"It is a good divine that follows his own instructions; I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done than to be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching."
Portia, The Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene II.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Having a holiday (not)... or: how Twitter saved my week!

It's the end of the first week of the school holidays. I admit, I did have the first weekend off. I spent most of it asleep or reading, though dragged myself out of bed to go for a run on the Sunday. 

Since then, I have been at school every day, most days doing 5 - 7 hours. I have marked all my Year 13 Connections assessments and their writing portfolios, I've finally done the same tonight for the Year 12s.

I still have all the Year 11 creative and formal writing to mark, some level 1 personal reading responses, a set of essays for my Year 10s (I'm too ashamed to say how long they've been sitting there), and the Year 10 exercise books.

Aside from the fact that I've been sleeping in later than normal, wearing casual clothes and the small matter of there being no students around or classes to teach, it has been hard to tell the difference between term time and holiday time.

At the end of the middle weekend of my two week holiday, I just feel depressed because I haven't finished my marking yet, let alone got to the rest of my 'to do' list. And every moment I have spent reading a novel in the evening or sleeping late instead of being at school early marking, I have felt guilty, guilty, guilty. 

Ooooh, yes! I have remembered a happy thing! On Monday I was able to participate in the twitter #Engchat. Normally it's hard to do this as it happens around lunchtime on Monday NZ time and I am usually teaching. It was a really interesting chat as it was a combined English and Social Studies discussion on integrated programmes. As I was involved in helping design the integrated Eng/SS programme for our Year 9s at Otaki College I found this discussion very stimulating. It was fascinating to hear about teachers in US schools running similar programmes and/or collaborating with their colleagues to run parallel teaching between English and History or other disciplines. Click here to go to the archive for the combined EngSSchat if you would like to see what was discussed.

Wow, just like that I have gone from depressed about my week to remembering a glorious hour of exciting collaborative teaching discussion with my professional learning network around the world, which has reminded me that I love my job! Thank goodness for twitter!!

Follow me on twitter @shakespearenut


  1. When you're feeling alone it is fabulous reassurance to know that there are others with the passion and interest in the same things you are interested in.

    I love the sparkly ideas that other teachers give me.

  2. So true. And this week the special value of the Twitter chat was simply being reminded that I HAVE passion and interest (!) which is so easy to forget when you are in the grind of a markathon...