Don’t touch the clocks just yet

Thank you to everyone for their work this week. Even though it has been a slightly shorter four-day week I have absolutely no doubt that you have wedged in five days of work – the staff certainly have. We are well and truly into the rhythm of the year right now and the summer must feel like a distant memory. And this is marked by the autumnal equinox, set for this evening; that moment where we have 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night time. But, as you know, we’re going in the wrong direction and so as every day passes from now until December the nights get a little longer and the days a little shorter. And with that comes cooler, then colder weather. With that comes breezy, then windy weather. It may not be wet but we are much more likely to have damp, dank day.

I’m generally a glass half full person and, as a consequence, I don’t really mind as the seasons shift to autumn and then on into winter. It’s not that I prefer these seasons, necessarily, it’s just that it just feels right to have that natural annual rhythm. I’m not sure I could live in a climate which was pretty similar, day in and day out, throughout the year. There is something quite special about wrapping up against the cold, especially when we have clear blue skies on crisp cold days.

For all of us working in education, the autumnal equinox does clearly mark that we are back at work and any residual positivity, following our summer travels may well be dissipated somewhat. But that’s okay too. We’re all allowed to feel that this coming period is more challenging. That challenge is something to embrace. We know that our children and young people are back with us and the overwhelming majority of them are absolutely delighted to be back working with us, sitting alongside and meeting their friends. When our children and young people do not have that daily input from their teachers their lives are a little less complete. They really do want to be in school and college. They really do want to work with us. Even though, just sometimes, they may not show us or tell us that.

As we move into the autumn months it’s really important that we all retain our positivity. The children and young people we work with need that from us all; all adults, be that parents, carers, teachers or our support colleagues. If we are glass half full, actually positive and upbeat, they pick up on that and they will then be lifted by that positivity. And, as a consequence, their work, their approach and their general demeanour will be that bit more positive, engaged and they are infinitely more likely to be focused and motivated.

‘Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.’ George Eliot

Unlike other celestial events the autumnal equinox is not widely celebrated. Maybe we should all take some time this weekend just to reflect upon these moments, our return to work and the good days, if not warm days, ahead. Whatever you’re doing this weekend I hope it is enjoyable.