It’s done. Over. Finished.
The children have gone. The boxes upon boxes of stationary and paperwork have been moved down the corridor ready to be sorted for the new academic year. Books have been stored. Whiteboards erased.
The first day of the summer. As a child, you remember the holiday as being a wild expanse of time; a never ending break from the rigorous routine of academic excellence. It is only as an adult that you realise how much time you really had when you were younger and how much you wish you had that time now.
I am sitting here, listening to the monotonous tones of trash TV and considering the cavern of time I have at my disposal, between now and September. I am thinking about future schemes, future classes, future challenges ahead. I am also planning lazy days in the sun, adventures to castles and gardens and beautiful places, and time to recuperate, recover and relax.
Reflection is a huge part of teaching; the first word I was told to familiarise myself with at the start of my teaching journey. I am looking back, reflecting on successes and challenges of this year. I am, simultaneously, excited for what is to come; for a new adventure in my new room, for meeting new students, for all the ink stains, the lost paperwork, the assessments and assignments and age old excuses about just how the dog managed to get hold of that homework.
For now, however, I am content to watch the sun attempting to break through the clouds and plan for the future. A colleague gave me some advice in my final NQT review this week, which I am attempting to keep at the forefront of my mind.
The summer holiday is when you actually have the time to become a normal person again. At least for a few weeks.
Teaching is consuming; you are, first and foremost, a teacher, and everything else comes second.
Fortunately, however, there are those glimpses of moments when that all consuming cycle of assessment, marking, feedback, reflection, subject-knowledge, improvement, development, laughter and tears is appreciated. And it all becomes worth it.
Happy holidays – go soak up some sunshine.