He’s full of useless information

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What do they teach them at that school?

His granddad ask, sipping at his beer.

It’s the internet, I say, picking at the crisps,

Packet splayed open on the sun warmed bench.

The internet? he muses and I nod.

YouTube videos and Reddit or that Buzzfeed site,

It teaches them what frequency a wasp will hum

And just how many golf balls can be made each year,

But how to roast a chicken or to paint a wall,

There’s one whole generation that doesn’t have a clue.

when i see myself in some of them

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A shrunken version of myself

Gazing at the board and hoping that

I’ll tell that they are OK,

Their worried glances sent my way.

You’re doing fine, I want to shout

As little bodies bundle out.

There are times when I have little conversations with an eleven year old, I have to stop and remind myself that this is not a little version of me that I am speaking to. It is like going back in time and meeting myself, because there are always going to be the next generation, just like us, coming through the ranks.

I see the boys who are likely to be CEOs of their own companies and the girls who just want to have a beautiful family (sorry, that was awfully stereotypical, but you really can see it from a young age)!

But then I see a young girl that will come up to me at the end of the lesson and ask if they are doing OK. And it’s me, twenty five years ago. It’s the me that still exists inside now.

I had one girl who is brilliant. Quiet, but still makes an effort to contribute; lovely writing; great ideas. And she was worried that I thought she was doing crap. And my heart broke for her.

I kind of wanted to write this because kids get a bad reputation. I sometimes think that we forget they have exactly the same personalities as us, and there are the really sensitive ones that need all that reassurance just to get through the day.

It strangely also makes me feel a little less alone, knowing that I’ve not just acquired these things as an adult because I’m pathetic or a loser. I’ve always been sensitive and I always will be. Now it’s time to embrace that.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

do you think they know?

Do you think they know about the panic inside?

About the tears at night because I feel like I’ve failed?

Do you think that that wobble at the end of a sentence

Is enough to betray the feeling that grips

And tortures a person til their ugly and sick?

Or do they not notice? Just carrying on,

Oblivious to the harm they flippantly cause.

I sometimes stand in front of a naughty class and the terror I feel is overwhelming. And I wonder if they are aware of the feelings that they cause. There are some days when you are just ‘off’ and you really have to put a mask on to speak to these kids, and yet we do it.

I think back to my schooling and I was really studious and I didn’t ever notice a bad lesson. I can’t remember any teachers crying or appearing distressed, but it must have happened.

So I can only imagine that these kids are so wrapped up in their own dramas that my feelings wouldn’t be noticed or recognised even if I dropped to the floor and started howling in front of them.

I don’t know if that thought makes me feel good or bad. I guess today I’m quite glad that I’m surrounded by a hundred people that don’t care that I’m scared.

Much Love

Rachel xx