Note for Lori: Hi there.... I have a problem getting to your blog at the moment. It crashes my internet every time I click on it. An error comes up listing what my son tells me is a photo. Is anyone else having this problem? I am using Internet Explorer to read things. It is driving me crackers!
Well, now that I am back at work, I am noticing for myself, what must be very evident to everyone else. On the planet.
When I am home and not at work, my world is full of things which amuse me. My mood is lighter and my energy levels are higher. I smile more, am more relaxed , more creative, and I am happy. Back at work for 3 days and the complete opposite is true. I came home yesterday and was as listless as a dishcloth. Then I fell asleep on the couch at a ridiculously early hour, and slept through CSI yet again. Today was the same. I got home, and went and sat in the garden, and so help me, did not have the energy to do anything. And it was early. And it was also a beautiful hot and sunny day.
I have tried jet-propelling myself into action, but the spark is absent. And the rockets don't burst into action without that spark. They don't call things spark-plugs for nothing, you know. If they don't spark, you go nowhere. Even highly caffeinated coffee is not doing the trick. Believe me, I have tried. And ironically, it is not as though life has been appalling for the past 2 days. On the contrary, work has been relatively quiet.
It just does something to my spirit.
Exam season is upon us, and my son starts his finals next week. I sincerely hope this is the end of the exams I will have to live through. Once they go off to uni, the reality of exam stress becomes more distant. One way or another, this marks the 24th year I have lived through exams with my children. Not to mention the 14 of my own. 24+14=38. 38 years of exams!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am also writing reports. Now, I don't know about you, but I am very happy to get a single sheet of paper with a list of subjects, the class average mark for each, and my child's mark, with a comment which can be one word. Preferably. Like: Good. Outstanding. Bone idle. Could do better. Fair. Tries hard. You get the picture. My ideal report would be the unvarnished truth. If my child is a diabolical pupil, I want to know. If they are getting fullmarks, please DO NOT TELL ME HOW THEY CAN IMPROVE. It is enough to kill the spirit. I thought unconditional praise was good. Not on reports it isn't.
In my ideal report, the class tutor would write one line in conclusion, like: "Johnny always tries hard, and is a pleasure to teach." Or: "We need to have a chat as soon as possible about Johnny's lack of progress."
Simple, accurate and to the point. Now? Hahahahahahahaha. Modern education practice dictates that 21st Century teachers have to compose essays. We have to write 6 separate lines for each subject. For each child. 3 on achievement and 3 on targets. And they all have to be positive. Never negative. As a parent, I would lose the will to live. Or be deluded into thinking that my child was perfect when in reality he or she was a living scholastic nightmare. I do not want a book to read. Remember that some children do about 14 subjects. I know my child. One word would do. As long as it was the truth. The achievement comments must say what the child "can" do. If they wanted to. Maybe. Perhaps. If they turned up in class. If they ever bothered to do anything. If the moon was covered in green and yellow stripes.
I am becoming very good at writing "can" comments. Variations of them dance in front of my eyes when I try to go to sleep. But as I write them all, I have to wonder what is happening to education in the real sense. Targets are all very well, but children need to learn how to love learning, and that does not seem to fit into the programme anywhere.
Anyway. Enough of that.
Tomorrow is Friday and that means the weekend is almost here. Jeana is back in the States, and Morning Glory has arrived in the UK. Maybe they passed each other in the air. Janine arrives this weekend too. Such excitement! The sun continues to shine and we are having the most beautiful weather. Just glorious. I do believe I may start on my planting this weekend. Then it will really feel as though summer is on the way.