With autumn now very much in the air, the summer break feels like a dim and distant memory. It's taken five full weeks, but you're back into a routine and getting through the curriculum at great pace. But, as you start to relax into the academic year, so do your students. Here are five surefire signs that they have settled back into school life:
- Diminishing attention span Suddenly, everything has become distracting: a fly, a paper clip, a cloud shaped like a turtle. Granted, that cloud really did look like a turtle, but come on now you 'orrible lot, this is school, focus!
- Increase in excuses Even the innocent would admit fault at the start of the year, but now every incident has a plenthora of excuses attached. You resign yourself to lunchtimes disappearing and being replaced by elaborate clue hunting expeditions, while the culprits cook up ever more elaborate reasons why the indiscretion in question has nothing to do with them.
- Diminishing uniform length Uniforms seem to be shrinking. Skirts are getting shorter, there is a reduction in the length of shirt sleeves and the less said about the state of the school ties, the better. No matter that you're in flip flops because you couldn't find your work shoes, these kids need some standards.
- Increase in make-up use Suddenly you find you are single-handedly keeping the face wipe industry afloat. Back in September, Bobbi Brown was simply the new boy in Year 7, now it is the reason half of Year 9 are lined up outside the head of year's office.
- Diminishing pencil case contents Those days when every student sat ready with pens of every colour of the rainbow seem so long ago. Now you are lucky if they have a half-chewed biro leaking in their pocket. If it goes on like this much longer, there will be no pens left to "lend" and work will have to be completed using Siri...