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New Term - New Rules

September has always been a milestone month for me. My brain works on an academic calendar, having spent most of my life either as a student or a teacher. I have two new years - one in September and one in January, which gives me two opportunities to start fresh and begin again.

I look forward to the start of the school year, the summer is waning, the air is colder, crisper and the smell of stationary supplies, new books and school uniforms is in the air. There is so much change at this time of year, and this change brings with it its certainties - the familiar routines and expectations - and uncertainties - new timetables and unfamiliar faces; the excitement of a fresh start and the nerves of that first day in a new class. There is also the opportunity to repeat old behaviours and bad habits, put additional pressure and unrealistic expectations on ourselves.

However, this year I have decided to do things a little differently. In the mid-Covid world we now find ourselves in, I have, like many of you, had the time to reflect on what is important to me. Change is never easy and is even more difficult when forced on us without warning, like it has been this year. Change can feel like an uninvited, unexpected visitor who outstays their welcome, turns the house upside down and drinks all the beer (just like The Tiger Who Came to Tea!). I have scrambled to catch up with the pace of change this year, with the only certainty being the unknown, the lack of control confirming that we really didn't have control in the first place and the amazing ability we have as humans to adapt and adapt quickly.

So, in light of all this change and with the new academic year set to be different and unusual for many of us, I have decided that I would take a different approach to my preparations for September this year. I am usually starting to feel the panic set in about now with questions about school coats and shoes, reading folders and bedtime routines, timetables and module preparation swirling through my head at all hours of the day and night! So, this year I have decided not to p