This feels somewhat self-indulgent, sitting here, writing a bit on a blog when I really 'should be' doing a thousand and a half other things ...but it IS the first 'proper' day of half term. 'Proper' in that we whizzed off on the red-eye to Manchester the day after school finished and I spent yesterday recovering. It's Monday: the beginning of the 'week off': the day when I 'should' start my catch-up tasks. Hang on: that's what I'm doing right now. Catching up on the blog. That's fine, then.
I don't know what it is about teaching, why things go banana-crazy hectic in the last couple of weeks before half term, end of term, end of year... they just do. Parents meetings - and the time-consuming follow up; grades, reports; Harvest Festival service, organising the decoration of the church and the subsequent 'Hedge Veg' Farmers Market; birthday cards and presents... and ICT course in the middle of all this. I don't know how I managed all the work of the PSHE course last year...
But it has been great fun, and worth it.
Worth it to meet the parents, seeing their features reflected in those of the children I know so well; rejoicing with them at successes, considering how to best help them achieve all of which they are capable - to use a report-type phrase.
Worth it to see the joy in the children as they joined in with singing 'In the beginning, God made...', performing the actions as enthusiastically as at a disco; the pride on the face of the young soloist who struggles with reading and writing, yet filled the church with his sweet voice; the enthusiasm as the Year 6 children 'sold' the fruits and vegetables with more energy than that of an East End trader, shouting out their invented slogans: 'A melon for the price of a lemon' or 'Cheaper than Checkers' (the largest supermarket we have here).
Worth it to pray for the dear friends and relatives as I prepare cards and presents, thanking God for them: timely reminders to stop in the middle of busyness and be thankful.
This is not self-indulgent. This is worth it: appreciating, as I review the last two weeks of my life, what is of value.