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The busiest time

It was at precisely 11.07 p.m. last night that I remembered, with slight horror, that I was due to write something for our blog today. I had actually been thinking about it since Pan’s post last week, but the busyness of the past 24 hours had put it completely out of my mind.

As to what to write about…

…I listened to a fascinating radio discussion on Tuesday about caffeine – how children are perhaps consuming too much of it (many students skip breakfast and have an ‘energy’ drink instead before school) and what its possible side effects are (interestingly no studies have yet been done on this – but one has to think if caffeine can disrupt sleep patterns and trigger panic attacks in adults, surely the effects will be magnified in children?).

…Members of the NUT were striking yesterday over performance related pay, pension changes and excessive workloads. I always think that union members are very lucky they get the chance to strike if they are not happy about something; most workers have no say in how they are treated, and if they are not happy, they have to leave their jobs. However, teaching is such a key profession that it’s paramount teachers are treated well – if the package is made unappealing, no one will enter the profession and there will be no one to teach our children.

However, these issues melt away when I consider the most crucial question of all: will Dan be able to take on the student I offered him yesterday? Will his diary allow him to accommodate the exact timings I have specified without moving anything even by half an hour? Because if he can, I will be able to present my client with the most perfectly constructed timetable that will ensure his son has the support he needs to revise his maths, economics and philosophy over the holidays.

The Easter holidays are our busiest time of the year: many students will be approaching this break with trepidation as it won’t be a time for them to kick back and relax, but a time for them to knuckle down and start the final push towards their exams. We have spent the last three months constructing tuition schedules that would have the programmers of Tetris impressed. We have tutors starting first thing (one tutor is teaching at 5 a.m. – admittedly online so supposedly he could teach from his bed) and carrying on well into the evenings.

We wish all of you revising over the next two months the best of luck. And if you do have the support of a tutor, we hope that they will be able to encourage and motivate you over this pressured time.

Lucy Cawkwell

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