For the UK it’s the first week back to school after what has felt like a very long summer! Now you might be a parent who rejoices, like me, that school and routine makes its comeback right about now; you might be a parent who is less than enthusiastic about the return to school; you might be a teacher, a youth/children’s/schools worker, a member of the wider school community or a commuter; whoever you are, whatever your feelings are about the 6 week break, this week is a significant one!
Some things we all know about the end of the summer holidays:
- The roads return to their normal patterns of busy-ness. We live in a seaside town and the traffic has been appalling pretty much throughout the summer; not just at its usual times either, just all out busy!
- The weather, which turned cooler and damp when August became September, will vastly improve again this week. Probably by Wednesday we’ll have temperatures well above what they’ve been through most of the holidays, because Wednesday is the day my two go back to school!
- Children are tired. I’ve tried to understand this one but it still confuses me. They’re exhausted by the school routine after about 4 weeks, so that 7 week term in June/July is always a killer. Yet by the time we’re about half way through the holidays we start to see the frayed edges of tiredness again! Perhaps the secret is to have 4 week terms and holiday break should be about 2 weeks long?!
- Parents are (with some exceptions) happy to see the end of summer holidays. I, for one, am itching to get back to a routine that gives me some head-space: time that isn’t spent refereeing or quiet that isn’t in imminent danger of being interrupted by a wail of ‘Muuuummmmmmmyyyyyyyyy’. Wait, when are they going back?
- Teachers and just about anyone who works as part of the school community (TA’s, Midday Supervisors, SENCO’s, Caretakers, site managers, business managers, admin staff et al) are all sad to see the end of the summer holidays. I’ve come across just one Head in all my years spent connected with school life in one form or another who admitted to me that she was always happy to get back to school and welcome the new year with gusto. That’s not to say that others don’t, just that perhaps they’d prefer not to admit it!
My suggestions for this term in particular would be:
- check with those you know who have changed schools and are starting a new school this week. Whether that’s teachers/support staff or pupils! If you’re a parent there are some good questions to ask your child instead of ‘How was your day?’ right here. These may also work with adults!
- If you really want to support your local school then consider becoming a governor. It is time consuming, you need to have some basic knowledge of the education system and it is very much done on a voluntary basis. But there are so many opportunities to get involved and good governors are in short supply!
- If you pray, then pray for your local school, or the school where your child(ren) attend, or the one where your grandchildren go. Pray for staff and pupils, pray for good links with the community, pray for stability and grace!