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# Lightbulb Moment 7 Your actions change and affect lives!



If you need reminding of how important you are to young people, please read. Your actions change and affect lives every single day you are in education. I urge you to read this - we all need reminding of why we do this job. It is only a short - but true - story. Please take a few minutes to read it - it is important to take a moment to reflect.

Years ago, as an Assistant Head and Head of English, I taught a young man who was lovely but troubled. He was in my English class and he was on track not to do that well against his targets. He was pupil premium and his home life was very challenging as he had a violent father who regularly beat his mother up and hospitalised her. This meant that the young man not only had to deal with his own trauma but also tend for his younger siblings. He felt ignored by society and angry at the situation he was living in, but also fiercely protective of his mother.


One night he witnessed this happening again and he ran out of the house and in his temper, destroyed the big, decorative civic gardens in the town, causing over £600 of damage.


He had slept rough that night as he had convinced himself that the police knew it was him and were looking for him, and turned up at my classroom the next morning having not eaten or been home. I took him to the police station, and sat with him all day, while they went through process and he was issued a caution. He also recognised that he needed to pay the money back to his community so I found a local shop who would give him a Saturday job delivering food and veg boxes around the village on his bike.


The deal with him was that he was to pay half of his salary every month to charity until he had paid off the £600, and the other half he could keep. When the debt to the community was paid off, he could leave the job. We set up a bank account with a direct debit to a local charity that he chose. The shop owner would ring me if he did not turn up or was late and I would go down and collect him, and make sure he got there. However, he stuck at it and did pay the debt off and even managed to save.


Jump forward to today ... on my way into work this morning there was three police vehicles obviously doing checks for something and stopping cars on the roundabout. One of them signalled for me to pull over - I have never been stopped before and I honestly felt sick to my stomach!


I wound the window down, and this big burly policeman leaned right into the car to give me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek - it was the same young man I talked about previously!


He said he had been trying to find out where I was as he had lost touch with my movement around different schools but had seen me and had pulled me over to say thank you for helping him all those years ago. He was now a policeman with a family - he pulled out his wallet and was so proud to share pictures of his lovely wife and little ones.


He had remembered me from all those years ago and had wanted to just say thank you! So today, if you have a youngster who is difficult, and you feel you are not making a difference, just remember that you may not see it today, but you do and will be making a difference every single day you show up and be there for them. Even when sometimes they do not appreciate it!


Thank you on their behalf - you do a fabulous job.


Also, if you past me and saw me being pulled over by the police - you know why now!


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