How many bloggers have written posts about teachers and the difference they’ve made to the lives of our children?
I know the numbers are high and I am one of those bloggers.
Isla had a short mainstream education, now she’s at a special school and you’ll regularly see me write about her teachers because quite frankly they are incredible.
I don’t mind talking about how amazing Islas teachers are, how hard they work with Isla and the huge impact they have on her life because they do but today I want to tell you about two people who don’t teach Isla but equally have a huge impact on her.
I want to tell you about Isla’s bus driver and chaperone – Elaine and Lynn.
Most people would probably underestimate how very important their jobs are.
You see they don’t just escort and deliver Isla safely to and from school every single day. They do so much more.
I remember Isla’s very first day at special school. I remember I’d told the support team in school during her transition that Isla was not going on the bus, that I would take her to and from school myself despite the fact school is a twenty or so minute drive and I’d have to get Billy to and from school at exactly the same time. I had some how convinced myself I could split myself in two but really I knew it was impossible. I argued it all the same because I was already panicking we’d made the wrong decision, it would all be too much for her and the bus put the fear of God in me. Eventually I agreed, though very reluctantly and thinking I’d allow her to go on the bus for a week or so and then I would pull the plug. I would get my own way on this one, eventually!
The day arrived, the bus pulled up and me and Isla sobbed, buckets.
I literally put her on the bus while she clung to me. When she sat on the floor of the bus crying I ran away, back in to the house crying hysterically because I couldn’t hang around watching Isla cry, I knew I’d take her off the bus and keep her home if I didn’t just walk away. I knew I had to go before I made it worse.
I need not have worried for a second because Isla had Elaine and Lynn.
I didn’t let Isla go on the bus for just a week, I never pulled the plug on it because of these two very special ladies.
They are not just Isla’s driver and chaperone, they’re her friends.
On that very first day they put my mind completely at ease and I knew she would be ok.
They turn up every morning before 8 full of smiles when I am stood in my pyjamas wondering if I can fit another coffee in before I take Billy to school.
They make sure Isla gets to and from school safely and they keep her happy and entertained on that journey that makes her days that much longer.
When I’m worried, when I cried early doors (a lot) when something’s going on with Isla and in not sure what they are there,they offer reassurance, they listen and they support.
When Isla stopped walking to the bus and little old me had to carry all 6 stone of her to it, Lynn started collecting her from our door or the living room if necessary, it wasn’t a problem, anything to make it easier and Isla comfortable.
When Isla takes 582 toys on the bus for comfort and to keep her happy they don’t make her leave them behind, they grab them and help her carry them.
When Isla wouldn’t sit in her seat on the bus and wanted to sit in another one, they didn’t insist she moved. They turned it in to a game and then swapped her around to keep her happy.
When it was the school holidays and Lynn was passing by she called by to see how Isla was.
If Isla does something new they are the first people to tell me and they’re there cheering her on, huge smiles on their faces as they do.
They don’t care if Isla leaves the house in full princess attire or looking like she’s been dragged through a hedge, they laugh at her and with her because they get her character and think she’s funny.
They have really taken the time to get to know Isla- what makes her sad, what makes her happy, what makes her feel safe and what makes her tick.
They celebrate her achievements and can’t wait to tell us all about them.
They are teaching Isla valuable life skills such as independence and travelling safely, she no longer tries to escape her car seat because of their patience.
They play music on the bus, at Christmas its Christmas songs that Isla sings over and over.
At Christmas and on other special occasions such as birthdays the bus is decorated for the kids.
At Christmas they buy each child a card and gift, at Easter they buy each child a card and an egg and on their birthdays each child gets a card and gift too.
Every Friday even the dog gets treats!
They have the most beautiful relationship with Isla, a friendship, they’ve embraced Isla and I know how much they think of her because Isla thinks the same about them. Isla adores them and enjoys going to and from school solely because of the efforts and love of these ladies.
Elaine as Lynn you are so much more than a bus driver and a chaperone.
You gave me the courage to let go of Islas reins a little, to trust other people with her which is something I’ve always struggled with. You helped me conquer my fears that people wouldn’t see past her diagnosis to see the wonderful, beautiful and amazing little girl she is. This has helped Isla to grow in confidence and also as a person. You’ve seen her change, learn to say words, sing and achieve so much and you’ve encouraged her and celebrated with her.You take my daughter to school and return her every day not just safely but happy and full of laughter. You made Islas transition to special school that much easier for all of us, my worries quickly faded because of you. You support Isla, you encourage Isla, you embrace Isla and her very individual character and you love her for who she is.
You are very special ladies indeed and best of all you don’t even realise it.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart and most importantly from Isla’s xxx