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Odds and Ends

Whatever the weather…..

We have had strong, blustery winds blowing over us the last few days. Then the wind dropped, and we had a thunderstorm. It got me musing about my reaction to weather. I realised that, even after a few years away from classroom teaching, I still link weather and children. My job as a worker in the out-of-school-hours industry helps me maintain that link, but really it has come from 30 years of teaching.

Now I love those days when it rains all day, but it always makes me think of wet-day timetables, and makes me grateful not to be there. I remember the mayhem of rooms full of children who would rather be outside playing, the snatched lunch before dashing back to continue to supervise. Usually the kids would try hard to be occupied with lego construction or board games or computer activities or drawing; but for some of them it was just too difficult not to play rowdy games of hide and seek or downball in the corridor.

An Old Teacher’s Tale is that windy days scramble kids, and my experience says that it is true. Children seem to get blown around in the wind and come back into class like whirlwinds, as though they have brought the wind back in with them. Yard duty on those days was often taken up with sorting out niggles and complaints and injuries from falls.

I also think back to the day when a branch broke off in a gale force wind and fell onto a child below, breaking her leg. That was a traumatic time for all of us.

For many lunchtimes we had glorious sunny days and the playground generally was harmonious. Walking in the sun, chatting to children was pleasurable. However, always in the back of your mind was the next classroom activity to be organised, the meeting with the parent to plan, the pages to photocopy, the report to write.

Even those beautiful Spring days could have impacts on the kids. I remember one day in early spring. It was warm, but the temperature was only in the low 20s. We were outside for a Phys Ed lesson, when Jack and Mitchell were complaining about how hot they were. They wanted to stop the game and go inside, where it was cooler!

Of course in Summer the heat waves could go on for days. I knew that the morning lessons were important because by the afternoon we would all be tired, wilting and often cranky. In really hot weather the playground would be quiet, with the kids in the shade or maybe inside watching a movie. After lunch “Dead fish” was a popular game ~ and home time more welcome than usual.

As I said at the start, now days I look at this from afar ~ from the perspective of my comfy armchair, cup of tea and a good book!

How does the weather affect your life? Does it have any affect on your job, or can you only look at it through the window of an office?

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My art work Odds and Ends

Friday Afternoon

Before I blogged I was a teacher of primary aged children, aged from 5 to 12 years.  It was a job that I really enjoyed, obviously some days more than others! But one of the times I loved most was Friday afternoons.

The bell would ring at half past 3 and the children would be out the door. Somebody once described it ‘like a cork out of a champagne bottle’ and it is such an apt simile. Then the peace would descend. The energy generated by those 25 busy bodies would gradually dissipate, and I would be there in the stillness.

It was a time to potter around the room, tidying up after an active week, cleaning the tables, vaguely reflecting on the day’s happenings and mentally organising the things that needed deeper reflection. One of the tasks I loved to do was to sharpen the pencils, ready for Monday’s diary writing.

I would think about tidying my desk. That was always an impossible task, as there was a never ending supply of paper that needed to be dealt with. But it was Friday Afternoon and the This Should Have Been Done Yesterday pile could wait a while longer. Then I would look at my planning for the following week, pack a few things to take home, turn off the lights and lock the door. Friday Afternoon. Time to wander down to the pub for a few Friday Afternoon Drinks with friends.

I was thinking of that this afternoon. I was folding the washing, looking out the front window at the school over the road and I knew that the teachers over there would be glad that it’s Friday. The day has been sunny and still, peaceful, just right for a Friday Afternoon. So let me tidy up a few things here before I wander into the lounge room for Friday Afternoon Drinks. I might even sit outside with my glass of wine.

My last post was about Dads, and it seemed to resonate with you, stirring up some memories. Thank you for your comments, including those on Facebook. I thought I would copy the poem that the Snail of Happiness shared. It summed up so well what I was stumbling around to say.

A man lives for as long as we carry him inside us,
For as long as we carry the harvest of his dreams,
For as long as we ourselves live,
Holding memories in common, a man lives.
(Brian Patten)

I love that idea of ‘the harvest of his dreams’. I want to believe that I am still harvesting some of my Dad’s dreams.

And the second thing to tidy up is to tell you, very proudly, that I sold the rose painting that I painted in a recent workshop. I showed you its creation, and now it has flown off to the States! Let me boast a little more and say that it was the 90th painting that I have sold in my Etsy shop.

Now, let’s all raise a glass to Friday Afternoons. May they always be peaceful! Cheers!