Adventures in my department 

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That time of year, July, has crept upon us. I have found myself scratching my head on several occasions wondering where the academic year has gone as there are two, just two weeks left! I don’t panic but I truly I feel like I need to make a report to the local constabulary regarding a theft! Of time!!

Teaching is a hard job, @ictevangelist wrote a blog on this last week. It is for some the best job in the world for others, not so at the moment. It is a job I leap out of bed for, a role I feel privileged to do every day with my own classes and those I cover or pop in to see. Lucky me.

There are colleagues around us who perhaps don’t leap out of bed every morning and for whom the trials and tribulations of juggling a family, the daily commute, marking, planning, shopping and the daily grind just need some extra care, attention and love this time of year. When gained time comes in to play ginormous lists of things to do force us in to overdrive as evaluating and reviewing every single scheme of learning, planning grid, lesson resource, subscription, the list goes on.. needs to be done before the mid-July deadline and despite the longer and lighter days the departure of y11 and y13 students the workload gets greater but there are still the same hours in the day. 

We need to stop, take stock and take a moment to check each other over. As a middle leader I try to take good care of my team, and those around and about my classroom. I value each of them and care for them I see it as my role to help, guide and support them as well as to make them tea, bring in delicious biscuits and chocolately treats.. Ooh and cake, nice cakes too. It’s also my role to say thank you, to value them and to make myself available if and when they need me whether it’s for five minutes or a little longer. Its one of my responsibilities and one I take very seriously. 

@MartynReah and the #teacher5aday wellbeing movement reminds us to take a moment to #notice and I think at this time of year when we are so close yet so far (not that far!) from the end of the academic year when we long for and need a rest, a good sleep and time for the ultimate recharge we have to stop and take five to notice those around us, those in our teams and beyond who are just feeling it a little more than usual and to try to make a positive difference to their day.  If we are honest we are all feeling it with the surprising intensity of the heat however rather than wallow in it and moan we perhaps just need to stop and look.

Taking care of each other and keeping each other going is important every day of the school year but especially with lighter days and the potential for longer working hours. I know of colleagues who are getting in to school at 7am and not even thinking about leaving until 6pm when their school closes to go home and start again or those that go in to school and work on Saturdays as their school is open. This is worrying as we all have to do the roles we are paid to do but we must remember that we work to live not live to work!! 

@ictevangelist reminded us to note down the good things we do each day but also consider doing one thing for another person before the end of term. It could be

  • Smiling at them
  • Having a conversation 
  • Putting a positive note in their pigeon hole or on their desk
  • Finding time for a coffee and a chat
  • Treating them to their favourite chocolate bar or sweets
  • Giving a shiny new funky pen 
  • Giving a Lego minikit to build and play with (everyone loves Lego!)

It’s something that might brighten their day because working in schools doing the roles we do is hard, it is exhausting and sometimes the smallest act of kindness can make a huge difference to the recipient. Today a fabulous member of the department shared delicious chocolate joy with a ‘smile, it’s Friday!’ note attached and on Wednesday, I made a dash to purchase ice creams just because. 
Please find time, it could be the smallest of moments between now and the end of term to brighten someone else’s day. I’m certain it’ll brighten yours too. Feel free to share what you do so we can all be inspired by your kindness to make someone smile and make their day that bit better! 

Happy Friday Everyone, have a great weekend!  Image credit @iamkidpresident 

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