Over the summer there were several days where I literally didn't get up from the sofa until about 7pm. As above, I find it hard to organise my own day when so many hours are undecided for you. Perhaps I'm conditioned by such a strict timetable of the working day, that I just don't know what to do without one. I much prefer holiday-days with different errands in different places, because then I can slot jobs and tasks amongst the structure that is already forming for me. Having said that, my return to school has started with a great return to running in the mornings. Thank you for everyone encouraging me. I know the photos are annoying everyday at 5am, but they hold me accountable, and your support means the world.
The #TeachingHero team is growing, and I would like to encourage you to read their posts from the weeks gone by! There are still some weeks left, and if you want to have a post all of your own, get in touch! I think it's important we promote those spreading positive messages, rather than listening to complainers constantly. Negativity is equally contagious, and we just can't afford the effect.
I'm back to trying to read as much as possible. At the moment, my class and I are studying 'Sky Hawk' by Gill Lewis and we are LOVING IT! It's actually given me ideas for further posts later. Saying that, I also have a bunch of other books to read. I'll review them as usual later on.
This month I would like to recommend that you sign up for Smiling Mind. It's an Australian site that has LOADS of mindfulness resources and guided meditations, all organised by age group, split into courses. It runs itself, and it's ideal for using in class. Check them out!
What strategies do you use to manage workload and protect your well being?
Set a cut off point for work and stick to it. Use @fit2teachapp to monitor wellbeing and identify patterns. My school facilitates joint planning time which saves hours of work. I was amazed when I found out that not everywhere does it.
What advice would you give anyone who felt like giving up?
Contact the Education Support Partnership @EdSupportUK . They have trained counsellors who can really support you. Don't struggle on alone.
Sum up our profession in 5 words.
No two days the same.
Looking back now, the mistakes were clear:
All considered, I'm so pleased it happened. It was a necessary step in my journey that I most certainly learnt from. All mistakes are.
When browsing through various feeds that we so happily gorge on, likely torturing ourselves, please remember that it might not be all you see. They too would have had a bad day, a terrible lesson. Their airy-fairy quotes and wise tweets may have got a tonne of likes, but they still have a pile of marking they're ignoring, or are nervous about a meeting tomorrow.
We all have imperfections.
Just this week, undeniably the prompt for this post, I came to the haunting realisation that I was trying to cover too much, too soon. For those in the know, I've gone to Year 6, from Year 5. It's a blessing and a curse, because you're aware of the exact coverage of the previous year: often a topic of contention for the new teacher. However, it became clear to both my Year Partner and I, that we have expected far too much in the first two and a half weeks of our time together. An extensive list of Success Criteria for our first pieces of writing, should have at least been revision on the itemised features first, before any expected application. I fear I've skimmed some important steps. I actually sat my class down to apologise for the pace at which we have been moving, finally taking note of their panicked expressions. This isn't to say, however, that they haven't risen to the challenges set. I still believe in high expectations, and have been exceptionally proud of their efforts. It was a lapse in judgement as I moved away from my fundamental beliefs around teaching in a stepwise, specific manner to ensure understanding over an obsession with coverage. Process over performance always.
Although there are many jokes about the laziness of students these days, you must understand that you're within a certain percentage of the population because you are deemed to have the capability to achieve something they're offering you. Do everything within your power to reduce the prevalence of such stereotypes. Choose the right time to knuckle down, and tell people you've done so. We know that an embarrassing club story is usually more entertaining, but don't put yourself down by pretending that's all you do. Celebrate the library too!
Even if you go on to further study, you're only going to do this for the first time once! Make the most of it, both professionally and personally. Make close friends from all walks of life and create memories that you'll laugh about forever. Enjoy yourself and tell people all about it. It'll be difficult at times, because I firmly believe, if you're doing it right, your university days will actually be the busiest time of your life. For now at least...
The fourth year of teachmrn.com is upon us, so it's time to show you my classroom! Due to some back end programming, last year's post never reached you, but you can catch the previous years here and here.
The finished product (although is a classroom EVER really complete?) is below. But one question remains, how long will the desk stay tidy?