Christmas, it's so over

22nd December 2006 at 00:00
End of school term is always a cathartic experience: a chance to put a stop to out-of-control science displays, to clear away the memories of doomed drama lessons, and to restore classroom order.

The last few days have been a frenzy of ancillary activity, in an energetic bid to prepare for the first day of the next term. Everything in the room has been either stripped, scrapped or scrubbed. The decaying autumn foliage collages and junk model robot sculptures have been shoved into a black bin-liner (ahem, I mean carefully stored somewhere very safe). The shiny festive decorations have been removed, fresh for January. Christmas, according to Class 7, has already been and gone.

I have even ventured so far as to remove a pile of coats (my own, I'm afraid) that have been amassing behind my desk since October. And I have bravely started a filing system to clear the backlog of paper matter: the "yes" pile, the "no" pile, and the "whoopsy" pile (for all those things I should have done but somehow forgot). Everything has found its home, out of the way and out of sight.

So what was yesterday's colourful, cheery nest of chaos (it's what I like to call a "working" classroom) has become an organised zone of minimalist tranquillity. There are now clean and staple-free display boards and vast expanses of uncluttered tabletop.

Such a renewal of organisation always makes me wonder why I do not do better at it all the time.

I think this calls for me to make my termly pledge: thou shalt not allow six-day-old marzipan experiments to fester beneath piles of "one-day-they-will-be-useful" cardboard boxes. Honestly. This is it. I am dedicating myself to the pure, unadulterated zen of the classroom, and I am confident that the future looks tidy... just remind me not to open the door to the stock cupboard Louisa Leaman is a London teacher

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