Teaching is an odd profession in some ways isn’t it? I think I’ve said this before! The timetabled unstoppability of it, the emotional investment (and roller-coaster) that’s part’s of working closely with young people who come to you at all stages of their learning journey. The four-term (I could graph this) rises and lows of energy, workload and feedback. And, at the end you say goodbye and start again. Some keep in touch. Others you never see again.
Last week I went into work and picked up my Lit class results and sat and thought for a little while about all the stories in those scores. Every year some students delight and surprise you, others don’t go as well as you hoped or expected. How can you predict that? What can you do better? Every year I ask myself if there’s something I could (should?) have done for that student who was just off the radar a little, or who didn’t know how to ask you the right questions or didn’t how how to think differently.
So, the ‘down-time’, the summer holidays is a place to start again, to think again, to walk down to the beach and plunge yourself into a different world. After a week of holidays I’m already sleeping better and feeling fitter. And, I’m starting to think about next year, and what to do different.
To all those teachers (and students) who have followed these musings this year, and maybe even have responded, thanks. And enjoy the holiday season.
Sometimes a mid-winter walk along an empty beach is as good as an exciting conference for feeling all freshened up and excited about a new term. This is my beach in winter.
I took this photo this morning, on the way to breakfast. It seems like ages ago already. When I got back to town I called in to school briefly, dropped off some stuff and picked up some other stuff and remembered again about traffic and all that. Lorne already seems a long way away.
Three days away at the Expanding Horizons Conference was a real delight, and I hope to blog about it a little later, maybe once more, when it’s sunk in a bit, about the take-home messages if I can.
My impressions now are the pleasure of being in a beautiful place with a whole lot of educators concerned with these ideas and wanting to do something about it. And though there were some very good sessions, including the conversation with Bruce Dixon today, it’s the conversations over coffee or a muffin with colleagues or strangers, that are the strongest at the moment.
By this time next week it will all be a distant memory. Maybe earlier than that he says, as he looks at the pile of SACS by the desk. But right now I’m pretty glad I went, and had a chance to sit and think for a couple of days. I hope they do keep this conference at Lorne (there’s talk that the bandwidth is so poor down there that they may move it) because there’s something about the place that adds to the meaning somehow. And this morning, walking to breakfast, with the beach shining in the sun like a newly minted coin, it all seemed very possible.
The ELH Conference website is HERE