So, I’ve been thinking about exam week. For the past three years I have been in the high school building at my school. One of the things that is particular about being in upper school is that we have exams. That means a week of school with non-standard attendance and schedules.
It’s an odd and exciting time of year. I always imagine that I will be wildly productive during this week. I teach one exam-giving class and as an administrator I don’t get to just come in for that and leave the rest of the time. So, I’m at school. I have dreams of cleaning out my inbox, sorting through notes from meetings upon meetings, catching up on blog reading, and generally winnowing my to do list down to nothing. It’s a lovely dream. I’m probably even wearing great shoes, getting a good night’s sleep, and exercising. Ha!
Back in reality, I did not even looked at the exams my students took on Monday until Thursday. For several days I carried them back and forth, school to home and back, several times. They got a nice airing, but remained uncorrected, or as I like to think of them, in their perfect state. By Friday they were maybe a third of the way graded. Also, my inbox remains bloated and ungainly. I would be able to give you an update on my to do list if I could find it.
So what did I do during exam week? (Which was 3 months ago now) Here’s what I wrote about it at the time:
I’ve been able to talk to colleagues without having bells ring to send us on our way. I’ve checked in with lots of people about this and that. I’ve replied to emails in a timely fashion. I’ve done some binge reading of not very educational blogs. And, I’ve been able to move around at a pace that is comfortable. While I am rarely accused of walking too slowly, I appreciate being able to walk through the halls at a leisurely rate. I like looking at my calendar and knowing I will have blocks of time to work, not just bits of time to check emails between tasks.
I have also written about and therefore organized my ideas and thoughts about a number of things that needed attention. Twitter is back in my day and immediately I am reading thought-provoking articles and blog posts, falling down rabbit holes, thinking about new ways to be a better teacher/tech coach/administrator, planning art and craft projects with my personal kids, and imagining doing a million things during the break.
And, most importantly, I have had time to think, or be still enough that I can think. While I cannot claim to have thought of anything very impressive, yet, I feel generally back to my idea generating self. (Note: I do not claim that all these ideas are good ones, just that in my natural state I tend to generate ideas in quantity, if not quality.)
Here’s hoping that you found some time to return to your natural state and enjoyed some well deserved time off.