It was interesting to read (I think it was in the Daily Telegraph) that the 20th of June is the happiest day of the year. This is according to a maths formula that has been worked out by a British academic called Cliff Arnall.
Apparently the feeling of optimism caused by the combination of lighter evenings, the prospect of holidays and memories of childhood summers is at its peak on the 20th of June.
He used the formula O + (N x S) + Cpm/T + He (where O stands for being outdoors, N is being with nature, S is socialising with friends, Cpm is childhood positive memories, T is the average temperature (which is now usually warm) and He is holiday expected) to work it out, and the 20th of June came out on top!
What he clearly didn't factor in, was the immense pride (IP) felt by a class full of children who on this very day showed their parents a selection of the things they have learnt during the course of this year as part of their student-led conferences. For us then, the 20th of June must have been even happier than Cliff Arnall imagined! (Note to self; perhaps I should tell him of his omission.)
And so it was that, with the classroom looking uncharacteristically spick and span, parents were invited, amongst other things:
to see a gymnastics display.....
to look at and comment on recent maths and artwork.....
to be taken through the process of how to make the perfect guide book.....
and to handle (most reverently!) the finished articles.....
to compare these with our online map and information about the same place.....
to be read to either from our own writing.....
.....or from our latest reading book.....
to see us practise our handwriting.....
and to be taken through some of our many investigations.....
And just to prove our very high IP rating on the happiness scale, here is a selection of the comments that the children made to me afterwards:
Joe told me: I've had a really good year, especially at the end. I felt really proud when I shared my work with my mum. I was proud when I balanced on one foot on the bar.
Christopher said: In my school year I have been getting better and better. And today I have shown my mum all the stuff which I have been doing. I felt very good about that. She was proud of me too.
Evangeline shared this thought: I have enjoyed class two because it's been fun. Today I liked doing gym at the student led conference. I was proud of when I was on the bars.
Matthew D enthused: Today I felt brilliant because my parents took photos of me and I felt like I was famous. When I started going upside down in gym I felt like I was falling through the air.
Swati excitedly told me: My parents were proud of me and it was my favourite day I've ever had in my life. The best part was when I showed them gymnastics.
Danah was really (really) keen to tell me: I was really really happy today at student led conferences. I saw that my mum was really proud because she was smiling really nicely. The best part I think was when I shared gymnastics.
Patricia rather surprisingly began by saying: My daddy told me he didn't like anything - but he was actually joking! Really he was surprised. My mother she whispered in my ear it was great. Well, I felt very good. The best was when I shared the brochure.
Giulia thought seriously and then said: I felt proud when I had finished everything with my parents and I think my parents are proud of me. I felt shy when I did the gymnastics. The best part was when I shared my brochure.
Naoya articulated: First I was little bit scared but now I am very proud. My dad is so proud. The best is gymnastics.
Justin said emphatically: I had a good time today because I did lots of things like computers and lots of things like that and my mummy was proud of me. I was proud. The best thing was French.
Rekik shared this: I felt really good because my parents came and they really supported me while I was doing gymnastics. They felt great about it. I felt best about showing my parents what I could do in gymnastics.
Per told me: I felt very proud because when my parents saw the gymnastics they gave a comment; they said, 'Very good job'. My best thing was making the needle point to north.
Tanmay was thoughtful: When my parents came I felt happy. I felt as though my parents were saying bravo, bravo to me. They said very good. I enjoyed the best doing gymnastics.
Max arrived at school incredibly excited. When it was all over he explained: My day was really good because it was a special day because it was fun and not like normal days. My best bit was doing gymnastics.
Dangi too found it pretty exciting: Before my parents came I was feeling very excited and when they came I was feeling excited too. My best part was when I went into the gym to do gymnastics. I had only three activities left to do. I felt proud of myself.
Michelle shared this: My parents felt happy at student led conferences. I felt good. The best part was when I showed my yellow unit of inquiry book.
Thumbs up for Matthew W: My mum and my dad felt really good. They did two thumbs up. I felt very good also. The best part was the overhead projector.
And almost the last words from Fiona: Well the best part of today was when I showed my parents gymnastics. I felt a little bit afraid before because I thought everyone was going to make a lot of noise. During it I found that they weren't making a noise so it was OK. And after I felt really good because my mum and dad wanted to see me again doing some things. They said, 'You were really good sweetheart.'
But I am saving the last slot for me (Blogger's prerogative I am afraid).
Student-led conferences are a lot of work, as anyone who has been in any way a part of one will know. But for a teacher particularly, once the hard graft beforehand is out of the way, they are truly an amazing thing to see. One forgets quite how far a class can come during the course of a school year - until the next influx begins in September.
And this year's 'influx' has been rather special. Together we have shared some amazing learning - perhaps as witnessed by what I have posted here these past months!
I will end this now, with the promise (as far as I can make such a thing) that this Blog will remain as it is for years to come; hopefully as something you will refer back to from time to time. Of course, having been bitten by the Blogging 'bug' I will begin anew in September (you read it here first!) It will be found at the same address. I may just give it a new name though; a fresh coat of paint, as it were.