It’s been a busy day, and my notebook is missing. This is not good 😦

Period 1 the library has no classes booked, so I spend some time researching sources for the death of Henry, Stuart, Lord Darnley, the second husband of Mary Queen of Scots. We’re planning a cold case for the upper school Scottish Studies class, and we want it to be as realistic as we can. It’s a great story for research because there is no definitive answer, there’s plenty to sink your teeth into, and we can demonstrate that human foibles have existed for a long time. The House of Stuart are their own soap opera, so let’s share it with the masses.

It’s also incredibly complicated, and there isn’t enough time to work through everything, so we’re trying to focus on the main points to create a relatively straight route through the chaos. And for each of those main points we need a source for which we create guide questions. The point is to encourage pupils to judge the reliability of a source, primary or secondary, and use that evidence to synthesise a plausible solution to the murder of Henry Stuart.

My notebook contains pages of links, questions, timeline, mind-map connected with the case and now it’s gone missing.

Period 2, and I’m introducing another second year English class to the delights of Challenge X. Just like yesterday’s troops, they aren’t impressed with it at all to begin with. I’m particularly pleased though that they quickly grasp the point and get stuck in, offering new ways of completing each challenge, and realising the benefits of having a book to go along with it!

As usual, we have the ‘books are good’ discussion and as usual, the arguments that ‘I don’t read’ but there’s no malice in it. There is a willingness to try, and far fewer attempts to get out of it than they did a year ago during the Reading Trail. Whether this is because they know neither I nor the teacher will budge, or because they trust us more, I don’t know, but it’s lovely to see them jump into the catalogue, swm through the records and come out the other end with a book gripped between their teeth – metaphorically.

My notebook contains all the details of who’s working with who, and what challenges they’ve set for themselves, and now it’s gone missing.

Tutor time I spend adding material to blogs and e-mails, and after interval is the Interdisciplinary Learning class. The class gets settled, the teacher and I agree some minor changes to our plan of work, I collect more material, and attempt to download a PDF for the benefit of a couple of numpties looking up the Internet Movie Database instead of Lanarkshire Tourism – five minutes to download a small PDF!

The last class before lunch is first year. Back to the Reading Trail, with me attempting to simultaneously demonstrate mind-mapping and issue books to the class. Managed it – just – but it’s taken almost every ounce of concentration available to me. However, I do notice how many of the brand new books that were added to the shelves last night have already been grabbed for borrowing.

At lunchtime, we’re discussing part-time jobs with some senior students – how to deal with people ordering double cheeseburgers then being upset because they contain cheese – and the teacher I’m expecting 5th period pops in to cancel.

Excellent, I can get more books prepped for the shelves and get the press release written. I just need my notebook, which is right … actually, where’s my notebook?

Seriously, where’s my notebook?????

Now instead of having an afternoon of catching up, I lose an hour tracking down staff from earlier to check that they haven’t accidentally lifted it, hunt through boxes, and drag through my memory of when I saw it last (period 2 to be precise).

I even miss And Now This as I churn through ever more frustrating piles of paper looking for a single very specific collection of spiral-bound papers. Many of the excessive papers do get binned – can’t believe how much junk staff and pupils print and then abandon – but a lot has to go back into other piles as I get ever more desperate.

I remind myself that the sellotape was invisible to me yesterday when it was merely blocked from view by my own elbow, and hope that the notebook will also re-appear by magic tomorrow.