It must be summer time - the Leaving and Junior Certificate exams start today. Despite the wet weather we have been having recently, the coverage of the start of the exams and the multitudes of advice being given - tells us all that summer is on the way. At the National College of Ireland exams were over a couple of weeks ago and should be most graded by now - again, a feeling of summer is in the air. Secondary school teachers are already off for the summer, with primary schools soon to follow. My summer holidays officially begin on 25th June, but for the next three weeks I am basically done for the 2018/2019 academic year.
June is a weird month for an academic - no classes and no exams to grade. Many of my third-level colleagues are writing papers and attending Conferences, but I am done with all that. Academic freedom is great - while there will be some work to do (we are reviewing some programmes), I hope to be able to do some planning for the next academic year. I will take the time to look back over some of my on-line class recordings - there's definite room for improvement here. I normally teach Project Management in the first semester - my module notes and resources definitely need updating. Throughout the academic year it almost always feels like there's a deadline every day - it's nice to get some quiet time during the year.
This past academic year was my 17th year in the College, and of course marks the completion of 34 semesters. I look forward to my 18th year which, though I'm not done yet, may very well be my last. I will reflect on the past year in a later post.
For all students starting the Junior and Leaving Cert exams today - good luck!