End of Year

So we finally made it to the end of the year. I guess it’s the courses I teach which make the end of year so spectacularly difficult. So much course work coming in for marking and remarking all at once and then the straggling students who suddenly decide they actually do want a qualification and decide they have a right to your undivided 1:1 personal tuition all at once. Of course you give them it because you want them to achieve no matter how late in the day they realised it would be a good thing to do so. It’s funny how end of year brings in faces you’ve hardly seen all year and trying to coach them through a year of study in a week is quite demanding. Of course we should say no but then there are two reasons not to, 1. it would be letting them down and 2. the statistics would prefer it if we didn’t lose anyone. So if your social conscience isn’t pricking you, your professional one will be, no matter whether you like it or not.

On top of that there is all of the prep for September which has to be done in June as some management genius feels that’s the best time to do it, let me guess how long it is since he or she spent a June at the coal face, teaching… that would be far too long ago to remember what June is like in terms of teaching and marking commitments and how little time there is to fit in team planning meetings and hours and hours preparing schemes of work and lesson plans for a whole year of study, which could actually be done in July when the students are passed and gone and we still have a month of work left… which we spend twiddling thumbs and cleaning offices because there is nothing to do as everything was forced into June leaving us all ill anyway.

Then same management genius decides to stick an induction day in for the new September cohort in… you guessed it … June. A whole day of fun activities for hundreds of kids while you still have classes to teach so you have to plan a strategic mission to cover two places at once (three if you count working on the prep for September but then that gets done at night at home when you really should be asleep… 4 days I didn’t even make it to my bedroom, crashing on the sofa in the study for an hour before I was up and back at work,  4 consecutive days where my head was in a whirl when it needed to be alert as students dipped from subject to subject, assignment to assignment and I had to be on top form to keep track of it all).

Then there was awards night to arrange and I had the job of doing that this year… in June. 

My masters final submission had to be made… in June.

My daughter was offered a fab graduate position and  had to arrange a relocation across the other side of the country which involved checking out house shares and facilities and travel options and all manner of other things… in June.

We were twice burgled in June.

I tell you it was so good that I had embarked on this journey to a healthier fitter me when I did as I don’t think I could have stood the mental and emotional or the physical strain of the last month without it. My daughter leaving feels like someone ripped half of me away but we’re coping better than I thought, she’s happy and doing well and having a ball so that’s good.

We were all supposed to be moving house this month but we’ve changed our plans or at least put them on hold for a while. I need to spend this month catching up with myself. My house is like a bomb site, I swear if burglars came now they would feel sorry for me and tidy up rather than steal anything. I need to get back in order and then think before I do anything. I’ve had a couple of offers of work and they are quite interesting and I don’t want to turn them down before i have a proper think about them but at the moment thinking is not easy my head is cluttered.

I have booked a home massage for tonight… go me feeling body confident enough to even think about that kind of thing. I hate being touched when I’m fat but I really  need this. One of my friends has just set up a beauty business and she’s going to come and sort me out with a pampering session to help untangle the nerves. I think I’m at that stage where necessity outweighs discomfort of being semi naked in front of someone, besides she assures me I’m not her heftiest of clients… that sounds so wrong but we like to hear that it reassures us I guess.

This morning I went for a stroll down the beach in the sunshine and I literally got half way along my usual route and I just flopped into the sand like someone had magically removed all of my bones. I lie there for a good hour just looking at the sky, watching seagulls swooping, the odd plane go by wondering where it was heading, the fluffy little clouds being slowly wafted around in the breeze and i listened to the sound of the sea lapping at the shore and breathed in the smells of the sea side, that fishy, salty, fresh air concoction and I realised that I am ready for some R&R.

We have to be kind to ourselves 😀 


4 thoughts on “End of Year”

  1. June was a difficult month both personally and professionally for you. The saying ‘when it rains, it pours’ really applies here. There is an aftermath to this, at least there would be for me. There would be a massive exhale lasting days, if not a week, after a month like that. I hope that you take the time to reflect on the challenges that you conquered and rest up in July. You’ve earned it.


  2. Oh my! Such a crazy month. I can’t imagine trying to get by on an hour sleep and more than once. It’s amazing how hard we can push ourselves mentally and physically. I love how you just flopped on the beach and you’re getting a massage! You really do need some self-care attention.


  3. What a nightmare. And 2 burglaries in one month? No neighbourhood watch scheme? We had a bad run locally but thankfully we were spared. You deserve the R&R and pampering. Good teachers stay with pupils for a lifetime. I am still thankful for Don Sparks, Alan Wood, Ian Porter et al, 40+ years on. You couldn’t teach me Spanish in your spare time could you?


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