Last academic year it was suggested in a meeting that we go back to school earlier in September, do all cpd after school, then finish earlier in July and have 7 weeks off, were we in favour? A resounding yes. At the time I had no understanding how important that decision would be, but I am, so so grateful for it. I have been able to spend this week in Birmingham with my folks, and catching up with people which has been lovely in itself, but most importantly it has meant that I was in Birmingham for a very special day – yesterday.

Over 40 years ago (I don’t know exact timings) my mum trained as a teacher. She took about 10 years out when me and my brother were young, although during that time did various things involving teaching of various Degrees, but she was officially out of the profession. Then 27 years ago she started to teach maths full time again, at a secondary school in Birmingham. Yesterday, she retired from the same school.

I’m going to keep this short as I’m staying in her house, and I value my life BUT… My mum really is the reason I am where I am. That’s quite obvious I know, but she really is. She is a fantastic example of what a teacher is, she wants to see the pupils do the best that they can do. She doesn’t get caught up on the politics of school life, she does her job not because she is paid to but for the children. She supports her colleagues, and helps wherever and whenever she can.

She is one of the most quiet and humble people I know (which is why she will hate this) but she has so much respect from staff and pupils alike. She just is a teacher, there is no hidden agenda. On Thursday evening – the day before she retired – she was sitting with a load of papers inputting marks! I’ve had the pleasure of working with her and that is what I saw – someone doing their job. Although most definitely going above and beyond, without making a song and dance.

It was so lovely to be here in those final days, and to read some of the beautiful cards that were written. To see those 27years have most definitely been recognised, and that she will be missed.

My mum is my inspiration in so many ways, but to see her love for teaching, and her professionalism in everything she does, the impact she has had on thousands of lives – wow! This is the end of an era, I hope I can carry the candle in some ways, and I know she will continue to be inspirational in the next chapter. 

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