Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Summertime blues

With the summer holidays less than a month away, the conseils de classe season is entering full swing. For the uninitiated, a conseil de classe (literally "class council") is where all the teachers of one group of kids gets together along with the principal (or deputy), pupil and parent representatives. Each pupil is then discussed in turn, and we decide collectively who moves up to the next year and who has to repeat. For a class of 28 kids, this takes a while. And I have to do this for each class I teach.

But before the conseil, the teachers meet up for a preconseil ("pre-council", "coucil of war" or "meeting-about-the-meeting" depending on your preferred translation). And all this on top of our normal teaching load plus end of year marking as all reports need to be done in time for the conseil.

Of course, there are still classes after the conseil, but the kids are well aware that the decisions have already been taken so our ability to threaten them is severely diminished. So sense of impunity on their part collide head on with the tiredness on ours, with fun consequences for all.

But all anyone outside the profession ever notices is the long holidays. Let's see them survive the job without a long summer break.

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