King in the Classroom

Welcome to King in the Classroom. A new weekly diary written by me, Ben King, where I will take you through some of the biggest issues in education today and the ideas and suggestions having the biggest impact in my classroom. What else could be the theme of this first instalment than the obvious? Back to school.

Blazing sunshine, sports day, and endless loops of this is me at the Year 6 leaver’s assembly. It all seems so very long ago now. The rain swept in and like a metaphorical wakeup call suddenly the back to school signs were up everywhere. Cheery little boys and girls doing their very best how smart do I look faces. Looming down from pretty much every single shop window imaginable. I can’t be the only one thinking, that uniform has never been worn outside and I do hope sweet little Mary can do laces up because I’m not doing them for her! They try and make it a fun thing, bright colours, exciting fonts. It’s not. It’s awful. Not the actual going back, I always look forward to a new year, a new batch of minds ready for moulding, a new group to show how truly awesome my sense of humour is. It’s the reminders that bite me. Imagine being a bank manager about to have your two weeks off, before you’ve even got out the car the radio is playing an advert ‘back to the bank soon!’ Sure they will chuck in a cheery jingle, perhaps even that Claudia woman off strictly will do the voice. But it’s still terrible and I genuinely think it contributes to some teachers not being able to switch off.

Once you’ve emotionally moved on from the trauma of being told you’re heading back to work almost the instant after it’s ended you enter what I call The Blur. Not the band no, the period where nobody really knows what on Earth they are meant to be doing. Do I get up early and make the most of my day? Do I binge watch that box set in my pants with a pizza? Do I go and explore some interesting and exciting places? In The Blur you end up trying to do it all, wrapped in the warmth of certainty that summer will last forever. September is months away, or so it feels. The worst bit about not having to worry about what day it is is that before you know it is in fact back to school.

I always find the excitement and energy is almost a solid object, something palpable you can taste on the inset day before term starts. Has anyone anywhere ever not had an inset on day 1? If you’re a head who doesn’t do this, shame on you. The team meeting setting out goals for the year, the glassy eyed exchange of ‘How was your summer?’ ‘Yeah good thanks, it’s just goes so fast’.  The New Year resolutions of not buying a Tesco meal deal each day and ironing all the clothes I need at the start of the week to be super-efficient. Like Mary’s pretty shoes they lay in tatters by the end of week 2.

So good luck brave soldiers as you renter the trenches. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to find you reading again soon.

Once more unto the breach dear friends.