Have you ever found something that you had lost? That feeling of relief when you are reunited with whatever it is. We all lose things all of the time. I usually think that I have put it “in a safe place” whilst inwardly cursing myself for being careless and razing the house to the ground trying to find said lost item. There is something very frustrating about knowing that you have lost something, the painstaking retracing of steps, the moving, patting down and shaking of things to try to uncover it from its hiding place. I don’t know about you, but I never seem to be able to do this calmly and end up creating chaos where there was once a semblance of order making it even less likely that I would be able to find lost object.
Then there are the times when you rediscover, something that you didn’t even know was lost. That sense of joy when the memories of it return, the delight in having it back and the putting it away where it should be.
Occasionally you will find something you never knew you possessed. Resilience and tenacity perhaps as you endeavour to achieve something more than you thought possible.
At school, on a daily basis we reunite pupils with lost articles of clothing, water bottles, watches, hair bobbles and various items of stationery. These were all lost, or mislaid, items and all were able to go back to their owners because, we hope, they were named. The students knew they were lost and were pleased to have found them, hopefully not to be mislaid again.
But school is more than that. School, is a genuine finder. Every day teachers do more than find lost books and cardigans, we help children to find bigger and more wonderful things.
We help children to find that sense of awe and wonder from giving them the opportunity to have living eggs in the classroom to incubate and watch hatch, to the nurture of caterpillars through their metamorphosis to butterflies and then watching them fly away. Opening their eyes to nature and enabling to actually see the incredible things around them. We will talk to the children about the patterns in the stars and encourage them to look up and revel in how large our universe is. The examples are endless, but the finding and kindling of that sense of wonder is priceless. To retain that as an adult is a special thing and I challenge any adult to ensure that they have an awe and wonder moment every day. We are surrounded by so many truly awe-some things that we become blind to in our blazé adult manner. We are missing out.
As teachers we help pupils to find their confidence, a confidence to ask questions, to have a go and not be worried about what it looks like, whether it is right or wrong. Our Art teacher will always say to the students, “mistakes are your friends.” and this is echoed in every class and in every subject. But you have to have a degree of self confidence to have a go and not be worried about making mistakes. In a world that is driven by perfection it is hard to be seen as less than perfect. The result of this is that children are often too scared to make mistakes, and this fear grows bigger as they get older, so we need to help them to rediscover that confidence to have a go.
We encourage children to find joy, a joy of reading by giving them opportunities to read a wide variety of books and also by reading to them and with them. Sharing books and predicting what will come next and what they may do if they were the main protagonists.
We help pupils to find their imagination through story telling and writing and by allowing them time to play. We remember that they are children and by nurturing and finding their imagination we are helping them to process their thinking and ideas.
School is a place where joy of learning needs to be found, a love of finding out new methods of doing things and a delight in discovering something new.
Schools help children to find themselves, their skills, their talents, their interests. We plant seeds of self-discovery through the opportunities that we give them, through the varied curriculum or through the extra-curricular clubs that we offer – different sports, ballet, music, singing , drama, art and the list goes on … They may not find this gift just yet , but the seed is planted for later discovery and blossom.
At school, pupils find their sense of integrity, knowing to do the right thing not just for themselves but for others, finding and honing that moral compass that will always steer them in the right direction throughout their life, and alongside this the children find their sense of compassion. Looking after one another and being aware of each others’ needs.
It really is a privilege to share this journey with children to help them find the things, and the qualities, that they never knew that they had lost or qualities that they never knew they had in the first place.
Teachers are finders of joy, imagination, courage, confidence, resilience, integrity and strength to name just a few. However, they will always help to find cardigans and waterbottles too.
So, ask yourself, what did you find today?