18 May 2013

Short weeks

May is a month of short weeks here in Cambodia. That can be a good thing, and it can also be not so good.

So what's good about it? Well, all those public holidays scattered through the month give me a great chance to catch up on stuff. For example, last Wednesday I was temporarily completely up to date with all my marking. Yep, everything my students had done for me had been reviewed! Didn't last long, as they handed more papers in on Thursday and we did an English test on Thursday and Friday, but it does feel good when it happens. It also allows me to strategically take some specific time out without feeling guilty. That's important. It's well known that if we keep on and on working a full pace we'll eventually buckle under the strain. If we think back to creation, God planned our week so we would work for 6 days and rest on the 7th. Now, anyone who is a classroom teacher, especially at the primary school level, will know that it's not always easy to take that seventh day every week, but it's definitely God's plan. The trouble is, sometimes my Sunday seems like anything but a day of rest, even if I don't do any school work. If I happen to be involved in leading or playing for a worship service, well that can be stressful, especially if there are songs I don't know so well. It also takes time preparing for it, time that I might otherwise spend on school stuff. Then there's interaction with people, which is part of being part of a church family. It's good, but for introverts like myself it's not exactly restful! And then, sometimes I get to Saturday, and that's when I need my "sabbath" rest. I've worked hard all week, and I'm just ready for a break, so sometimes that's what I'll do. Have a "slow" day on Saturday and then get my planning and prep done before or after church on Sunday. Public holidays make it much easier to take a "sabbath".

OK, so that seems like there are a lot of good things going for the public holidays I get in May. What's the flip side? Again, it's a teacher thing, but I'll bet parents can relate to this one too. Most kids actually thrive on routine. My students learn much more effectively when we are in a routine than when we have days off at odd times. The first holiday this month was on a Wednesday, and that's even worse than one attached to the weekends. You just get moving on things, and then you have a day off and you have to start all over again. Hmmm. Should we move all the holidays to Mondays or Fridays? No, I like my mid-week breather.

The end of the year is fast approaching. We've got just 6 weeks to go, and of those six weeks, two have public holidays, so altogether I have 28 days of school! Eek. We've got report cards to write, a whole Social Studies unit to complete, the end of year concert, and probably somewhere in there we'll also have a major assembly. I also need to plan some fun things for my students, and restock my "Go For Green" shop.

So this weekend is a Saturday down day. Tomorrow's going to be busy, with church, picking up my old keyboard from the repair shop (so we can use it to practice for the concert), grocery shopping, and lesson planning for the coming week. Life's like that!

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