Monday 14 October 2013


This week’s guest post on Education comes from Steph. How do I begin to describe just how lovely Steph, and her blog, this brown wren, are? From her dreamy imagery, intertwined with the poetry of her words, Steph weaves a special magic through her world, which she shares so beautifully with us.  Make sure you pop over to Stephs's blog and Facebook page and give her lots of love.

I look down at the little toy clothes line beside me and smile at the “smalls” hanging neatly in a row. The fabric smoothed and taut with two pegs either side letting the breeze do its job.  From a sunny spot perched on the side of the sandpit she has watched me do this very same chore every day for as long as she has been.  My hands have moved rhythmically from basket to line like fingers along black and white keys and she has absorbed their every movement.  Words have never been spoken but the teaching was always there.  Like a shadow she mimics my ways.

I have threaded needles more times than I can remember and quietly demonstrated the up and down motion of embroidery. Tangles and tears, tediousness and triumph. My own task set down almost indefinitely as my attention shifts to her tiny fingers and their developing nimbleness. My time is all she asks of me. She is eager to learn.

She starts “big school” next year and although my heart will break with the longing for her I am heartened by the new delicious slices of this world she will see.  She will encounter patient souls who will reform her pencil grip time and time again, will gently remind her that ‘i’ comes before ‘e’ except after ‘c’ and will give their time and energy freely. I hope she will be blessed with a year five teacher called Mrs. King who will tell her that she can be anything she wants to be…..perhaps a writer? And a Madame Simons who will ignite a passion of the French language and let her laugh raucously at life’s comedy.

Their speech, their posture, their view of this world will trickle in parts down into her tiny frame and will help mould her into a magnificent woman. They will read beautiful literature to her and untangle her brain when algebra ties it in knots. She will be guided on a journey more valuable than all the world’s jewels. She will learn.

To learn is to open one’s eyes, hearts and souls to all the magnificence of this world. It is life’s greatest gift.

Steph x

*Mrs King and Madame Simons were two of my brilliant teachers whose inspiration still touches me today. Thank-you wonderful beings.

Please Note: Images and words are Steph's's unless otherwise indicated
* First image by Tim Coulson.


  1. I see 'big school' as a letting go of sorts, but only so they can learn to hold on to themselves. She will enjoy it so much and I hope you do too, Steph. x

  2. Lovely Post Steph. I know exactly what you mean about those special Teachers - I had a couple of them too that really had a huge impact on my life and I still think of them often. My twin boys start "big school" next year too. Exciting times ahead, and bittersweet too, let's hold hands together as we send them off shall we :-) Mel x

  3. Gorgeously written. Those photos are so heavenly.

    P.S. Am hoping they don't teach her the 'i before e except after c' rule because it has more exceptions to the rule than cases where the rule is true.

  4. Lovely post! My eldest started at 'big school' this year and it was scary for me - even though I am a primary school teacher and thought I'd be fine about the whole thing. It's been very strange being a 'school mum' as opposed to a teacher inside the classroom door - I'm hearing views on education from parental perspectives for the first time! This Education series has been lovely! I've been reading it as I finish the last month of my Masters - my third AND FINAL degree in Education/Librarianship. Oh glory me it's been a long five years of education.

  5. Oh I love this girl so much. I also love education. This series is the best!


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