This term at school has been one of the longest ever. Perhaps not in the number of days, but certainly in the number of man-hours. We, as a staff, have worked incredibly hard to get things in place this year: new curriculum, new planning, new teaching styles, new assessment. As I’ve written before, we have all been chasing our tails. As a result, we have all been pretty exhausted. While we are all still giving everything we can, a pick-me-up was definitely in need. So, in good school tradition, a few of us organised an evening trip to the pub. And to be honest, it was the best thing we could have done.
It has been said that laughter is the best medicine. My goodness, how true that is. We sat, we ate, some drank, and we laughed. Oh, how we laughed! Others in the pub may not have appreciated the laughter (sorry to everyone else in there!), but what they wouldn’t have known is the good it was doing us. Research shows that there are physical benefits of a hearty chuckle: increasing endorphins, relaxation, stress relief, improving mood, helping you to cope with difficult situations and enabling you to connect with others. We certainly got a good dose of the funny stuff.
But who cares what the science says anyway? I got to sit down and have a proper chat with people who I often only get to talk about work with. We shared stories, we reminisced, we did talk shop a little, but mostly we just talked nonsense. We laughed at thing that weren’t actually all that funny (as I found out when I tried repeating the stories at home – you really had to be there), we took the mickey out of each other, we were just a group of ladies (and a man or two) having a brilliant night out. My face hurt where I laughed so much, and my cheek muscles even ached the following day!
This evening, when I sat down to plan my lessons, I genuinely felt refreshed. I hadn’t spent every evening this weekend planning, and yet I still got it all done. I didn’t fall asleep on the sofa or go to bed early on Friday because I was tired – I actually stayed up late for a change, and I made it through the weekend (although thanks to MNQTH, I did manage a couple of lie-ins). I had a life outside of school, and I had a whale of a time doing it.
Laughter, a good meal and a brilliant bunch of friends really is the best medicine.