Wake up to extended email conversation about the evils of extended email conversations. It appears that where once abuse of the whole staff email group address was A Major Cause For Concern, this has been replaced by the inexplicable and unfortunate habit of people using ‘reply all’ as a default action. Tempted to suggest this is merely a result of Summer Holiday Syndrome (also known as Being Relaxed) amongst some colleagues but resignedly know this not to be the case. Reminded again about yesterday’s inner voice screaming at others to edit their thoughts before opening mouths and am forced to admit that perhaps the concept of Thought Before Action is a thoroughly old-fashioned one and that I am a relict of a time that passed without me noticing.

Thoughts meander into avenues of communication in general and of Time Before Email. Consider that if we banned email then we could all go back to illegibly scribbled notes stuffed in pigeon-holes. Recall the frustration at passing through staff room during the week and seeing un-attended piles of missives crammed into colleagues’ allocated slots and therefore forced to conclude that the issue is not one of ‘technology’ but one of effective working habits.

Consider writing paper about Effective Working Habits for distribution at next leadership meeting. Decide it would be an inefficient use of my time, especially since it is still officially Summer Holiday, and instead spend rest of morning in the garden re-reading an old Austen. Beside me M sighs about How Autumnal It All Feels and I am forced to agree. The Scottish schools seem to have the right idea about having their Summer break when it still feels vaguely like Summertime, whilst we English persist in trudging on, working through the finest weather and then only finally decamping for a holiday once the days grow shorter and the nights cooler. Grudgingly accept that to most people who already think teachers live an easy life of Long Holidays and Extravagantly Rewarding Pensions this may seem like Sour Grapes. No intention, however, of changing my opinion.

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