First full week back at school, and one parents' evening under the belt already. I had such a proper holiday that my plans to mark a few books each day were forgotten by the third day, and so on the first day of term I turned up quite unprepared and not really ready to get into the swing of things at all. I was squinting at my planner every half an hour trying to remember what I was supposed to be doing, and dashing to the photocopier to duplicate some hastily found worksheets for the next lesson. Still, it seemed like I wasn't the only one. Being tenth in line for the copier gives you a chance to study the drawn faces of colleagues.
The new year has started with a couple of exclusions already, a confirmed pregnancy in year 10, and new graffiti on the walls. It seems the kids get back into the swing of things a lot quicker than us.
But what I do have at the start of term is a lot more patience than I do towards the end. Opinions shouted out in lessons are not necessarily rude interruptions, as I would see them in a few weeks' time, but enthusiastic responses and a chance to start a debate.
However what the first full week back has also brought are a batch of new and pressing deadlines - for report writing, exam marking, and the looming coursework deadlines... suddenly the holidays are a distant memory...