If you’re lucky, summer is a time for looking outwards, for escaping the close scrutiny of the working week and allowing yourself to breathe. A time for seeing the big picture, spending long nights with family and friends, relaxing. I’m a complete sucker for a view, and the summer holidays are the perfect time to kick back and take one in if you are fortunate enough to get the chance. Whether it’s a beach, a river, the ocean, a mountain range, a bustling city, a desert island – whatever floats your boat and your wallet allows – any view that isn’t our usual one draws us out of ourselves and our worries and gives us space and time to think. All too soon, the summer will be over, and we will be back into the minutiae of our daily lives. I grip onto the view like a drowning woman, at the moment when I must leave it. Just let me stay one more moment. I promise I won’t be long.
The way that you set up your classroom creates a view for your children, that much is inevitable. Most of the time, you’ll want them to focus on you and what you’re saying or doing – that’s mainly how teaching works. But if you have a great view (or maybe a rubbish one), this can also offer up its own opportunities. The amazing thing about teachers is that they have a habit of knowing what will work best for their children (if only we would trust them more than we seem to at the moment). If you were studying the history of the railway, and you had a train line outside your window, of course you would take the time to look at it. If you taught three year olds, and you had trees on your doorstep, the natural thing would be to go and explore them. Taking a moment to stare at the view and wonder what is going on in it, is part of how we all operate as human beings – we are all just looking out and wondering what the hell is going on. Whatever your classroom is like this year, I hope that you have a great time in it. And I very much hope that you get a view with your room.