I’m not ashamed to admit it: I love Les Miserables. Not as much as the guy who sat two seats down from me when I saw the film who conducted the whole film and cried so much at the end that his wife left him to it. Also not enough to actually see the stage production, but I like it. Every end of term I think about the song One Day More, and usually post it on twitter (as I have just done). I find it cathartic and also a bit poetic (yes, I’m a poncy English teacher). I like the idea that the battle is almost over, and this term it feel more fitting than usual.
Everyone always says that the Autumn run up to Christmas is the hardest: dark nights, irritating questions on when what videos we are going to watch. But we all know, deep down, that the Spring is the toughest. For me it started with paternity leave, which was obviously nice, life-changing and all that, but then it was in at the deepend with everything January has to offer: reports, parents’ evening, finishing coursework before the deadline. Then it’s into entries, finalising grades, moderation. Before we know it we are counting down to when Year 11 leave. Although on paper this sounds great as we move towards gained time and less pressure, but as the old saying goes: teaching isn’t played on paper (it is, but you catch my drift). Getting to the Easter break is a slog, so much to do, so little time to get it done.
With the new changes toward terminal exams this will probably get worse and for longer. True, there won’t be folders to finish and moderate but the personal pressure that the students need to learn so much before X date will make us all shake a little more. For the short term it will get better: 3 more weeks of Year 11, gained time is on the horizon, the days are longer, the marking pile shorter. As always, it’s all about perspective: One Day More.