I do love the Christmas holidays. The “it’s Christmas!” excuse covers all manner of sins, from eating a yard of Jaffa Cakes (which came to me this year when @beautique_nails accidentally left them in my car…such a shame!) to not doing ANY back-to-school preparation. Obviously neither of these is a wise a choice but it is expected because, well, it’s Christmas!
But I’m not here to talk about Jaffa Cakes or other chocolate-orange based treats (Terry’s, anyone?). The avoidance of school work is something I’ve never been much good at. On Boxing Day I was setting up a blog for my Year 8 class on Kidblog, having just read about the idea on Twitter. I had tried “switching off” because “it’s Christmas” but it’s hard. Sometimes that’s a very bad thing, something that keeps me awake at night but sometimes the inability to switch off leads me to some of my best ideas.
I’ll gladly admit to being a geek; find me a teacher that isn’t (P.E teachers, you say? *Only joking!*) but I will less gladly admit to being “that” kid in school/college/university, who would be heard cheerfully admitting to having done “no revision at all!” while secretly harbouring the smug knowledge that not only had I revised every possible topic, but I had also done a neat colour coded revision timetable and a few hundred essay questions in preparation. That’s just me. Being unprepared is a big fear and, as a teacher, the common theme of most of my school based nightmares. Standing in front of Year 10 with no plan, no idea, no control… Sound familiar?
To avoid such nightmares manifesting themselves into reality, I like to prepare. And that’s the crux of it; I LIKE to prepare. To plan, to create, to research. I enjoy looking through the brilliant literacy resources I keep uncovering on Pinterest and Teachit; I enjoy reading the blogs and mini-chats of the other teachers I follow on Twitter. I enjoy using my obscenely large collection of pens to draw up medium-term plans and mind-maps of the aforementioned brilliant ideas.
Don’t get me wrong, I can procrastinate better than a professional procrastinator in procrastination-land. In addition to the above I also enjoy watching endless episodes of Friends, chatting with my actual friends, and doing all the other things that people do with their precious free time. When I’m tired after a department meeting next week, drained by Year 8 period 6, emotional about there being only 1 episode of Sherlock left, the last thing I’ll want to do is prepare for the next day.
But prepare I shall.
And, fed up as a I may be at the time, I will always take some pleasure in creating something new, finding a new idea to try and always striving to be better, to do better.
After all, if you love the process then the outcome will look after itself.