“It’s strange,” says DearHeart, as we try to attach the door, “but I keep thinking that you’ve retired.” DearHeart herself took an early retirement before moving to a bungalow. I guess her subconscious now links a lack of stairs with a general liberation from the corporate ladder.
I call Pa to tell him that we’re a nut short of a greenhouse, then we saunter round to raid his tool box. On the way, I realise that her subconscious must have Friended mine because I also can’t get my head around the prospect of having to stop playing houses in order to go and teach.
No-one wants to go back to work after a holiday, natch. As LittleBro points out to anyone who complains about their job, it’s called Work and not Play for a reason. He doesn’t take prisoners, my brother.
But generally I appreciate the compensations at the start of a new school year. Most important of which, of course, is the reason why most of us came into teaching – the prospect of a class-full of shiny new stationery. Crisp exercise books in a range of colours to arrange at whim. Gel pens in a range of colours which will make it so much easier to keep up to date with the marking this year. Highlighters in a range of colours which will make assessment sheets fun to complete, honestly. And, for those who have been really really good, a Pritt-stick or two.
I could also write about the prospect of getting to know a fresh class and helping them to access our shared culture but we all know that comes a poor second to a new diary.
September’s fresh start is also a big bonus for those of us of a Resolving disposition. This year, I really will stay up to date with my marking (the gel pens will help). I won’t take work home. I will not spend all of Sunday planning. I will produce outstanding displays with interactive questions. (But how?).
Teaching is a bit of a winner in this respect. Most jobs carry on while you’re away, but when I walk into my classroom on Tuesday, it will be as I left it four weeks ago. Maybe a bit of penicillin in forgotten lunchboxes and some thirsty spider plants but there’s unlikely to be a backlog of children in the corner waiting to be taught.
It’ll be all right when I get there, I suppose.
But I’m writing this from the tub-chair by the open picture-window looking out into our new garden. At the moment, it’s a scrubby square of lawn surrounded by a severe path bordered by – well, borders. Neglected borders of dandelions and rampant ivy and elderly roses just calling out to be loved. I have plans; such plans. And a greenhouse which has a door and everything. I’m just not ready for the summer to end yet: I want to play houses for a bit longer. Just another month? Please?
Here’s an idea. I could try and persuade Mr Headteacher that, in order to enhances children’s digital competence and strengthens their bonds with the community, teaching by Skype from a domestic setting is allowed – no, positively encouraged – by the new Computing Curriculum. No-one else will have read it. And I won’t tell, if you don’t.
So true! The holidays are just long enough for us to adjust to our new lives and forget what it is we actually do!
How’s about these for ideas!
How’s about these for ideas!