From an academic perspective, the start of September marks the end of both the summer and the passing of one year to the next. I have more than likely blabbered previously about how I have always looked at the year in terms of September to July, rather than the calendar year of January to December: after all, the football cycle utilises these months as starting and end points, so it was natural for me to adapt to the academic one. And so, the summer break is over, which sees an end to some freedom with historical research, but also brings about renewed focus on the history teaching to come. Obviously the idea of being back in the classroom again – after the months of disruption due to COVID-19 – is a delightful one; I will post about the experience once teaching resumes later in the month.

And so, what about that “freedom” of historical research and sight/site-seeing? These months saw a continuation of the old, established series on this blog: the War World Cup (the Americans fighting in the Med in the early 1800s) and the English Monarchs FA Cup (which is coming to the end of the first round).

Furthermore, the usual random articles appeared on differing topics: the Articles of Confederation, the former local (to Plymouth) home of Mount Tamar House, as well as the interesting, somewhat hidden history of Sir William Petre.

Due to the problems caused by COVID-19, I reflected on a couple of issues relating to this and posted about them. This related to a “positive” aspect: the unintended learning / teaching consequences (such as the development of e-learning and digital technology), as well as in the fiasco that was A-level results day in August. The shadow of corona-virus continues to hang over education – as it does over all of society – and no doubt I will write about teaching and learning whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines.

The change from summer to the new academic year is probably best reflected in the post about the end days of the Habsburg Empire; this stemmed from reading up on Habsburgs in relation to growing understanding of the state of the big power players in the years leading up to the outbreak of the First World War. This era is the starting point for learners for the A-level module Democracy & Nazism: Germany 1918-1945, and so any growth of contextual understanding is always helpful.

For now, I will return to my lesson planning for 2020-21. I’ve become quite excited at tweaking a few things and getting back in the classroom: fingers crossed that things will all go to plan.