I love Spring Term. There are many reasons for this. One is that it is the shortest. But there is so much to love about this term.
It is the term of the unexpected. The moveable feast that is Easter keeps us on our toes and we’re never quite sure how long the term is going to be or how soon we need to start thinking of chicks and eggs and stuff, and getting our festive on. There’s Mothering Sunday, Pancake Day, Lent, Chinese New Year and National Saints’ Days for David and Patrick. Dear old Saint Valentine has his Day too, and the staffroom ponders his life story and how much if it is true, or not, or which of the myriad versions are the most correct. We come to some kind of conclusion, and then, THEN, someone up pipes that the whole thing was actually something else altogether, and that he might as well have come from Dagenham and been called Dave, and it was all made up by American card manufacturers and chocolatiers, and then we’re in a quandary again until we are distracted by a box of last Christmas’ chocolate biscuits, that were discovered under a pile of scrambled tinsel halos, when they were finally put away by a bored student TA.
We all know that Autumn is meant to be the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, but Spring is when children are most likely to come in from play time gently steaming from the rain, saying they forgot their coats or to put their hoods up. The least said about the mellow fruitfulness produced from noses and throats, the better, but, oh golly, you know a seasoned teaher because they always carry a tissue or four.
One thing I really love about Spring is the light returning to the earth. Hometime gets lighter and lighter, and we’ll hear children outside gadding about on bikes and playing, and annoying the old folks, all too soon. Plants spring into life and the world starts to grow again. Flowers show their faces and trees start to sway and swish, rather than roar and holler in the wind. I am lucky enough to live in a rural county and see the world flourishing around me. Already I have seen lambs in fields and snowdrops and buds ready to burst out. I can’t wait.
In schools too, wherever you are, this is a flourishing season too. I tend to think that the Autumn term is a great term for embedding and building skills that the children need to help them grow, of digging in the nutrients, of giving them what they need. The Spring sees that nurturing continue, the roots going deeper in and strengthening, but those buds of knowledge and skill really start shooting and showing their worth. The children have had time to adjust to what may have been upsettling for them in the autumn – new classes, new year groups, new schools, new towns, change, change, change; just as some plants are moved when they need to grow – and now is their time to fully grow.
And in the Summer term, wow, it only gets better!