Today was not an ideal day. But if I was to design an ideal Thursday, it would look like this:
6am I wake naturally and rise before the kids wake. I stretch, read, and write with a cup of tea. The sunrise streams in through the slanted shutters. Harper sits at my feet. She has not been sick in her crate overnight.
7am The kiddos are awake and happy. We all get ready for school in a calm and peaceful atmosphere. We are ready to leave on time with no forgotten dance club attire and with no last-minute missing school shoes.
8am After dropping the kids off at breakfast club, I walk into the secondary school and head for my classroom. As my lessons are all fully planned and all the resources are ready, I spend the first minutes of the day reading emails and finishing off the last of my marking. All up to date!
9am My year 11 lesson goes so well, the students are gushing with gratitude. Suddenly, the penny has dropped and they finally get what I am talking about. My work here is done.
10am A free period! With all my planning, marking, and printing up to date, I spend the time making a beautiful display for my classroom. What an inspirational space I have created!
11am Someone from the Senior Leadership Team insisted that they do my lunchtime duty. I feel bad but they were so persistent.
11.20am Year 7 is a breeze. We read and have thoughtful discussions. And there is not one silly question about what the title is for the lesson despite the fact it is on both the whiteboard AND the PowerPoint the whole time.
12.20pm Who said teaching Shakespeare to Year 9s is tricky? My students perform their lines in the reading fluently and with real feeling. They argue for the parts. When the bell goes, they groan. ‘It’s ok, guys, we will continue next week’. Man, they are a lovely group.
1.20pm Lunchtime. I have brought a healthy, delicious, and filling lunch that does not make my classroom smell like armpits. I chat with colleagues and we share all the things we just LOVE about teaching. We share some cake.
2.10pm I have been looking forward to this all day: set 3 Year 10! As the students quietly start work on the task on the board, my most challenging student asks to have a word. He realises that he has perhaps not always worked to the best of his ability, and has, now and then, been entirely disrespectful and may have, at times, made it nigh on impossible to create an effective learning environment. But now he would like another chance. We share a smile and he is the perfect student for the rest of the lesson. The whole class works beautifully. What a wonderful way to end my working week!
3.15pm I wave off the students, chatting with some who just do not seem ready to leave for the day. Then I wait for Evelina to finish dance club. I catch a twilight training session about one of the texts I teach and find it totally useful and enlightening.
4.30pm Evelina and I go to pick up Austin from after-school club. Even though he is mid-football game, he is delighted to see me, goes straight to collect his things which are not strewn all over the school hall and he walks home with us in a happy and chilled-out manner.
4.35pm The kids get changed out of their school things and put away coats, shoes, and bags without being asked. They play while I make dinner. I listen to an audiobook for a period of more than two minutes without having to pause it because someone is asking for a snack.
5.30pm We all eat together. Rich has had a productive and perfectly paced day. Harper has already had a long walk with Rich (this actually happened today!). Austin eats what I have made without question or complaint. He even asks for seconds.
7pm Bedtime routine happens on time and with no stress. Why do people say having kids is hard? By 8.30pm, both kids are clean, have had stories and are read to fall gently to sleep. Straight away. Without getting up because he found a shirt clip in his bed. (This happened tonight 8.45pm). Or because he needs lip balm. (Also happened 9.08pm).
8.30pm Rich and I enjoy our current favourite television show with a glass of wine. We turn the TV off and read before both having the best, most rested night’s sleep ever.