Term may have started for all the other teachers, but this last week has been a bit of a limbo time, with a smattering or purgatory and a fair amount of Heaven. Not too much hell, I'm glad to relate.
Wednesday was a staff meeting for - it's all a bit complicated. I work for myself, and I freelance for two schools where I go in for most of the day, and I'm an hourly-paid contractor for organisation. This was a staff meeting for the "another organisation".
We spent several hours on a training exercise for dealing with a hypothetical emergency concerning a minibus, a number of children and a couple of teachers. We spotted who was "wearing the red T shirt" early on, and, yes, hypothetically speaking, he did die. One of the many flippant morals could be never wear red when going on a school trip. The bizarre element is that very few of the staff present will ever be involved with transporting mini-bus, or any-bus loads of children around.
Then we spent more time on an exercise to help develop the new structure for the organisation. That's a good idea, in principle, if it does result in clarifying what the new structure for the organisation is likely to be. We were invited to stick coloured dots on graphs to show how we felt about things - "I feel engaged with this process - I don't feel engaged with this process". I was too busy engaging with the process to wonder around with sticky dots, besides, someone might have been watching to see where I stuck them....
After lunch we had the two sessions which were directly relevant to what I shall be doing for the next thirteen weeks - teaching!
For me, the best, the very best part of the staff meeting is when you get to chat to all your colleagues in the various breaks. It's the only time some of us ever meet up, as during the term time we all circle round our particular schools at our particular times and that's that.
So, on further reflection, in spite of having to dealing with (hypothetical) death, tragedy, (all too real) service level agreements and organisational flow charts, it was a good day, because we are all, on the whole, good people, doing good work for a good reason. More Heaven than Hell, and a welcome escape from limbo.
Viva la musica!