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THANK GOD, IT’S CHRISTMAS!

TERESA DA SILVA
After three long days stuffed at school running from one meeting to another, I have yearned for this short break. However, unlike most people I like meetings. They can be extremely useful if the chairperson is efficient. Not only do we get quite an admirable amount of work done but we also gather a good quantity of information.
These were the first meetings for me at this new school so they had a double function: learn the ropes a bit better and get to know the people around me a bit better. As a head teacher of one of my classes I had to go through all the tedious bureaucratic steps needed to prepare for the meeting. I must confess I actually enjoyed it. The colleague appointed as the minute taker was kind enough to help me organise things beforehand and that saved time and embarrassment. The preparation ensured I knew what to expect from some of my colleagues at the meeting and, therefore, I was able to handle certain situations with a bit more ease.
The meetings certainly helped me recognise those who put in the extra effort, who still enjoy their profession and take pride in being a teacher. Unfortunately, they also unveiled the bullies who pop up everywhere and who are cheered on by weak wannabes. School meetings are great place to separate the wheat from the chaff. They’re also a wonderful opportunity to share your experiences because you’ll realise you’re not alone and walk off with valuable advice and an understanding pat on the shoulders.
Above all though, the meetings were extremely worthwhile due to knowledge gained about the young men and women I have in the classes I teach. How childish I feel now for having complained about some of them!
Thank God, it’s Christmas because I’ll be using this week to catch up on some of the latest research about learning disabilities. I’ll redo all my planning to accommodate the different students and their difficulties and strengths. I’ll rest and build up the energy I need to face the next months with correct amounts of patience, authority, work and fun.
To all my readers, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and may the New Year bring joy and hope for a better future.

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