Telling Stories

Sometimes I wonder whether this blog is a sort of something and nothing kind of creature.   It’s not wholly a parenting blog.  Neither is it wholly a teaching one.  It’s not totally devoted to the boy in the title, or to one particular ideology, or anything else really.   What it is is a reflection.  It’s a reflection of some of the things I’ve learned since my boy appeared in my, in our, lives.

I don’t feel that I can advise anyone on how to bring up their child, Down Syndrome or otherwise.  I can’t tell anyone how to teach, or what to teach.  The older I get, the less certain I become of myself, of what I thought I knew.  The more aware I am of the unending multitude of things I don’t know.

But what I can do is tell you my stories.  I’m always learning from them.  I learned from them at the time, and, through this blogging process, this reflection of our lives onto a computer screen, I learn again, perhaps even something different each time.

And what I learn I find that I can apply.  I can apply it in my private, personal life, and I can apply it in my working life.  When I started working in a school again, after my long absence, a good friend of mine, who is now a head teacher, told me that no prospective employer would be interested in what I have been up to, on my journey into motherhood.  They would only be interested in my classroom practise.  Well, I’m afraid I disagree.  My life cannot be compartmentalised into ‘home’ and ‘school’.  What I learn from one, I have no choice in taking through to the other.  I do not take off one person and put on another when i am in different situations.

So I tell you my stories, in my attempt to make sense of the world about me, to learn, and apply what I have learned from my experiences.  And I refuse to think that they are irrelevant, that the personal, the emotional, the different does not matter, isn’t relevant, doesn’t fit in to the Grand Scheme Of Things.  Thank you for reading them, thank you from the bottom of this uncertain heart, and take from them what you will.

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12 thoughts on “Telling Stories

  1. Thank you for an inspirational blog entry. I understand that growing sense of the ambiguity of almost everything as we get older. Your story-telling helps your readers too.

    1. Interesting that it is that sentence: “The older I get, the less certain I become of myself, of what I thought I knew” that also jumped out at me. I look at my writings when I was in my twenties and I was so damn sure of myself. Now, I just don’t know. Is that a good thing?

      1. I think so! I used to be so sure of the Rightness of Me, now I wouldn’t dream of it.
        Info find it difficult in my teaching life – I used to think I knew where I stood, now I am not so sure. Everyone seems to have a different interpretation of things I thought were ‘givens’.
        Maybe I’m just more aware of other people! I don’t think I could claim, in all honesty, to be less self obsessed….

  2. I would say it definitely IS a good thing to question yourself, to rethink, to have a degree of self-doubt, and I believe this makes you a better parent, a better teacher, a better school leader. The people who scare me are the ones who are so sure and so absolute (and often therefore inflexible) in their thinking/their practice.

    And it’s great that reading other people’s stories encourages you to reflect and re-examine your own – so thank you, Nancy.

  3. I believe you’re right…any potential employer would be shooting himself/herself in the foot by not taking into account the importance of what a parent has learned that can make him or her a much better teacher. I still have the bias that if you have never had children of your own your teaching is really all just theory, lacking the insight and empathy a parent brings to the job. Not that childless people can’t be effective teachers…they’re just missing part of the picture.

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