Yes, it’s the half term holiday, and unlike the autumn half term where we had to go back to university for at least some of the week, this half term, we actually get to ourselves.
The week has been looming for all of the last few weeks in school, and I imagine everyone in education has been making mental lists of the things they should finish off, start, and how not to waste the time the system affords us all.
Half term film festival
In particular, I’ve not been to the cinema for weeks, and thought that I could use my neglected subscription to Cineworld to spend all day every day at the flicks, enjoying a half term film festival. Only we’re more than halfway through the week already and I haven’t even looked at the film times. And… it’s half term, so there’s suddenly a rash of kids movies and a whole bunch of things I wanted to see are long gone. And getting diaries lined up with P to go and see the Muppets has been tricky.
Half term beer and wine festival
OK, I have had time to do this – indulge in the luxury of drinking in the week. I’ve really had to cut back on alcohol on school nights because I simply can’t face the idea of ever going into school with a hangover. Not least because the alarm rings at 6am and I have to be able safely to drive by 7am. It’s enough of a struggle to fit in enough sleep to be right enough with the world to get behind the wheel every morning.
Half term festival of housework
Well, yes, obviously, I ought to be doing this. The house is a tip, my bits of it especially, I’ve a laundry and ironing mountain to reckon with, but how depressing to use holiday to catch up with ineffective weekday routines?
Half term festival of lie-ins and Radio 4
Oh, yes, am definitely indulging that. Since I am not car sharing to work at the moment, I can get an earful of Today and PM on my drives in and back, but I haven’t heard WATO or Woman’s Hour for months! And choosing for myself when to turn in and when to get up is great. Although this holiday I am being careful not to allow myself to revert to my nocturnal habits too fully, as I did that over Christmas and getting back into the diurnal swing of things was a real struggle.
Half term festival of catching up with audiobook recording
Half term festival of applying for jobs and polishing CV
This, definitely, I should be doing. It does feel a little nuts. We are now almost exactly halfway through the course which ends in June, and we all want to line up a proper full-time teaching job for September. But I’m really not sure I feel enough of a teacher yet to be attempting interviews yet! The ads are just beginning to appear, and I have quite specific requirements: I don’t want to move house or drive too far to work; I can only teach French and German, so have to overlook any of the French and Spanish ads that come up. Whilst it has amazed me just how many dozens of secondary schools there are within ten miles of my house, there is still a finite number, and I should be going for any and all that come up. There is a sensational one that just pinged up on the TES job search for an outstanding school and one that would pay for further valuable training as well as help with the NQT year. Really should have been writing the application for that today…
Half term festival of lesson planning
I also have to be ready to return to work on Monday and make sure I can share lesson plans before the weekend with colleagues at the school. So far I have not managed to do more than plan the day ahead, despite ample opportunities to do so. If I can plan 3 days ahead, there will be time to use the school repro system instead of queueing to do my own photocopying at 8am, and also time to run the plans past colleagues for improvement suggestions rather than just getting the feedback after the lesson. Yay, lesson planning.