Yay – it’s half term this coming week!
It’s been a comparatively short time since we returned from Christmas, but all the kids seem to be stir-crazy/shattered by now. The staff are also going bonkers, but that’s more to do with writing reports, completing tracking/grade sheets and marking coursework. We’ll certainly all appreciate the break.
I had a mental list of all the things I was going to do this half term. Now I’ve got here, I’m trying to work out how it fits in round the fixed points of meeting an old (teacher) friend on Monday, visiting my elderly parents Tues to Fri and a meeting in Milton Keynes, followed by seeing a retired colleague in a play back in Birmingham, on Saturday. I suspect the one to go will be tidying the house up, as it so often is!
So what have I got to do? I need to do some work for our upcoming Comenius meeting in March, when our partner schools from Rome and Amsterdam visit us for 4 days. I’m fortunate that the main work for it doesn’t fall on me (our Head of Physics has been devoting almost every waking minute to it for a long time), but I do need to sort out the website, the evening meals, the Health and Safety checks and some activities for the coach trip to London. I want to spend some time finding some more interesting maths/science questions and puzzles to stretch our most able Lower Sixth, who come to a session every Wednesday break. I also need to sort out supervisors for some Lower Sixth girls who want to start Extended Projects; my usual volunteers have already taken on enough, so I need new blood! I guess I ought to think a bit about what I’m teaching everyone in the next half term, too.
I’m finding I’m spending quite a bit of time helping out on the forum of an edX course, too. Having taken the course myself last term, and being appointed a “Community TA”, I’ve now found myself back on the second presentation of it with a little blue “Staff” tag after my name! Why do I do these things? I just don’t seem to have the sense to say “no”, sometimes! It’s an interesting experience though – people from all over the world are involved, with all sorts of educational backgrounds. Other helpers include an Italian physicist, a UK gap year student and a 17 year old Peruvian who knows an absolutely incredible amount, alongside US graduate students and edX and MIT staff.
It’s going to seem no time at all until we’re back again (sorry, I know that’s pretty annoying to read if you’re not a teacher). Then we’ll be making a start on timetable-related work – trying to work out option blocks so that the kids going into Year 10 and Year 12 can have their choices of subject. Timetable will then continue on and off for the rest of the academic year. We’ll also be having our first conversation with Lower Sixth about university applications – it seems early, but university Open Days are happening now, and thinking about what they need to get can actually be very motivating for AS-level preparation anyway.
Right, off to do something useful – since I’ve got to fit most of it in today!