Navigating Monday

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Image courtesy of [phanlop88] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The day began with a lack of milk in the staff room fridge which caused much consternation first thing on a Monday morning. Thankfully, as I was nil by mouth I was not affected by this travesty.

People started to drift into the staff room, some smiling, some already carrying the spirit of the grinch. Such is the way in a school staff room, it is law.

I was stationed at the photocopier, my designated spot prior to 8am. It didn’t feel too bad being back but then I enjoy my job, as much as I may grumble at times, teaching is as much a part of me as the blood that courses through my veins.

My first class were ‘bouncing’ as we like to call it. Fresh from a half term break and not at all enamoured with the idea of being back at school. There ensued a number of conversations about appropriateness of behaviour and the revelation that thrusting one’s genitals while stood at the back of the classroom was not something that I was happy to tolerate.

My second class were the picture of perfection, intelligent conversation ensued as we discussed a ‘thunk’, we worked as a class to complete activities, we laughed (heaven forbid!), we journeyed through the learning process together and I was just a hair’s breath away from them all climbing on their desks and exclaiming ‘O Captain, my Captain!’

What was the difference between these two classes? The main difference was how they had been engaged by their tutor for the first fifteen minutes of the day. It may sound insignificant, but it is one of the most significant moments of the day for students. Handled well and there is a good foundation to start the day with. Handled badly and you end up herding cats for the rest of the day.

I am going to have to have some difficult conversations tomorrow about pastoral care. The part of my job I like the least, but the welfare and well being of the students is my priority and for those of you who may feel I am too liberal, this is affecting their learning, which affects their progress, which ultimately affects their achievement.

My hospital appointment had to be abandoned as part way through my test (an hour in, in fact) the equipment malfunctioned. So, I now have to go through the whole ordeal again within the next week or so.

Funny isn’t it, how life has a habit of throwing things at you that just knock you off balance? I thought I may get some answers today regarding my health issue but again I am in limbo. I know I have to have some difficult conversations tomorrow and that I won’t be popular for it.

This is where my faith kicks in, where I don’t focus on the opinions of man, where I don’t look at life through the way I am feeling, but through what I know.

I have hope, I have courage, I have strength.

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