I have totally loved reading all of the #nurture1314 posts – especially from people I have connected with on Twitter. I have enjoyed them so much I felt I should write my own, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed reading the other posts; which have been such an inspiration for mine.
1) My family, never ending support, constant hugs, smiles and laughs
2) An extension from no. 1 – my Mum. I could not have made it through the last 5 years and two small children without her. She has taken partial retirement from work, and now works part time – 9.30 am to 2.30pm so she can do the school run for my son and 2 nephews. She is the first point of call whenever I am stuck, worried, harassed, or upset. She is the main carer when one of the children are ill – I swear, I never realised how ill small children are – and how often. Mum is the main reason I do not miss very much of school. She has even rearranged meetings, gone in at 6am etc just to help me with a sick child, and make sure I do not miss my classes.
3) My son had a rocky time settling into school during Sept 2012. He is now in Yr 1 and (thankfully) settled much better. He is finally seeing the point of learning and is having a great time reading and writing. Don’t get me wrong – I think he is like a lazy teenager, and will read or write the absolute bare minimum, but it is a massive step up from last year (when he wouldn’t even pick up a pen). He is starting to show a love of history, and came home animated after a topic on Guy Fawkes. It made me smile knowing that it was the gruesome parts of the story which captivated him – as I see a lot of myself here (The Tower of London is one of my fave places). He has asked for books on The Great Fire of London – and I can’t wait to read to him about the Plague. Reading with Sam has been a real highlight. We love reading together and I am so proud of him – he has moved up 2 reading levels in less than a month recently.
4) Something school related now – I had an SLT and an Ofsted inspector in my lesson on the 19th Sept. I knew about this, and planned carefully. The head later told me the inspector had said it was one of the best lessons he’d ever seen. I was really pleased with this, and it still makes me smile to think about it – even though I have lost count of the awful lessons since – it still keeps me going. SLT came back in the room towards the end of the lesson, gave me a hug and a high five. Love our SLT, they are very supportive, encouraging and caring.
5) Our school – I am very lucky to work with some amazing, innovative and talented teachers. They continually inspire and I continue to love working there. The students are also amazing and lovely young people. They make me smile everyday and make my work so worthwhile.
6) No more TLR – I made a decision over a year ago to step down from my pastoral responsibility (Asst Head of Upper School). When I discussed this with my line manager she asked me to stick it out, just one more year – and I am working it now. Just one more year. I will teach more, I will have more time to plan, I will spend more time in the classroom.
7) CPD sessions – This year I have been asked to lead a series of twilight sessions on creative teaching. I have loved doing this – I am planning my third of five sessions at the moment, and loving it. I love the research aspect of our jobs – the fact that there is no end keeps me motivated.
8) I am really quite proud of the fact that I have set up the 9picsaday.blogspot.co.uk #artcubed blog. The fabulous art teachers I have met on twitter keep it going – I am admin. I really am quite chuffed that I even knew HOW to create another blog – as this one seemed like a fluke. I am really not very computer savvy, but am managing to keep my head above water.
9) A letter I received during the summer from a parent. It made me smile, and made all the rubbishy stuff seem worthwhile. The line ‘teachers like Mrs Baker make a difference to childrens’ lives’ was the best, and kept me cheered for the rest of the year.
10) Twitter – having tweeted since June, I have thoroughly enjoyed it, got so much from it. The people I meet are a constant source of inspiration and encouragement – thank you to all I have chatted with (and stole from).
11) The Yr 13s from last academic year – we called the ‘The magic 7’. They really were. Loved every single second of teaching them, some I have taught since Yr 7. Very talented, keen, funny and lovely girls. Thank you.
12) Time spent on personal reflections – I have come to realise I do not need to be perfect in order to keep going. I am very much enjoying the process; and failure no longer scares me. In fact, I do it quite well now. I learn more from it than successes. Painful sometimes, yes, but I am a better person for it.
13) Pushing it to find 13 things now – so I will say time management is better, marginally better than last year. I stick to deadlines, and even got my Yr 11 reports finished a whole 4 days early last month.
Now for 14 things I would like to do this year:
1) My trusty, everlasting ‘lose weight and eat less chocolate’ will have to be number one – it is every single year, then gets shoved to the back by about the 2nd week of Jan (if I’m lucky)
2) I will try to speak my mind more – I am all too willing to smile and nod along (even if I don’t agree) to avoid an argument or discussion.
3) I will go to my first Teachmeet – I have 2 planned; Pedagoo London (where I am excited to meet @pennyprilesky and @leedsartteacher) and Northernrocks 2014. Looking forward to both.
4) I will not fret over things I cannot change. I was diagnosed with androgentic alopecia in Jan last year. Basically, I will lose my hair, a gradual thing, but it’ll go. I cried myself to sleep that night. I wallowed in self pity for about 10 hours. I hated every single second of it, and vowed never to feel like that again. I will go bald, yes – but I do not have a life threatening illness, my children are healthy – and I can buy a wig; or 20. I have remarkably short hair anyway – so a few inches shorter won’t kill me. This has made me rather sad; but I refuse to let it define me, or worry about it until it fully happens anyway.
5) Make the most of my ‘Embedding Quality Leadership’ course. I have an awful habit of reverting back to a sulky teenager at the back of training courses; must stop this, and pay attention.
6) Make the most of my class teaching – from Sept I will have given up my TLR pastoral responsibility, to allow me more time to hone my teaching. I love the actual teaching part – and miss the opportunity to focus on it during my frees (which are taken up with attendance issues/statistics).
7) Be a better Mum. I get by (by the skin of my teeth) at the moment. Book bags are hurriedly packed as we run out of the door; letters are often missed, costumes are made the night before. This has made me terribly sad the last year – I spend so much time and effort on other people’s children, the least I can do is afford my own children the same.
8) Wear something other than black to work. hmmmm not sure this one will be a goer – but I can at least try.
9) Enjoy my spa day (birthday treat booked for 16th Feb). Think solely about chocolate cake, champagne and pedicures, and not feel guilty. I will readily accept this challenge.
10) I will have a little more restraint at work. I will not jump about like an excited child, especially when I detect an ‘eyeroll’.
11) I will continue to save money – I have just started doing this, and am enjoying it. A lot. Terribly grown up of me.
12) Keep being inspired by the amazing things people post on Twitter.
13) Finish crocheting the kids’ blankets. Seriously – this is an important one. I have had them on the go since being pregnant with Nancy (she starts school in September). The are to go on their beds, massive wide stripes of colours. They are nearly done – I will complete them this year.
14) Get to bed at a decent hour, eat lunch everyday, stop eating the kids’ leftovers, do more housework. I will stop swigging Coke Zero straight from the bottle. Fret the small stuff less. Smile more, have more fun.