Empty classroom, cleaning up and preparation….and no kids!

The end of year phase is at last here. The corridors and classrooms are empty.  Although, at least in the art department that isn’t entirely the case. First the piles of rubbish bags of a year’s worth of debris have to be shifted.  At the same time the grades have to be entered into the computer before the deadline.  And then of course there is the start of the next school year to think about.  Every hour of prep work now can save you an hour of prep work during the holidays.

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It is all a little bit frantic to be honest. I find myself switching from one task to another. A new colleague is starting after the holidays, so it’s important to make the necessary extra arrangements to ease her path at the start, which of course means more preparation now.  There is also the visitation that we are having from the bilingual education board here in the Netherlands that will be rolling up in October….large volumes of documentation of all aspects of the education that we offer to be gathered and got ready for presentation.

These are very different kinds of weeks at the end of the school year. The thought of a holiday just around the corner is a good feeling. But the quiet emptiness of the rooms that are normally so full the rest of the year is kind of nice to enjoy.

1700 pupils on one site is the set up where I work. On a rainy day in the winter when everyone stays inside through the lunch break, or at the switch between lessons the building is really heaving with teenagers flowing through from one place to another. In contrast to that the last days and weeks of a school year can have a fantastic sense of calm.  Yes there is a lot to still be done, clearing up, meetings, preparation for the next school year and the marking of end of year projects and work. But often in these last days you find yourself simply sitting at the computer in an empty classroom or some other solitary task and you are struck by how wonderfully different your familiar work place feels without the kids.

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