Josie Moon

Poet, Musician and Educator

By

Prizing our Teachers, Prizing our Children

Illustration from A Soldier Through Time by Darren Gallagher.

Over the course of June, the La Luna team has been working in schools in NE Lincs delivering A Soldier Through Time, a music and drama workshop exploring the impact of war on individuals and communities. The project has allowed us to work with around 800 children and will culminate in the Key Stage 2 Singing Festival on July 8th at Grimsby Auditorium.

The workshops have challenged children to explore a dilemma; the choice of a young man from a French village in 1915 who feels the call to war but has fears and reservations. Together children have explored the dilemma and worked out for themselves what they think. They have shown compassion, empathy and maturity beyond their years while tackling one of the most complex problems human beings face; war.

It has been moving and uplifting to work with the children and to hear their thoughts and opinions. They have surprised us, made us laugh and brought tears to our eyes.

We have been welcomed into the schools, looked after with endless cups of tea and thanked effusively for the work. We appreciate that enormously. And that leads me to the heading of this post. Our teachers are wonderful. They work incredibly hard, are committed and dedicated and they really value the children in their care. They are underpaid, overworked and still standing and I salute them. If it were up to me they would all be getting 200% pay rises and at least another three well paid assistants to help them in their classrooms. They would be prized, trusted and applauded for all they do.

And the children are wonderful, all of them. They are a joy to work with and they deserve so much more freedom and creativity to explore and learn in a non prescribed way. When you trust children to explore and present their ideas they produce glorious work. Creativity should be at the heart of learning and we have seen clear evidence than when it is, results are remarkable.

Thank you teachers and children of NE Lincs, we really appreciate you.

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