Friday Five: Things you've forgotten how to do since July

2nd September 2016 at 17:01
The start of the academic year requires you to re-engage your teacher brain. If you can remember where you left it...

It’s September, which means you really can’t keep ignoring the “back to school” signs that have been plastered in shop windows since before you broke up. It’s time to get organised... Except you can’t. You took the head’s parting remarks to “relax and reboot” during the holidays too literally, and now you’ve forgotten how to do even the simplest of teacher tasks.

Here are five things you need to retrain yourself to do before the start of term:

  1. Set an alarm
    For which ungodly hour?! The last time you set an alarm that early was to get to the airport ahead of a week of sun, sea and sangria. Now all that awaits you on the other side of the alarm tone is a year of students, standards and staff meetings – which is somewhat less appealing.

  2. Hold a pen
    You've only been off for six weeks, but now holding a pen for an extended length of time has become as alien an action as teaching the new GCSE exam specifications. This does not bode well for your return to the whiteboard...

  3. Have a quick coffee
    Sure, you've had coffee since July. But you haven't had to make and consume it quite so quickly since, well, July. No time like the present to find out whether your tongue can still take the heat.

  4. Recall multiple names
    There was a time, just a month or so ago, when when you could immediately recall the names of each and every pupil in your class. You think about the gargantuan effort it took to get there and internally curse the person responsible for allocating you both sets of identical twins this year...

  5. Turn on 'The Look'
    The holidays may have left you feeling mellow, contented and wondering how on earth you'll ever muster up the energy to be stern again. But then you discover that one of last year's students didn't properly replace the lid on your favourite pen...and suddenly it doesn't seem quite such a struggle.

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