This week has been rather emotional and challenging in several different ways...
My Lovely Pregnant Colleague has finally gone on Maternity Leave. She has decided to take the full 12 months off. As a close friend AND half the Music Department staff she will be sorely missed. I have been lucky enough to find a very capable Music Teacher to replace her for the year through an agency. After a few initial reservations, I have found myself warming to her and I hope that we will develop a close working relationship as the year progresses. Nevertheless, I have spent all my admin time this week making sure that she is OK and settling her into the department.
My timetable has changed significantly due to the Maternity Leave. I have lost classes that I had worked hard to build relationships with, and have gained groups where I will have to do the work all over again. It's not a disaster, but it has changed the rhythm of my weeks and significantly increased my workload.
My beloved Year 11 pupils are also coming to the end of their course. I'm in the process of awarding their final grades (it's a Btec course so we don't have to wait until the summer) and I am immensely proud of them. I always get emotional when the oldest pupils leave. We always do one final 'Leavers Concert' just a few days before Study Leave starts and I sit with their proud parents and sob!
On top of this we have had difficulties with our commute. At one stage this week I seriously thought that I would have to drive on my own every day. This is not viable because, to be honest, we can only afford the commute when we share the lift and put the miles on a company car. I was distraught on Monday night because I thought that I may have to look for another job.... or spend two and half hours every day in the car AND lose loads of pre and post-school admin time.
It's felt like a very long time since our lovely relaxing holiday - but most of these problems are in the process of being solved. Mark has found a temporary solution to our commuting difficulties and I'm chipping away at the school issues. I'm really looking forward to the weekend though!