Good news from The Daughter: she's been offered a place at Plymouth University. After getting good marks so far in her access to nursing course (a distinction in psychology - how jealous am I?), she had an interview and was accepted on the condition that she passes her course.
Rather than training as a mental health nurse, she's decided to go into counselling, as she'll still be able to work in the mental health sector, but in a wider range of settings, and in a way in which she can use all her strengths. It means she can study at the university's Truro campus, which is not far from her home, rather than having to catch the train into Plymouth every day, meaning less travelling expenses for her. I am so pleased for her - I know I'm biased, but she's worked so hard, and deserves this so much.
Moving on to my studying (or lack of it, at the moment), I remembered a short course that I'd wanted to do some time ago. I thought I wouldn't have time to fit it into my studies, but ditching the linguistics has now given me the chance. So, starting in May, I'll be doing a counselling course myself - 'Exploring Fear and Sadness' - about anxiety and depression. As The Daughter pointed out, it'll be a handy one for school. Numbers of teenage suicides are on the increase, and I've always thought it important to listen to children's problems. Well, apart from the 'We've just argued for the fifth time this week and would like someone to sort it out for us' type of gripes.
And, kind of on the same subject, I spent most of today working in the year 2/3 class I'll be taking on soon. The teacher was going to show me how to do a phonics lesson, and go through the normal classroom routine for me. That classroom has to be the most welcoming in the school. Not for the decor or anything (the walls are a smack-you-in-the-face yellow), but for the atmosphere - it was so warm, friendly and caring. The teacher was genuinely interested in his children, cared for them, and listened to them. He's not just teaching them their lessons, he's showing them how to be nice people. It was an amazing morning, and I didn't want to leave. I can understand why Ms Titian (the TA in there) seldom goes home for lunch. Today, she was making a giant Chinese dragon's head, for a lesson on the Chinese New Year. I thought she'd made a great job, but one child told her (as children will) that it looked like a big pumpkin. There's nothing like an honest child to bring your world crashing down.
I hope I can keep that kind of classroom atmosphere when I'm in there. I know there's one bit I won't be particularly good at, and that's the singing. I went on a reading course once, where a teaching assistant I rather like, from a local school, said, 'I love the children, don't get me wrong, but I'm not singing songs with a f*cking frog on my head.'