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“It’s been a great year”

December 7, 2013 by Mrs Hurley   

… But has it really?

I’m hearing this said a lot lately, as members of my PLN begin wrapping up their year and reflecting on how their year has gone.

When I look back on this year, I feel exhausted.

Has it been a great year for me? It has certainly been a challenging year. I don’t mean in the “my knowledge is being challenged and it’s fantastic” kind of way either. It has genuinely been a tough year for me.

While I don’t want to sound like I am whinging or making excuses for myself, I will try to explain why…

1. Firstly,  there are two boys in my class who have completely worn me down. I have spent every lesson repeating myself and reminding them that they are not to sit with each other or talk with each other as the combination of both of them together is lethal.

2. As the year draws to an end, as in any primary school, year 6s are becoming restless and ready to move on. I have one Year 6 boy who packed up shop 4 weeks ago and hasn’t done anything since. He refuses to complete tasks or follow any instructions – despite the fact that he is already going in to secondary school behind in his learning, which is even more frustrating.

3. As far as the ‘norm’ goes, I have spent a number of days out of the classroom this year, taking advantage of external professional learning opportunities. That being said, I have also participated in programs where I am required to “work” after school and into the night. Now, I wouldn’t change my decision to participate in any of these professional development days at all – in fact, they have been the best ones I have attended in my whole career – but days out of the classroom (particularly when they are one day a week in sequential weeks) can really make you feel out of whack.

There are other contributing factors which are a little personal so I won’t list them.

I’m not sure how I feel about this year. I certainly love this time of year because of how busy it is and with all the extra activities we get to do, such as the swimming carnival and Year 6 Graduation. I am definitely looking forward to a change next year…



  1. […] because I have had an exhausting year with a bad combination of students in my class (see “It’s been a great year“) and I think having younger students, it will be easier to set clear expectations without […]

  2. Fiona says:

    I completely understand Katelyn!
    I have also been part of extended PD opportunities this term, plus 2 weeks of stress leave…all up, about 26 days out of the classroom…can be hard to maintain a level of continuity and student expectation when faced with this!
    I’ve found that prioritising, and sometimes ignoring school work/commitments for a whole night has kept me sane…that good old ‘work/life balance’ is tricky!


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