We are also trying hard to do the best job we can of growing bright young people – in every sense. Tonight we launched our new strategy for helping the children to make the most of their study time with us. This basically involves stricter supervision at homework time and an earlier lights out on school days. It's not rocket science but we are hoping that it will assist us in our battle against the 'traditional' approach to preparing young people for success which involves excessive hours of teaching and preps and drudgery in the holidays. Our plan is to work with the children on shorter, more focused study times and to encourage them to make the most of their leisure time.
Tonight I was in charge of the older pupils' homework room, from 7.15 pm to 8.45 pm, (with a five minute comfort break at 8.15). It made a nice change from my more usual plotting, scheming and budgeting mode of working and I enjoyed the time I spent back in the classroom. It reminded me very much of my own experience at boarding school in England, (the main difference being our pupils' enthusiasm for their work – very different from the anarchic approach that I and my fellow conspirators adopted whenever we could get away with it at prep time).
I'm planning to work with the children during homework time on a regular basis. I think this might force me to brush up a bit on some of my subject knowledge. It's been some time since I had to consider how to use the past continuous tense in English and my maths has become a bit rusty through lack of use. I took a couple of goes to reach the correct answer on some of the exercises in the first chapter of the maths book I was studying. Still, it's early days yet – I'm sure it will all come flooding back with practise. (I had to look this one up to ensure correct usage – how many of you out there in the blogosphere know the correct use of the words practice and practise?). It's very enjoyable using my teaching skills again. To be honest, as I get older, any excuse to exercise the grey matter has got to be a good thing.