It's been next-to impossible for me to write for a while. That's been to do with tiredness, mental and physical. It's been to do with a total inability to focus on anything creative. It's been a long time since I've had it in me to even think about sitting down and trying to pull these thoughts out of my head and put them on 'paper'. And so with even the smallest amount of energy and motivation, it's time to do it. Even if it's just to scribble a few thoughts down here.
It's been a very odd couple of months, during which the England men's football team have come within a whisker of actually winning something, we have been told that the the Coronavirus pandemic is over despite cases rising to over 50000 a day, and the situation in school has gone backwards and forwards from 'we're nearly there' to 'we're more or less back where we started'. It would be nice to feel that those who had found themselves in positions of power and responsibility at the helm of the country had something other than their own self-interest at heart, but today's news certainly suggests otherwise. It'd be nice to feel that the people of the country weren't somehow drawn to the promises made by these same people.
My fingers are crossed that the summer holidays are the beginning of this renewed freedom that we're supposed to be about to enjoy. I can't help but feel that this may be over-optimistic. Like so many things, you get told a time when it'll all be over, and sometimes that changes part-way through the time. It was going to be Christmas, for example, and then we spent the following three months in a hard lockdown. And sometimes it's for the protection of vulnerable people... As a school teacher, of course, we get the hardest of hard lines on the protection of the vulnerable, which is sometimes exactly what is needed to keep people safe. My current school, by way of an example, asks that its teachers don't have social contact with their former students for a full three years after they have left. It might seem extreme, especially to those of an earlier generation or to those whose environments are less strict, that those who have finished their A levels shouldn't meet those who led them through for a pint in the pub. But the rules don't exist to police those situations. Sometimes, though, all the rules and the professional standards don't keep the student or the teacher safe from the harms of what is, in between the dull bits (and there are dull bits) a real high highs and low lows environment. Sometimes, the rules and the professional standards actually amplify the harm. It's been a great pleasure and privilege to spend some time with truly wonderful people at school, and it would be reasonably accurate to say my life's work has been to shape them into decent, caring, thinking humans.
But it's the holidays, and to be fair, that's the reason most of us do this job in the first place. Could do with being a bit less warm, though.
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When to the sessions of sweet silent thought