One never ever knows the effect that one has on the people of whatever age unless …
An email arrived out of the blue on 29th October 2020 and this is what it said:
I’ve been googling a former teacher of mine who was instrumental in my life – to say a massive thank you, she was Miss Jarrowson to me and Google suggests you’re a nee’ Jarrowson & Halina sounds familiar.
Were you once a teacher at Hardwick Primary School?
I won’t gush too much in case I’ve taken a wrong turn on Google but Miss Jarrowson was transformational & defining in my life, and I never got to acknowledge that.
I was talking to someone recently about the inspiration of Miss Jarrowson and they said look her up online!
Anyway, I hope it’s you and I can write something more meaningful to recognise the profound influence Miss Jarrowson had on my life.
I replied that yes it is me (had taken back my last name of Jaroszewska in between times)
On 9th November this amazing reflection arrived by email. A heart felt reminder that when a pebble is dropped in a pond it is a magical, mystery as to where those ripples ripple. My heart was surely touched. We did have such great times and fun and challenges as a team of me as teacher and a class of about 30 fabulous minds, interesting personalities, open to possibility and potential. I was so privileged to work with these great young people who trustingly joined me on a journey of exploration, adventure and excitement.
This is what that young person now grown up wrote:
It is you! Just to expand a bit on the impact you had on me and others:
You made creative writing central to your teaching sparking our imaginations and resulting in me going on to do a BA in Performance Writing and Arts Management at Dartington College of Arts – an incredible 3 years that has led to a fulfilling career in the arts as a fundraiser and producer, and lifelong personal enjoyment writing plays, short stories, poetry and one poorly executed but much appreciated novel.
You taught us to celebrate difference and diversity and produced a school production of The Jabberwocky which confused some parents but enlightened and enthralled the pupils. I recently recorded a lockdown version of the poem for my friend’s children and niece and nephew – received with delight and awe.
You published an animated short story written by one of the children struggling academically, I loved that you placed emphasis on his learning and self-esteem when he needed a leg up, even if ‘the bright one’s’ couldn’t understand why the attention wasn’t focused on them!
You also kept the most amazing storeroom of recycled odds and sods to be up-cycled in art and craft lessons. At the time I decided I wanted to be a teacher and have my own fabulous storeroom.
My childhood friend – also in your class – and I often reflect on the impact you had on us – inspiring our creativity and opening our minds, that latter point is the most valuable gift you gave us I think.
So, thanks again, your teaching marked a turning point in my life, which I think could have been quite different otherwise.