guest post #46 – michelle dodd – @ShelDodd

So I find myself returning to the classroom after 7 months off for my second – and last ever – maternity leave. As I venture in for my KIT days I feel bewildered – like a rabbit caught in the headlights. New assessment criteria, online homework and schemes of learning whizz round me in a blur.


I feel like I’ve been away for years – not months and want to run screaming back to the comforting arms of my 6 month old and three-year old. Then something happens. As I teach my first lesson (year 11) I realise I haven’t completely lost all my abilities as a classroom teacher. As I meet with my line manager I feel that flicker of excitement when I consider how I can move my department on and be an innovative subject leader once again. Then one of my year 10 boys – a popular gentleman who was so enthused by RE he opted for GCSE passes me in the corridor and shouts a cheery “Hi Miss – when are you back?” When I tell him next Monday he gives a cheer. Then it hits home. I am so lucky. I have a job I adore and I have a family who are my world. As a stay at home mum I would suffocate under a pile of nappies and toddler tantrums. I have missed the classroom and missed the challenge of enthusing students about RE in these turbulent times. But most of all I have missed my students. I can’t wait to go back next week – to my passion. I will ache to cuddle my children when I’m away from then and I will cry when I hear how my little girl has been looking for me but I will hold dear to the thought that I am showing them both how all of us deserve to do a job we love. How they deserve that sort of job when they are older.  #loveteaching 


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