Last Friday our learners completed their last day at school. The teachers are staying on until 13 December to get up to date with all the planning for our new curriculum starting in January. It's all talk about CAPS statements and term plans and class lists.... There is an air of excitement as the teachers plan for a great year ahead.
There's something very soothing about working in a school without students. Can't think what it might be .... Hmm perhaps it's no bells, or noise.... I must say, I always fancied working in such a school. One gets so much more administration work done and one doesn't have to stop what one is doing to re-focus the boy who is intent on distracting one's marvellously prepared lesson. Ah, but by the end of the week we will be missing the little dears.
One of my major tasks at this time of year is stock-taking in the library. Our library runs on an honour system with the teachers checking out books for their classroom and returning them when they are finished. No loan periods, no librarian to check up. What is really amazing is the very small number of missing books at the end of each year. I take comfort in the fact that most of the books that were missing last year have turned up back on the shelves this year so why stress? What's missing today will be back this time next year.
My other big task is to do a thorough clean up in the computer lab and run some maintenance on the computers before shutting down until next year. This year I'm not able to start the big clean up because the teachers are working in the computer lab, using technology for their admin tasks. What a joy - it means our school is moving to the next level in technology integration. I take comfort that the work will get done sometime before we close for the year.
The new year will bring new adventures, new challenges as always. We are discontinuing our present ICT curriculum this year and I will be formulating my own lessons in future. It means more work, more time, no "canned" lessons with templates already done for me - but I'm up for it and I'm looking forward to exploring and growing. I have plans to focus on literacy by using blogs, Edmodo and wikis. I plan to do more global projects and try out new and innovative Web2.0 tools. I am a lifelong learner and I look forward to a year of learning with my students.