Standing in Front of Them in My Classroom

This week I’ve said ‘goodbye’ to my exam classes again.

I remember this Year 13 especially vividly when they joined the school as 11 year-olds.  They were fresh faced Year 7s and I was a teacher returning to the classroom after nearly a year’s break.  A special career break  – my first maternity leave.

a person sat at a desk colouring

I remember standing in front of them in my classroom teaching about the Battle of Hastings while feeling totally at sea.  Getting to grips with my new identity as a working mum – losing responsibility in the day-job due to my new part-time status, but feeling an overwhelming sense of responsibility for the little boy who was settling in (and catching all the bugs) at his new nursery.

I remember standing in front of them in my classroom teaching about the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade while trying to hide the exhaustion I was feeling being sleep deprived due to my little ‘sleep-thief’, organising a house move and putting myself through a mindfulness-based-cognitive-therapy course to deal with the frazzled feeling that I was carrying around with me.

I remember standing in front of them in my classroom teaching about the First World War while also dealing with the roller-coaster effects on my mind and body of undergoing fertility treatment.  Putting on a smile when colleagues asked when we would be having another child.  Keeping everything crossed that the ICSI cycle would be successful.

I remember standing in front of them in my classroom teaching about the Cold War while my twin bump was getting bigger and bigger and my excitement/anticipation/apprehension was growing enormous too!

I remember standing in front of them in my classroom teaching about GCSE History revision techniques while I was adjusting to being a twin mum with a older singleton to care for too.  Juggling so much but trying to not let it show.

I remember standing in front of them in my classroom teaching about Charles I while I was sleep-deprived (again) and dealing with the hormonal changes that I was going through.

I remember standing in front of them in my classroom teaching about Oliver Cromwell while I was internally debating whether or not I wanted to continue in a profession that has the capacity to be all-consuming.

I remember standing in front of them in my classroom with so much going on, but feeling sure that they were oblivious (apart from to the twin bump – I don’t think any of them will have missed that!).

You see I’m sure these students will (hopefully) remember me standing in front of them in the classroom sharing my passion for the topics I taught them, appearing (on the whole) like I had nothing else going on in my life at all.

That is, after all, what teachers do.

We get on with the job without giving away too much about our own lives and without making too much of things that are happening to us or our own families.  We have to.

handwritten Hayley

Bringing up Georgia



  1. Kizmetcava
    May 12, 2018 / 7:15 am

    I have just gone through exactly this and I am currently on maternity leave from teaching Reception with my third. It irks me thought that all those little people move on so quickly, and may not remember me sitting at the front wth my growing bump teaching them all the things I did. Hopefully their parents will though. Its a super job isn’t it? Actually job isn’t the right word. Passion, that is the word. I almost miss it already… #thesaturdaysesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      May 12, 2018 / 8:16 am

      Awwww enjoy maternity leave! Yes it is more than a job xx

  2. May 12, 2018 / 9:49 am

    Awww Hayley, this is a lovely post. What a journey you’ve been on personally while teaching and seeing your pupils grow. All the while not letting your struggles show and making them feel as though they are your only concern, so to speak. I’m sure your pupils will fondly remember you as you’ve been such a significant part of their lives too. X #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      May 12, 2018 / 2:44 pm

      Thanks Sam that’s so nice of you to say. I hope so. Xx

  3. May 12, 2018 / 2:20 pm

    Oh Hayley! You made me cry! I LOvE this so much. I think the same sometimes yet my pupils are sometimes so little I wonder if they remember me at all! You obviously care a great deal about your students which is touching but you are right, we give our best whatever is going on in our personal lives. It is such a different profession that you can’t not. Love this, xxx #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      May 12, 2018 / 2:40 pm

      Awww thanks so much Sophie. I’d ummed and ahhhed about publishing this as I wasn’t quite sure how it would be received – I didn’t want it to come over as ‘woe is me’ but I’m pleased you got the sentiment and thank you for being so kind about it. Have a lovely weekend. xx

    • onamindfulmummymission
      May 15, 2018 / 9:08 pm

      Thank you xx

  4. May 12, 2018 / 9:12 pm

    Great post – it’s such a tough job and I’m sure you did perfectly. Thanks for writing #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      May 15, 2018 / 9:08 pm

      Thanks Stuart 🙂

  5. May 12, 2018 / 9:30 pm

    Lovely post. I could feel what you mean even though I am not a teacher. #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      May 15, 2018 / 9:08 pm

      Thank you xx

  6. May 12, 2018 / 10:24 pm

    I had a class loop with me. I had them in first when I started our foster care with our daughter and then had them in 4th again when I switches classes and they were there when we adopted her. It was just a thrill for them to be able to see it come full circle. As a teacher we give so much of ourselves! #thatsatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      May 15, 2018 / 9:07 pm

      That is so nice! Yes you are right xx

  7. May 13, 2018 / 7:47 am

    This is lovely. They will remember how great you are. I have no doubt about that. #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      May 15, 2018 / 9:07 pm

      Thank you so much xx

  8. May 13, 2018 / 9:46 am

    That defines you as a great teacher – your responsibility as a teacher can be just as overwhelming as a mother. But that’s how you know that you’re doing your best. #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      May 15, 2018 / 9:06 pm

      Thank you Eva xx

  9. May 13, 2018 / 5:31 pm

    I felt every word of this brilliant post as a mum and a teacher. The kids are lucky to have someone standing in front of them who so obviously cares. Great post! 🌟 Thank you for hosting #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      May 15, 2018 / 9:06 pm

      Thank you so much Catie xx

  10. May 14, 2018 / 10:53 am

    This is lovely. that’s what we do isn’t it at work, we just get on with it and try and but a smile on to cover up whatever emotions we might inwardly be feeling… #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      May 15, 2018 / 9:05 pm

      Exactly xx

    • onamindfulmummymission
      May 17, 2018 / 9:58 pm

      Thanks Helena xx

  11. May 16, 2018 / 8:43 pm

    #thesatsesh yes to this! interestingly i forgot how to spell and speak today (exhausting week) and my yr 10s were so kind and even helped me out by reading from the text book. They will never know the whys and hopefully remember some content – however, they always actually remember the silly stories i tell 🙂

    • onamindfulmummymission
      May 17, 2018 / 9:57 pm

      Awwww – that’s very sweet of them. Sorry it’s been an exhausting one hon. Xx

  12. May 17, 2018 / 8:45 pm

    Teachers are amazing. I still remember mine from school and am so grateful to some of them for the things they taught me and the encouragement they gave me

    • onamindfulmummymission
      May 17, 2018 / 9:56 pm

      That’s so nice to hear – thank you for the kind comment xx

  13. May 20, 2018 / 6:39 pm

    Such an emotional time seeing them grow up and move on! You’re so right about school kids not knowing anything about the lives of their teachers – it’s always a bit weird when (as a kid) you saw your teacher out of school. As if teachers don’t exist outside of school premises. Of course you do, just with a much cooler alter ego ;). Thanks for linking up to #fortheloveofBLOG, always lovely to have you x

  14. May 21, 2018 / 7:31 am

    Teachers are the best – my husband is a teacher too and I see how much passion he has for his career. After leaving teaching in 1997, he returned to the profession again in 2016. Of course it was a bit of a challenge being out of it for many years but I think it is something you never lose. He loves his job and making a difference in young people’s lives #fortheloveofblog

    • onamindfulmummymission
      May 21, 2018 / 7:40 pm

      Wow – good for him – that’s such a nice story. Wishing him all the best and thank you for the lovely comment xx

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