Opinion: Catherine Ross, @QcattQ

The last week was a big week in the lives of many families. School began – again for many, but for the first time for many others.

We are in the latter group, as our four-year-old had his first day at ‘big’ school. The event held mixed emotions. We agreed that he was ready for school, but were we ready to let go of him? To stop being his main source of information and reference? To stop being his oracles when it comes to questions about life, the world and everything?

From now on, he will spend more waking hours most days with his classmates and teachers than with us, his family. Having said all this, we are lucky to live in Horsham. There are only good schools. The one we chose for our lad is lovely and we’re confident that he’ll get on really well there. The teachers are kind and warm and the school is small, with a strong sense of community.

What a big job reception teachers have. Taking four-year-olds with very different levels of experience of being away from their parents and moulding them, by the end of the year, into little learners who understand what is expected from them in school. Taking their little hands when they are nervous, giving cuddles when they are sad, cleaning up the unmentionables when they… you know.

It takes a very special kind of person to decide to teach. And those who do, deserve our respect and appreciation. It hadn’t really occurred to me before I had children just how great a position of trust schoolteachers have. Into their hands we put our small and most precious loved ones. Their job can’t be easy, but most do it with grace, humour and love.

So this is for you, schoolteachers of Britain (Horsham). Thank you for the job you are doing. May you guide our children to become the best people they can be. May they not have too many tears, tantrums or little accidents. May you have many golden moments, when you see their young faces light up with understanding and excitement.

May every challenging moment be rewarded with the affection of a youngster in whose eyes you are truly wonderful. May you form bonds with the children and their parents. And may you enjoy a well-earned glass of wine at the end of your day. Thank you for being there.

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