The end of term today…that’s 195 working days at school plus whatever we have given in our own time which we choose to freely give, the children have had 190 days at school this academic year.
The last day of Summer 2, that is the second part of the Summer Term has been nearly 7 weeks long.
It has been a hot, tiring but fun time in year 4.
There is an anticipation by both staff and students about the coming break. The teachers are worn out having worked 50 – 60 hours per week. I have watched my lovely talented teacher mark hundreds of pieces of work, plan numerous lessons plus lead in a specific subject (this involves much work on the curriculum) co-ordinate various school events and serve as a school governor.
Of course, we don’t do as many hours as our class teacher and in general don’t mark (although I occasionally have) do lesson planning (although I occasionally have) but we may need to do some intervention or precision teaching planning, we have our gate, playground and lunch duties, classroom work and help at the School Production or Nativity, Class Assemblies and other events.
On top of this all staff have the physical, social, mental and emotional welfare of the children to take into account. This can be physically and emotionally exhausting at times.
So the end of the academic year comes as a welcome break for all.
It is a time for the children in the class to relax, bring in some games, watch a movie (it was Minions today – an excellent film – which made me laugh!) and tidy up and get all their work that they want/need to take home in the carrier bags that they have hopefully remembered to bring in.
It’s a little chaotic, the children get a little excitable but it is fun.
It is traditional in schools in the UK for parents to give gifts to the teachers and teaching assistants at the end of term. So a bottle wine, a box of chocolates or home fudge is great but for me a card or note from a parent or a child thanking you is the best.
I still have one from parents whose daughter was in my class last year thanking me ‘for all the time and effort I had put in to helping her’, it makes you realise that just maybe I have made a difference to someones life.
So end of the day comes, we wave goodbye to our year 6, sign their shirts, shake their hands and wish them the best on the next part of their journey, for some it will be hard work and fun, for others I am concerned for their future and I can’t help wonder what will become of them.
My class get all their work to take home and we wish everyone a good break and then they are gone.
I sit in the classroom, in the silence reflecting on the last year, good times and bad times, some of the children I will miss. I will miss helping them learn, making them laugh…
…but a new year starts in September and with a new class comes a new teacher and it all starts again!