NAPLAN supervision, union-led strikes, the school dance, Scrabble club, birthday morning teas, reports (and then reports again), a teacher vs. student basketball match, the list goes on.. these are just some of the experiences I have had during my first semester of teaching, which is now coming to a close.
Interestingly, with a week left to go the vibe at school is one of winding down. Classes have become smaller. Lateness, tiredness and apathy have increased – and that’s not just amongst the students. From mid-term there have been people around me counting down the days until the holidays begin.
There is a linearity to the school year, a sense of progression towards some sort of finality where the school community is then set free for the summer break and given time to recoup, refresh, relax before starting from the beginning once more.
And during that annual progression towards summer there are interruptions along the way, where students are able to detach themselves from the institutional demands of school and staff regain their sanity. It may be the particular context of the school I am in or the short wintery days, but it feels like in these final days before the next interruption time is being tossed away in impatient anticipation.
It is curious to bear witness to this. Being new to the school community in my role as teacher-learner, I wonder how possible it is to shake off the feeling of end of term blues, or if this is an inevitable dynamic in the school year.
I would be interested to learn about the approaches used elsewhere to successfully maintain momentum throughout the term.