Interviews with children about their role models
Being A Friend, no 8, All About Our School
Story Role Models , written by Sue Mongredien, read by Alex Rivers
Reflection and prayer
Role Modelsby Sue Mongredien; read by Alex Rivers
“Today,” said Mr Barlow, “we’re going to talk about role models. Does anyone know what a role model is?”
Alesha put her hand up. The whole class had just been doing gymnastics in PE and she was sure she knew the answer.
“A role model is someone who’s really good at forward and backward rolls,” she told the class proudly. “So I think Jasmine must be a role model!”
Jasmine was Alesha’s friend and she was brilliant at gymnastics. Jasmine blushed and smiled.
“Good try,” Mr Barlow said kindly. “But that’s not quite right. A role model is usually somebody who’s a bit older than you, who you look up to and want to be like.”
But Alesha was so embarrassed at getting the answer wrong that she wasn’t listening.
“So now I’d like you to draw a picture of your role model,” Mr Barlow finished.
Alesha thought carefully. All she could remember was Mr Barlow saying that role models were older. Well, the oldest person she could think of was Mrs Fosdyke who lived on Alesha’s road. She was 101 years old, with 10 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren! Alesha started to draw Mrs Fosdyke, with her purple coat and big glasses and her little dog called Roly.
After a while, Mr Barlow came round to see how everyone was getting on.
“Who are you drawing, Alesha?” he asked.
“This is Mrs Fosdyke,” Alesha said. “She’s 101 years old, you know!”
“Goodness,” said Mr Barlow. “And why is she your role model?”
Alesha stared at him, puzzled. Wasn’t it obvious? “Well, she’s the oldest person I could think of,” she replied. “You did say role models were old!”
“Ahh,” Mr Barlow said kindly. “I’m afraid that’s not quite right. I said a role model is usually somebody who’s a bit older than you – and somebody you look up to, as well.”
“Oh,” said Alesha, feeling embarrassed again.
She took another piece of paper and thought carefully. If you had to look up to a role model, that must mean they were tall. She tried to think of the tallest person she knew. Aha! Mr Harris in the bakery. He was really tall. Everyone had to look up to him! Alesha started to draw Mr Harris. She drew him with a big baker’s hat, flour on his hands, and long, long legs that stretched all the way down the paper.
“Time’s up, everyone!” Mr Barlow called after a while. “Who wants to tell me about their role model?”
“My role model is my uncle Freddie,” said Danny Jones, showing everyone his picture. “He’s a firefighter, and he’s really brave. He saves people’s lives!”
“My role model is my cousin Sunita,” said Priya, showing everyone her picture. “She practises running every day, even when it’s raining, and has just been picked for the county athletics team!”
“How about you, Alesha?” Mr Barlow said. “Who’s your role model?”
“It’s Mr Harris from the bakery,” Alesha replied, showing everyone her picture. “Because he’s really really tall, and everyone has to look up to him!”
Somebody sniggered. Mr Barlow looked a bit cross and Alesha felt confused.
“You said our role models had to be someone we look up to, so I thought…”
Now lots of people were giggling. Alesha’s face felt hot. Why were they laughing at her?
Mr Barlow sighed. “Alesha, you’ve got to listen more carefully when I’m explaining something. A role model isn’t necessarily old or tall. It’s a person who does good things, things that you admire. A role model inspires you to try hard and be a better person, to be more like them. Do you understand?”
“Yes,” Alesha said, feeling silly. This time she had listened properly and at last she understood what a role model was… but she still didn’t know who her role model might be. She knew now that it wasn’t Jasmine, Mrs Fosdyke or Mr Harris. But she didn’t have any brave uncles or super-sporty cousins to admire, like Danny and Priya. So who could it be?
She was still thinking about role models at lunchtime, when she opened up her lunch box. Inside there was a cheese sandwich, a juicy apple, a yogurt and a homemade fairy cake. There was a little note too which said, “Hope you are having a great day, Alesha! Love Mum”
Alesha smiled. Her mum always managed to make her feel better. Alesha hoped she’d be as kind as her mum when she grew up – and as good at baking cakes, too! Then she realised something. What was it Mr Barlow had said? “A role model is someone you admire, who inspires you to try hard and be a better person.” Alesha thought about her mum’s squeezy hugs, the way she read stories to Alesha every night and the way she always looked after her. Now Alesha knew exactly who her role model was. Not a firefighting hero like Danny’s uncle. Not a super-sporty athlete like Priya’s cousin. But her role model was definitely the nicest, kindest person in the whole world: her mum! Alesha ate her lunch and felt very happy.