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It’s that time of year again. Back to school.

I love September as it has that sense of newness about it as we enter a new academic year. For the last 42 years of my life, September has always felt like a belated New Year celebration. I have always been involved in education in one way or another. From leaving school at 19, going straight to college then university my own life in education never seemed to end. Add into the mix having four children (the first at 19 and last at 25) September has always been a fun but mad rush to get everything set for a new term. It may have been that September magnetic feeling that made me choose to go into my school-based counsellor job I have done for the last seven years, who knows? Munch however, I don’t think has the same passion as me when it comes to school life.

The above picture was taken after I gently told him that we are going back to school this week and now are going to work in four different schools throughout the week. I know what was going through his mind as I lovingly stroked him to break the news to him that after seven luxurious weeks of off duty lounging around, we now must return to work. A deafening sigh gave me the audible clue that this led balloon filled news would not make him happy at all as his sleepy days and free running time will be cut short as he slips his harness back on and is asked to work which he clearly wasn’t put on this earth to do. If he had his way, there are certain school rules that he would change which would go a little like this.

1. School should only be between the hours of 11am and 2pm and consist of hourly breaks.

2. School should be shut if it is too hot, cold, icy, snowy or if the weather is mildly irritating.

3. Staff members (not just me, his maid) should be the ones that listen to him and he can represent the wishes of the pupils in what is fair to be asked to do.

4. There should be more playtime and less classroom time.

5. Food should be allowed to be consumed ANYWHERE at ANYTIME.

6. All behaviour should be rewarded not punished, and the more mischievous the better,

7. The “no other dog in school ” rules can still apply as he wants to remain in the limelight and does not want any other dogs stealing it.

8. Playing ball should be allowed during lesson time and in the corridors.

9. Nap time is crucial for developing brains so is allowed whenever the need arises. The more education, the more needs for naps.

10. Stealing of panini’s and other food from unsuspected pupils should not be frowned upon but understood that sharing is caring.

We have talked through these rules that Munch wants to bring into school life and I have kindly told him that these will not be possible at this precise moment in time so for now, he has to adhere to the school rules that exist like everyone else. The hostile silence that he transmitted telepathically to me told me that he is not a happy bunny.

I know that that there will many a pupil that feels like Munch does when going back to school this year and I really feel for them. School can be such a difficult place for many especially those who have additional needs in school that make things twice as hard. It is so important for them to remember that life won’t always be like this as life goes on beyond school. Making the most of where we are in life at present is essential to help us get through the tough times.
Both Munch and I agree that as soon as we go back, we want to help our clients and the school communities in any way we can. From brightening the life of a lonely child at school who sees Munch and comes to chat, to being there wholly and unconditionally for a client who needs to talk We know that everyone needs to work together in this beautiful world.

Munch may not have the school rules that he really wants but he does have the main rule in life sorted. Kindness to others is a must and if this rule exists then everything else will fall into place.

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