Want a go-by when preparing your next staff memo?
You could do worse than copy the homework assignment given out by beloved Mrs. Thom of Buckleberry School in Reading, England.
Her 10 and 11-year-old students were about to enter Test Week, a particularly terrifying phase of the school year when they have to take standardized national exams. It seems British children are as test-stressed as Americans, with surveys showing 90% of them felt pressure to do well on the exams. The backlash campaign “LET our KIDS be KIDS” has staged classroom walkouts.
In the center of this pressure cooker is kindly Mrs. Thom of Buckleberry Primary. How did she react to all this?
She sent her students the following assignment:
“We are now in the last couple of days before SATs and it is vital that you use your time this weekend wisely. This is your homework for this weekend. Please complete as many of these activities as possible and tick to say they have been done:
- Go on a bike/scooter ride
- Read a book
- Watch your favourite TV program
- Eat Haribo
- Spend time with people you love
- Laugh until your tummy hurts
- Go outside and enjoy the weather
- Go for a swim or a walk
- Spend time on your favourite hobby
- See friends
- Run until you just can’t anymore
- Have more Haribo or ice cream
- Cook or make something
- Play in your garden
- Do something you have never done before
If you feel you have to, you may revise, BUT you can only do this for a maximum of one hour total.
REMEMBER: Mrs. Thom is in charge of worrying – you don’t need to. You are all amazing and I couldn’t be more proud of you. Have a fabulous weekend.”
Be The World’s Favourite Boss
The assignment was posted to Facebook and the rest is viral history.
There are lots of reasons to love this, starting with the use of “tick” to mean “make a checkmark,” and the fact that Mrs. Thom is actually instructing her students to go home and watch TV.
How about circulating an “assignment” like that in your office? What would happen? My guess is you’d be hoisted on shoulders and paraded around the office like the hero that you are.