My dear little blog…

My dear little blog, how I have neglected you! I began only a couple of weeks ago with such great intentions.  Intentions which have soon fallen by the wayside.  The end-of-holiday enthusiasm soon faded away when the school term began again – when I suddenly remembered what it was actually like to be at work; recalled all the hours spent on school work; and reminisced about those holidays so easily forgotten.

But I shall persevere … tomorrow!

Dream Big.

I came across this poem on Mirror Muses page and I just had to share it.  I hope it inspires you at the start of a new week as much as it inspired me.  (And for anyone interested in knowing; yes, I survived Zumba. Just!).


If there were ever a time to dare,

to make a difference,

To embark on something worth doing, it is Now.

Not for any grand cause, necessarily-

but for something that tugs at your heart,

something that’s your aspiration,

something that’s your dream.

You owe it to yourself

to make your days here count.

Have fun.  Dig deep.  Stretch.

Know though, that things worth doing

seldom come easy.  There will be good days.

And there will be bad days.

There will be times when you want to turn around,

pack it up, and call it quits.

Those times tell you that you are pushing yourself,

that you are not afraid to learn by trying.


Because with an idea, determination, and the right tools,

you can do great things.

Let your instincts, your intellect, and your heart

guide you.  Trust.

Believe in the incredible power of the human mind.

Of doing something that makes a difference.

Of working hard.  Of laughing and hoping.  Of lazy afternoons.

Of lasting friends.

Of all the things that will cross your path this year.

The start of something new,

brings the hope of something great.

Anything is possible.  There is only one you.

And you will pass this way only once.

Do it right!

-Author Unknown

To zumba or not to zumba, that is the question!

Thinking back over the summer, there have been many times when I have allowed myself certain treats with the excuse that it was the holidays and that my diet / healthy living can start in September.  Unfortunately however, September is now here and I actually have to do something about it.  There are no two ways about it – I am over-weight and seriously unfit.  It is also rather unfortunate that I am a great fan of food.  I love to eat!

When I got married a couple of years ago, in the few months between our engagement and the wedding, I managed to lose one and a half stone.  I was quite proud of that and really hoped to continue to lose more weight after the wedding.  That didn’t happen however!  Not only did I not lose any more weight, I put back on the weight I had lost… and a lot more! Not good!  So my task now is bigger and even more over-whelming than it was before.

I have to start somewhere so I have signed myself up for a zumba class tonight.  I have never been to zumba before and frankly I am terrified!  Lots of people love zumba and in theory it is the type of exercise I might actually like, but I have no rhythm or co-ordination, and I have problems with my hearing so listening to the instructor in a noisy environment might be challenging.  But apart from that, I’m sure I’ll have a great time! 😉

I’ll let you know if I survive this one…

The best thing in life is… tea!

Today started off brilliantly, but very quickly turned sour.  Literally!  My mood was superb this morning as I had found my Starbucks thermos mug (kindly given to me by an awesome friend) so I excitedly made myself a cup of tea for my train journey into work.  Even though the milk smelt fine and hadn’t been opened long, something must have warned me that all was not well as I took the decision to try the milk before pouring it into my tea. EURGH! YUCK!  It was disgusting! It had definitely turned sour.  It was absolutely vile.  Such a revolting and disappointing start to the morning!  The journey into work seemed to take forever as I was desperate for my cup of tea, but when I finally got there, the tea was the most delicious mug-ful I had ever tasted.  Good things certainly do come to those who wait.

I survived!

As predicted, all back-to-school nerves continued to intensify until the moment the first child walked into the classroom, and then my mind and body automatically switched back into teacher-mode.  Phew! – what a relief!  It was reassuring to know that after 6 weeks off, I could still teach!

When faced with a new class, my Dad and Mum (also former teachers) used to say “Don’t smile ’til Christmas”.  Of course this was a slight exaggeration but the thinking behind it was to not let the children think you were a bit of a soft teacher.  I tried the ‘not smiling’ approach, and I succeeded… for about 30 seconds.  I find it impossible not to smile, especially when greeting and welcoming back a class full of children.  I managed to balance out my personality though, and show that I could be firm too, as I had to give out sanctions to two boys at the end of the day.  The first outing of my ‘I am not angry, I am disappointed’ look was a great success and the boys in question were then hugely apologetic and horrified that they had let themselves, the class and me down.  Result!

I was slightly worried when two children cried after entering my classroom for the first time this morning, but I was hugely reassured when, having calmed them down and made them smile, I over-heard a child who I had taught last year, comforting one of the children and explaining to her that I was ‘not scary and mean like Mr ******’!  Phew!  I am quite happy with the children thinking I’m a bit crazy (my favourite teacher from my own Primary years was rather odd too) but I would be horrified to think that they were terrified of me.  Respect is essential, but fear is certainly not.

So, one more day and then it’s the weekend.  I could do with more weeks like this!

