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AMA

I'm a boarding school Housemistress. AMA

117 replies

HMno1 · 21/12/2022 17:19

Time on my hands.

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DobbyTheHouseElk · 22/12/2022 19:52

I was a boarder back in the olden days when pastoral care wasn’t heard of.
Our house mistresses were bitter old women who hated children. They seemed obsessed with rules. Certainly they weren’t people you went to if you were feeling homesick.

We didn’t even have carpet on the floor.

So glad times are different and boarding schools are happy, family places.

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HMno1 · 22/12/2022 22:33

Buckland123 · 22/12/2022 16:19

Is it possible to do your job with no prior experience? I would love to do it, but I’m not a teacher.

I think some schools do have non teaching houseparents. If you have some relevant experience then it might be possible to get a resident assistant role and work up from there.

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HMno1 · 22/12/2022 22:36

Cheshiresun · 22/12/2022 16:44

Do you find most of parents work away - is that the main reason for sending them to boarding school?

How much are the total school fees per child annually?

I guess 45-50k annually as there is uniform, trips, extras.

They don't necessarily work away. Some do. I think most of the parents work a lot, and obviously have a lot of money, and want their children to go to prestigious schools with small classes and lots of extra curricular.

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HMno1 · 22/12/2022 22:38

@marcopront interesting. Which country are you in? Do resident staff volunteer to look after the children who stay or are you on a rota to do it?

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HMno1 · 22/12/2022 22:41

Pearfacebanana · 22/12/2022 17:11

If you also have day pupils are they treated as second class?

(Looking at a boarding school with day option. Some people say day pupils don't get treated as well. Unsure of this myself).

No, i don't think they are. They have a different experience than the boarders, but not necessarily better or worse. In my school they have the same opportunities so no differences in how they are treated.

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HMno1 · 22/12/2022 22:44

WorriedMillie · 22/12/2022 17:27

You sound lovely, OP, I’m sure you’re a great comfort to students who are struggling

DD’s school friend is a houseparents’ daughter, she has a great life. DD loves staying over in the boarding house, it’s such an adventure ❤️

Ah thanks! Yes I think it is fun. I don't know how long we will do it (it's a family decision really!). I worry sometimes that my job takes me away from my daughter too much and she will wonder why I'm spending time with other people's children 🤷🏻‍♀️ but I enjoy my job.

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HMno1 · 22/12/2022 22:44

DobbyTheHouseElk · 22/12/2022 19:52

I was a boarder back in the olden days when pastoral care wasn’t heard of.
Our house mistresses were bitter old women who hated children. They seemed obsessed with rules. Certainly they weren’t people you went to if you were feeling homesick.

We didn’t even have carpet on the floor.

So glad times are different and boarding schools are happy, family places.

Awful!

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RockingMyFiftiesNot · 22/12/2022 22:57

What do you really think about parents who send their children away to school? Especially those who are infant / primary age (appreciate your own students are older)

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HMno1 · 22/12/2022 23:02

RockingMyFiftiesNot · 22/12/2022 22:57

What do you really think about parents who send their children away to school? Especially those who are infant / primary age (appreciate your own students are older)

Really don't understand how parents can send younger ones to boarding school. They sob and cry for mummy/daddy. I don't think it's the best thing when they're older sometimes. It really depends on their personalities. I think most parents who choose to send their children to board genuinely think this is the best thing for them. I think there are a minority who think it is the easiest thing for them, and would prefer someone else to take care of their child. These children might experience neglect at home sadly, so it could be better for them to board.

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RockingMyFiftiesNot · 22/12/2022 23:26

@HMno1 thank you for your honesty.
I appreciate there are many reasons why people have their children board, just find it hard to imagine sending my children away. I appreciate when parents have to move around with work that boarding would provide some stability, but otherwise don't get it. I had a boyfriend once who boarded from being 5. His Mum didn't ever work and they didn't move around. Our relationship ended when I voiced my opinions on that (unsubtly no doubt!)

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Cheshiresun · 22/12/2022 23:45

Thanks for replying, I did wonder if most parents worked away as that's the only reason I'd send my DCs to boarding school.

I have a friend whose sister sends her DCs. The sister doesn't work. Obviously they can afford it and feel it's the best thing, but my friend says she doesn't know why they bothered having children if they're sending them to BS when they don't really need to! Such a difference in personal opinions.

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SurpriseSparDay · 23/12/2022 00:32

Bit surprised you haven’t said that it’s highly unlikely one would meet an ‘infant’ boarder in an English school nowadays, OP. And at prep level boarding is essentially almost weekly - children are almost never there for more than two weeks at a time, and can see their parents almost limitless times during any week or weekend.

The ‘sending away’ rhetoric is really dated and misleading - at least in my opinion and experience.

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marcopront · 23/12/2022 03:14

HMno1 · 22/12/2022 22:38

@marcopront interesting. Which country are you in? Do resident staff volunteer to look after the children who stay or are you on a rota to do it?

I'm in Tanzania

It varies depending on the length of time.
They are all 16+
This holiday they in an off campus house with security and a cleaner. They go on to campus to eat and people check up on them.

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Reindeersnooker · 23/12/2022 16:18

I'm sure that for some families where to parents are in high flying jobs (both consultants, say) boarding offers more stability, extra curricular opportunities and oversight.

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HMno1 · 23/12/2022 21:07

SurpriseSparDay · 23/12/2022 00:32

Bit surprised you haven’t said that it’s highly unlikely one would meet an ‘infant’ boarder in an English school nowadays, OP. And at prep level boarding is essentially almost weekly - children are almost never there for more than two weeks at a time, and can see their parents almost limitless times during any week or weekend.

The ‘sending away’ rhetoric is really dated and misleading - at least in my opinion and experience.

True, they are generally weekly and full boarding would be rare for prep I imagine. I don't have any experience with it, just second hand from colleagues who have worked in prep boarding and the crying and homesickness was constant, they've said.

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marcopront · 25/12/2022 14:50

HMno1 · 22/12/2022 22:38

@marcopront interesting. Which country are you in? Do resident staff volunteer to look after the children who stay or are you on a rota to do it?

I should have said we also have an amazing bunch of local parents who will host some of them. Last year they had a trip to the cinema paid for by host parents and teachers (the cinema is two hours away, it is a big deal). This year they are going canyoning with a host parent.

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PWPUK · 06/01/2023 13:07

@HMno1 do you think boarding school is a good idea at 11 for only children whose parents both work full-time and have no extended family locally? If the child is keen that is.

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