A lesson I used to do at the beginning of year 7 and now if we do a year 6 taster day lesson, is about symbolism. We spend a bit of time talking about symbolism, why it is important and then the pupils have to create their own coat of arms. One purpose of a coat of arms is to say something about the house/family it is representing; so this task involves the pupils to think about themselves and gives me an opportunity to get an insight into their insight of themselves.
Wherever possible I like to have a ‘blue Peter’ moment where I can say “here is one I made earlier”! So I have my copy of my shied, in colour, and laminated no less! BUT… I suddenly realised I’m going to have change my shield, in my 10th year of teaching at the school, half of my shield has changed!
My shield is split into 4 sections. Section 1 – a cross – that’s staying; section 2 – a stick family – that’s staying; section 3 – a pair of glasses – gone; section 4 – a treble clef and music notes – hmmmmm not sure!
The glasses definitely need to go, after all I’ve signed the direct debit form for contacts! But it does show what a huge part of my identity they are. As for the music, well it wasn’t only representing the music I played, but also the music I listened to and surrounded myself with every minute possible! But I don’t play as much anymore, and I also don’t listen to as much anymore, especially since last Tuesday and the retirement of the iPod when walking, and I have quite enjoyed the quietness.
So… What should my shield have now? I’m not sure, and the more I think about it I’m not sure how good an exercise it is, because change is essential, even my family picture would need to change with nieces and nephews appearing and growing up. As Jim Trott said in vicar of dibley “there’s good change and bad change, take the traffic lights”
I think I may have been thinking a bit too deeply about this, as I was starting to think maybe it’s a limiting exercise, labelling the children but actually I need to avoid the blue peter moment and the laminator (sacrilege I know) and just make a new shield each time! I’m not keeping their shield on record and going back to them in year 11 and making sure the shield is still representative of them, so why should I expect that of myself?
What’s quite scary is that the shield hasn’t changed for 10 years, but one thing remains!