As a teacher, choosing a school for Toddler should be a doddle. I should know all the right questions to ask and exactly what to look out for and expect. So why do I feel like I'm going to get it wrong? It is such a massive decision to make and it will affect him forever.
There are about 5 schools local to us which are options. Two of them have been ruled out straight away because of their reputation. I think having insider knowledge is worse because it makes you more picky. The obvious choice of school in terms of location, progress, attainment, beahviour etc is ideal except for one major flaw. It has recently moved into the building that I worked in for 10 years. The building where I met Toddler's dad, where we worked together, where I taught when I was pregnant with Toddler and, ultimately, where I cried a million tears when Toddler's dad left. It is only a building - bricks and mortar - but it holds just so many memories. It is the place of my most happiest and my most saddest memories.
Today I conquered my fears of returning in order to take Toddler for a look around to see if it would be suitable for him. As I walked in the main entrance, my stomach churned. It was just like the old place. Even Toddler recognised it (despite not having been there for over a year) and at one point he even tried to run down to the staff room!
The Head took us on a tour and, knowing I had worked in the building before the refurbishment, took us around the whole school rather than just straight to the early years area. It was a very strange experience to see somewhere so familiar look so different. The early years area looks completely different to how it did when it was a middle school and the whole school in general has a different vibe. Whilst we talked, Toddler made himself a few new friends in reception and had to be pried away from the wendy house.
By the time we came home, I think I had managed to lay a lot of my demons to rest. It's the start of a new chapter for our family and that building. Time to move on. I know Toddler will be happy there and can start to make his own new memories of what lies within those walls.
So, decision made. School chosen. I think...