I regularly wrestle daughter's book off her at half past 9 when she should be asleep. I'm sitting on the stairs now listening to son clapping out syllables in names which I know they've been doing in class this week. If he's choosing to do that in bed when he could be playing with his Batman people then learning must be irresistible. 

I have to stop comparing them as it's like comparing stars to candles. There is a light to both and that's enough to concentrate on.  I know the staff will be able to bring the best out in both.  The fact that my mum took me into another room when I picked son up tonight & giggled when she told me what he did today shows how well it was handled by the teacher.  Of course we're all putting on our serious face to him but it's normal & she didn't make my mum worry. I need to book her for some tuition, I make my mum worry all the time! 

I've always said I'll spend my life trying to get daughter to shout louder & son to shout quieter. Good to know Warden House are right there doing the same. 

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