Thursday, 22 July 2010

Thursday morning and the last day of the school year

Up early, as always, and it was completely dark when I woke. I suppose it is a month, more or less, past the longest day, but it comes as a shock to realise that the days are imperceptibly shortening again. It's only larks like me, waking so very early, who feel the impact at this time of year. Most sensible people are still tucked up in bed, sweetly sleeping. In the evenings, being an early-to-bed type, I have been going up in daylight, but it's now definitely darker.

Much to my relief, by last night the weather had cooled off quite a lot and it was an under-the-quilt night. I always sleep so much better under the cover but when it's hot and sweaty, that's just not possible. I wonder what it will be like today. Not too hot, I sincerely hope. We have two assemblies today. The first will be OK, just one key stage at a time, repeated, being the year 6 leavers' assembly. The second, this afternoon, is the goodbye assemblies when we are saying farewell to James (teacher), Petrina (TA) and Liz (teacher). It's unusual to lose so many at once, staff tend to come and stay (and stay and stay . . .), but Liz and Petrina are retiring. I feel a great sense of sadness - Petrina is my TA and Liz is the other year 1 teacher so it means big changes all round. However, they are both looking forward to a less busy, stressed, pressured life with time to do what they want to do, so I am very glad for them. Anyway, the point of all this rambling is that the whole school will have to cram into the hall this afternoon. Now, the hall is inadequate, to say the least; it's way too small and it will be very, very tricky to get all of the children, plus staff, in and as for comfort - forget it! If it's hot and/or humid on top of the crowding it could be rather unpleasant.
So - last day of term. Today's schedule could be phonics, followed by a spelling test, handwriting, unaided silent writing, maths and some science or geography in the afternoon or it could be choosing, ICT suite, DVD, choosing. Won't I be popular if I go for the first option!!
The house looks rather like a florists shop at present. On Tuesday I was presented with a lovely bouquet from a lad who is moving on to Secondary school and with whom I have had such a lot of contact since he started in Foundation Stage. Then, at the end of school yesterday, the parents came crowding into the bay to present me with a bouquet, a card, a scrapbook and a Debenham's voucher. I'm afraid I got a bit emotional when I saw the scrapbook. All the children had drawn a picture and written a little message and it's lovely. The voucher is super, very useful and I will enjoy treating myself to something I wouldn't normally get, but the scrapbook and messages are very special indeed. When I saw it I'm afraid I became a bit tearful! Silly me.
So - last day of the year. It's been a lovely year in many ways. Super class, very supportive parents, great colleagues, a few snow days . . . what more could a teacher ask. It's always a bit scary looking ahead into the unknown with a new class. It looks as if my teaching ability, SEN experience and 'child-empathy' skills will be stretched in the coming but that's not necessarily such a bad thing, is it? I've had challenging classes before and it's been OK - certainly there's a lot of professional and personal satisfaction to be gained, even if the wear and tear is considerable. Another plus is that I'll be surrounded by a great team of coworkers. Lisa, who was my TA for the two years in year 4, will be the new Year 1 TA each morning. Angela will be there to special one child full time at present. Karen will be there to special another few needy children, full time to start with, although we will need to look to 'weaning' them off her as they progress through year 1. I've never had such a large team of adults to work with in the classroom and it will be good, we all know each other, we get on and I am sure we will work together well!
Resolutions are usually made at the end of the year, looking ahead to the new year. This is the end of the year for teachers, so I am pondering on my resolutions for next year (aka known as 'targets' - I prefer the word 'resolution', it carries a different ethos to me). I need to come up with some practical, workable resolutions to move me on. At my age there's always the danger that I will tend to rest on whatever laurels I have gained and to stop looking forward. Granted, it does become harder as there is so much more behind than in front, but, in teaching as in so many other areas, if you stop moving on, you go backwards, and I don't want that.
Better go and do some exercise now!

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