Back to school nerves

So, it’s the evening before the first official day of the new school year, and I am determined to have an early night.  I’m not quite sure why though because I know I won’t get to sleep.  It happens every time; not just at the start of each academic year but also after every holiday (and as we often get reminded, we get a lot of holidays!).  But I must at least try to get a good night’s sleep.

The two training days weren’t as bad as I was expecting.  We managed to get a number of things sorted and looked at quite a few bits of new information (the Ofsted framework is changing AGAIN!), and of course it was lovely to see all of my colleagues again.

There was one slight fly in the ointment though, well, for me anyway.  Every primary school teacher has to be ‘in charge’ of a particular curriculum subject.  As co-ordinator of that area, your role is to advise on how to teach that subject area to a better standard, consider the pupil progress across the year groups, and organise any activities related to that subject, among other things.  I thought that I had been getting on quite well within the subject that I was co-ordinator of, but the school needed to have a shake up so subject co-ordinators changed.  So, my new role is co-ordinator of… *drum-roll*… PE!!!!!

Now, being in charge of PE may not be much of an issue for some people, but those who know me realise how ridiculous this is!  Physical Education is certainly NOT my strong point, to put it lightly.  I am the most unfit member of staff and my expertise regarding exercise and fitness skills is extremely limited.  It’s going to be a challenge, to say the least!  But somehow the subject got dumped on me because nobody else wanted it.  Being nice certainly doesn’t pay.

But moving onto tomorrow… Even though I am nervous about the start of a new term, I am also incredibly excited.  I don’t know what this academic year will bring for my class, me or my life, but I am certainly looking forward to finding out!

To school and back again: A teacher’s tale.

Well, here goes. This is my first ever blog. I am a bit nervous to be honest, not knowing who might read it (if anyone!), and not knowing where this blog might take me.

It is Monday 27th August – a bank holiday – and tomorrow I will be returning to school after a lovely 6 week summer break.  During the first week of my ‘holiday’, I spent a few days in school, sorting out the classroom and preparing it for next year.  The week after I spent a few days planning and preparing the next year’s work.  Although I have just realised that I haven’t put it onto our school planning system for the other teachers to see.  Oh dear, I’m not even back at school and I may be in trouble already!

Tuesday and Wednesday will be teacher training days.   The government states that a school must have 3 training days fixed by the local authority, and 2 others that are taken at a time suitable for the school, and may also be split into twilight sessions.  Our two days this week are some of the compulsory training sessions.    They are normally more like extended staff meetings but a lot longer.  It is unlikely to be any particular training as such, and more of an opportunity to give us lots of  information and to put the fear of Ofsted back into us.  Oh the joy. I am looking forward to it already.  Even though sarcasm doesn’t come across very well in writing, I think the sarcasm in the last comment was quite clear!

The children will return to school on Thursday, which I am looking forward to and dreading in equal measure.  Actually, scrap that last comment – I’m not dreading it at all but it is natural after a long summer break to wish that the holiday could continue forever.  And before you shout at your computer screens and think that I am complaining that teachers don’t get enough holidays, I most certainly am not!  Having worked out of the education system for a couple of years (more of that later), I fully understand how precious holiday is and I also fully appreciate how lucky I am to get so much holiday.  But no-one likes returning to their job after a holiday, do they?  The bit I love most about teaching is being with my class, encouraging them, expanding their horizons of learning etc, but unfortunately there is far too much BS and paperwork in teaching these days.  Anyway, back to my class!

I will have a class of 33 Year 3 / 4 children (7 – 9 year olds).  We keep the children for 2 years, so those about to start in Year 4 will have already been taught by me for a year and I know them quite well.  The other half of the class however, will be completely new to me.  I am sure that you will get to know them well too, along with me, over the next few months.  I will not, of course, refer to them by name.  It is always exciting at the beginning of the year because it is a new and fresh start, with a new class dynamic and the beginning of your year ahead with them.  I am sure that at some point in the coming week someone will say ‘Time will fly by and before you know it, it’ll be the end of the academic year’.  Every year someone says it and every year we think it is such a ridiculous thing to say.  As the year goes by, we will think back over it and consider how long away each holiday is.  But, sure enough, every year it gets to July and we wonder where the past year has gone!

Anyway reader, I have realised that I have been blathering (don’t you just love that word?!) on for quite a while without actually saying much at all.  You will find that I will do that a lot in this blog, as it is what I tend to do in conversation in real life.  But I shall sign off now before you lose the will to live.  I wonder if anyone will actually have read this by the time I write my next entry?  I am slightly concerned that it might just be too silly or too boring for people to be interested in!  Or that people might judge my daftness.  Then again, those who know me well, also realise that I am completely daft and they love me for it.  Or so they say.  I want the freedom to say things that I want to say and be completely honest about things.  But I may not! We shall have to see!

So, ta-ta for now!