As we approach the end of term 5 (how has that happened already?), the half term break signals the arrival of what can only be seen as “Silly Season”. That time of year that we all look forward to and dread with equal measure. That time where there are never enough hours in the day or days in the week. That time of year when you really don’t know whether you are coming or going. You all know what I mean.
One look in the diary shows that the chaos is about to commence. Notes start going home for advance warning of end of term events, we suddenly realised that the athletics morning or sports day has crept up and we haven’t practised any of the events or sorted the teams. Extra sports events seem to appear left, right and centre as all of the local secondaries and sports clubs try to involve their feeder schools. Groups of children need transporting to events, parents and staff need to be asked nicely to ferry children around, every assembly seems to have a sport’s announcement to start it. The children go a little giddy at the prospect of having so much space to run around on the field at break time. They get grumpy at the thought of having to play on the playground when it’s been wet: how dare the rain take away their playtime freedom? Timetables get altered to help accommodate SATs, classrooms are suddenly quiet because everyone else is doing end of term assessments too. Books are being scrutinised to inform ongoing assessments, targets are being signed off ready to hand out new ones for the last few weeks. A sudden awareness of keeping on top of marking hits, as we realise that new teachers and parents will be reading them. Just when we think we are getting on top of it all, reports hit. All of those good intentions to keep detailed notes throughout of the year either lead to super smugness or, more likely, annoyance that we never actually managed it beyond the first few weeks. With even the best time management, there will always be a frantic hurry to proof read the final draft of the reports and get the children to have their say before the deadline. I heard myself telling my children “You’re nearly in year 5” today, almost wishing their time with me away. I’ve got a brilliant class, they’re great fun and hard working. I’ve really enjoyed being with them. So why have I turned into a complete grump with them? It’s not their fault I’ve got loads to do! It’s not their fault that no weeks between here and the end of the year are “normal” weeks. It’s not their fault that they’re tired and excited – an awful combination! It’s not their fault that I’m tired either.
We’ve got a huge amount to look forward to together between now and the summer. We can go with the flow, or we can be miserable for the last few weeks. You’d think that after 15 years of doing the job, end-of-year-itis would be something I’d be immune to. Sadly, there’s no vaccination for it. We all get it, no matter how experienced or well organised or laid back we are. I’ve got it bad already, and I’d consider myself to be experienced and well organised and laid back. There’s no cure for it. So from here on in, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the ride, and embrace the chaos.
Bring it on!