Yep, gotta apologise for that, it's been a hell of a week and more to come - I've been looking in, but minus time to post properly. Hope all is well with you and that the dust is settling and you have managed some rest, we've been thinking of you here.
Now to answer your questions! Almost done with school? Heehee! This is our busiest, most chaotic period. We don't finish till the 10th of July - which is actually early, as most of the local schools don't break till a week later and I have known some primary schools soldier on till beyond the 20th! During May we did all the (external) oral exams for the 16+ year-olds, who are now on exam leave. Then the 18-year-old leavers departed likewise. You'd think things would let up, but no, suddenly all my freed lessons are taken up with cover and public exam invigilation - and during the latter we are actually not allowed to do any marking or preparation. Then we work out half-term assessments for our pupils. During our supposed half-term week off (late May) I wrote my Leavers' reports, prepared my internal exams and struggled for a couple of days with my job of recasting tutor groups for next year. At present Year 7 (starters at secondary level, 11-12 years), for which I am pastorally responsible, is split up into four groups, and for the first time ever they are re-mixing them in Yr 8. This means 4 new groups of almost exactly similar ability spread, same numbers of each present group in each new one AND they have been given the chance to request 6 classmates they'd like to stay with (though some have ended up with only 2 or 3)!!! Small but stressful-to-prepare (lack of rehearsal - it's all solos) concert with singing teacher at the end of the week
Back to work and internal exams are all next week, so the languages dept has had to do all its aural tests (untimetabled) in the past few days. Ensure all papers are ready for next week. Next week it's back to 5 and a half hours of orals (tape them, mark at home), marking of all written exams, a revision session for a group involved in public exams the following week and a day of personal Health and Social Education for the Yr 7s in which I am, of course, involved. Meantime respond to all parental concerns about half-term assessments. Prepare for open activities day (primary kids coming in to view and have fun), the French reading competition which is my responsibility, and Induction Evening. Write reports for all the rest of the pupils apart from one set, which has a parent/teacher night instead! Write Head of Yr reports for the 100 Yr 7 pupils. Show my face at end-of-term plays and concerts. All in 4 and a half weeks. I would have been at Sports Day today too, were it not for a choral society concert tonight for which I have a full afternoon rehearsal! People wonder at me singing outside (I also do church choir; whole day taken up tomorrow attending a friend's ordination at the Cathedral and then singing at his inaugural Mass in the evening), but it's what keeps me sane, quite honestly.
Summer has become hit and miss familywise, as none of us break up at the same time. Son no.1 is already home from uni and due to take off to Spain with some friends next week, but for the rest of the holiday is going to find a job. We must get down to Essex for a weekend to visit my parents and will also be in Guernsey in the Channel Islands for a few days, and hubby and I may take a day or two away for our 22nd anniversary in July. But yes, there will also be a substantial amount of prepping for an entirely new timetable next academic year with a lot of changes of timings and options.
Ooh, that feels great. A good moan really helps, doesn't it? Anyway - hence absence! Don't worry - I'm still dipping in daily and wishing you all the best of times. <<hug>>
word count: 726
"We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love." - Angela Montenegro