Thursday, 9 August 2012


A mixed emotions month – but then, isn’t every month like that?

The first week of July was the last week of school... packed with prizegiving evening, school concert and a lot of tidying, clearing out and packing up. Fortunately, the latter was really easy – I have had an AMAZING class this year who are capable, helpful, sensible, efficient, well-organized, co-operative and wonderfully eager to do anything they are asked. Getting the classroom sorted was surprisingly fun.

Prizegiving, on the other hand...oh, every year it is the same. The delight on a child’s face when the prize is announced; the pleasure from other children when they see their friend sit down, proudly clutching a prize; the disappointment which hangs in the air when all is over and the MAJORITY of the children go home with nothing.  Yes, I know we can’t all win prizes and most of the teachers try to spread them around all the deserving children, rather than awarding several prizes to one child: often, there are several contenders for the same award. Yet perhaps there should be a policy that every child who is leaving is recognized for at least one achievement...? There are many arguments for and against this tradition, but the lesson that ‘not everyone is necessarily a winner’ is a hard one to learn and perhaps needs to be taught in a different way, i.e. that ‘everyone is a winner at SOMETHING’.  We encourage children to explore and develop their talents and gifts – so perhaps we should continue to develop this across every aspect of school life.

I could carry on ranting about this for a long time. On to happier things.

End of term finished very happily. So satisfying, as a teacher, to know that children have benefited from being with me: when I see huge progress in communicating, as children who were hesitant about speaking, reading or writing have gained confidence. Sometimes, I can almost see them grow physically as their self-belief blossoms. I know they would have made progress with anyone, really, but I love looking back to the beginning of the year and seeing the strides they have made...

Once term ended it was catch-up time – with cleaning, with chores left undone, with unlimited reading, with friends and even school-work!  The weather wasn’t great the first couple of weeks so I was happy to put in the hours on my computer and start preparing for next term. I know by the time I get to the end of August that I will have ‘wound down’ big time and it is always a huge effort to start The Teaching Machine going again.

So, all caught up for the end of the month when my dear friends arrived for their annual visit – and the weather turned wonderful.  July weather at last.

(I haven't mentioned the Olympics. The Olympic Torch flew in to Guernsey - great excitement. As for the games,,, I'm glad, in a way, that we don't have television - I wouldn't have made it outside into the garden for a fortnight, though I have sussed out how to watch on iplayer while sitting comfortably on the lawn...)

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