The school holidays are upon us and a few weeks of R&R may be available to school staff.
However, reality is that for many teachers and non-teaching staff, the real holiday won’t start immediately.
Thinking, planning and sorting buildings and rooms will eat into the first few weeks of the break.
If teachers are lucky, somewhere in weeks two and three there is the beginning of “holiday mood” as some aspects of the role recede sufficiently to allow space for consideration of personal and family needs. For some teachers this requires a complete break from all school related activities as early as possible, but with the need to pick up and start again a couple of weeks before the start of the next term.
Working in education has always been a 24/7/36 role. It’s clear that, even when seemingly distracted, that some aspects of the job interrupt thoughts, which can be sometimes difficult with a family life.
I can distinctly remember strimming some long grass in the middle of August and having to rush indoors to find some paper and writing implements to record a small bit of thinking which addressed an issue which had been bugging me before the holiday. The solution came when I wasn’t thinking about it.
My laptop will accompany me on my summer trip to France, as there are a number of bits and pieces that are on my to do list, ready for the autumn term.
Fortunately, perhaps, seeking simplicity for a few weeks each year, we have never had broadband installed into the little cottage that becomes home, so it offers a chance to start the day with breakfast al fresco, time to have a walk or do a few chores, especially if the weather is warm, then to immerse yourself in the natural world, with time to look around, buzzard and hoopoo spotting perhaps, or seeing some spectacularly unusual butterflies; fritillaries and swallowtails, or perhaps a variety of hummingbird hawk moths. If the buddleia is still in flower, we will see more butterflies in one hour than in a whole summer here. Willow warblers, blackcaps, black redstarts and goldcrests feature in the garden, as do the red squirrels foraging for the hazelnuts that will be ripening in August.
I’ll be hoping to do a very bad Monet impression, at least as far as the straw hat is concerned, accompanied by a passable glass of red wine. Paint will from time to time be placed on the canvas, after this first week being spend putting paint n walls and shutters. It’s the thought that counts. The product hopefully, will be pleasing, but the relaxation is the most important element.
Books will be read; the hammock will be used and hopefully will result in extra sleep, or mulling, which for me will be reflecting on this year of school visits for a range of providers and the many positive outcomes, which suggest that personalising (refining) learning is having a significant impact.
Bonnes vacances tous le monde. A la vie simple.