It’s the simple things that matter.
You know, like milk for your cereal; having fresh undies in the top drawer; knowing that ten dollars will cover enough fuel til payday. These are simple things upon which big things depend. I mean, no milk, dry porridge; no jocks, lots of rash; no ten-dollar note, a long walk to school!
But times have changed, haven’t they?
We start the day now with the complexities of the twenty-first century being digitally trumpeted at us: the latest news, the weather, the stock market, the entertainment scene. Whatever happened to a nice quiet breakfast? Maybe I’d like to hear just “Snap! Crackle! Pop!” and nothing else.
I reckon the light at the end of the tunnel has changed, too.
Do you remember when Friday was the light at the end of that weekly work tunnel? When just getting to Friday morning was like tasting the weekend ahead? When you’d roll up to work knowing the attitude was: “You’ve busted your boiler big time Monday to Thursday, so don’t ruin your weekend by going absolutely flat out today! After all, this is just your day job. Your real job is the one you do at home!”
I remember teaching in schools where bosses had that attitude and it rubbed off on the whole school community to the point where Fridays were just fabulous. For both kids and teachers the day revolved around reviewing and assessing the week’s work followed by school assembly and sport.
And so, your week culminated with both teacher and student knowing that you’d achieved what you’d set out to do, followed by showcasing the week’s successes in front of the whole school and then channeling all those positive vibes into games of various sorts.
Friday was not just the light at the end of the tunnel, it was the bridge that linked work to weekend!
But, boy oh boy, hasn’t that attitude gone by the wayside. It’s almost as if Friday is viewed as the day before Monday – just rudely interrupted by a weekend.
In my school, we have less student numbers than we’ve had for ages and yet my Library timetable has less spare time than it’s ever had. Less time to do more things with fewer kids.
There appears to be a general mindset among teaching authority that if a teacher doesn’t appear to be working hard at all times and is not constantly on the verge of being frazzled then we’d better find something extra for him to do!
Is running faster on three cylinders better than coasting on four? Have they forgotten that we’ve got these kids for a year? It’s an endurance event not a sprint – aerobic not anaerobic. Please, let us take a breath or two along the way. And that includes the kids.
Turn the light back on and make the tunnel short enough for us to see the end.
Oh Patron Saint of “Shorter and Better-Lit Tunnels” hear my prayer.