This is the fifteenth part of my Reflection Series for 2017 – a self-reflection of my teaching this year.
What part of the school day is your favourite? Why?
Last year my favourite time of day was lunch. Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures in my opinion, and combining that with staff room conversation usually went down very well.
For a lot of teachers, it is the end of the day that is best, when they can go home! Others really enjoy a particular lesson, or perhaps morning tea.
For 2017, my favourite time of the school day was actually before school.
I’ve always made it a habit to arrive at school at least an hour before the first lesson of the day (we only work 9-3, right?!). I like to use that time to organise myself for the day – check the staff and student notices, do any photocopying I might have for that day, make sure all my resources are in line and any online resources are still working, etc.
I also like to use that time to chat with the members of my staff room as we all got ready for the day. We’d compare timetables, lessons, students, what we did the evening before; all those sorts of lovely teacher-to-teacher conversations that help keep your sanity levels in check. Most mornings we’d chat about something to do with curriculum, or what was happening around the school. Most mornings we’d also spend some time talking utter crap about any topic that came into someone’s head. I did some of my best professional learning during those mornings talking with my colleagues.
It is a very therapeutic time of day, as long as you’re organised enough to not be planning lessons. But let’s face it, we’ve certainly all been there and done that – 10 minutes until the lesson starts and we’re just now working out what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. That’s another reason why I like to be at school early – if for some reason I wasn’t organised for a lesson that day, I could do it in the morning and not worry about whether I’d picked up an extra lunch duty or would lose my lunch time for some other reason.
I know when I return to teaching after maternity leave that my before-school time might disappear if I am doing the morning drop-off to day care. But I’m hoping we can work around that so I can keep that time (and spend less time at home working when I should be spending time with my family!).
What time of the school day is your favourite?