I love the first week of term! Each academic year brings a new beginning. And the joy of a new beginning is that it brings hope. It reminds me of the first page of an exercise book, clear, free from any blemishes, it has no history, you can start afresh and you are given a chance to create something new, or be someone different. For some girls it is the chance to start again or make better what they started last year.
It is also lovely seeing colleagues and girls after the long summer break and the school is once again filled with smiling faces (though I know for some girls getting up early again was hard!). Over the summer the school feels so empty and quiet; it is energising to have everyone back and to welcome all the new girls, especially the Year 3s and the new staff.
For staff, school always begins two days earlier and each year we begin the Autumn Term with staff INSET. This is when we, as teachers in both the Junior and Senior School, learn new techniques, new ways of teaching and new ideas to bring into the classroom. It is all part of our belief in continuous learning for teachers in schools. We began with an outside speaker, Mike Fleetwood, an educational consultant and trainer, who focussed on the thinking classroom. His mantra is that every girl is unique and as teachers our role is to access their intelligences in different ways by recognising the many different teaching strategies we can employ to engage them.
His website www.thinkingclassroom.co.uk outlines his many strategies and certainly colleagues will be using them in lessons this next term. I, too, am teaching again and have loved been back in the classroom using many of the ideas recommended by this website.
I am already looking forward to next week. There is a real energy and buzz in the school and I feel very proud to be part of it.