Sunday, 2 June 2013

#Nurture1213 review

1. Find, what is 'The Holy Grail' for me, which is a better work/life balance.  I have been teaching 10 years and never really got the balance right, as a consequence, my mental and physical health has suffered. 
Hmmm, well Ofsted inspection in December resulting in a Category 4 grading has scuppered this a tad. Must try harder. I have 7 weeks left!
2. Read more pedagogical literature and, more importantly, act upon the advice that speaks to me.  
I have purchased and partially read Zoe Elder's 'Full on Learning' - sorry it's not finished Zoe, it deserves full concentration. Lots to take in. 
Plus Jim Smith's 'The Lazy Teacher's Handbook' - love it, many ideas easy to implement. Am a big fan of the meta: starters, main-courses and desserts. 
3. Establish a Teaching and Learning blog for my department which will have a positive effect on the department's teaching and learning as well as my own. Eventually, I'd like to do the same for the whole school. (Suggestions for names for our Dept' blog very welcome, I am currently stumped.  Advice about how to run it, also welcome).
Update 31/12/12 - @HuntingEnglish and @Eductronic_Net have proffered good advice and offered more for help for this aim.
Right, I set this up a while ago, then Ofsted and depression have left it dangling. I'll motor on this this half term. 
4. To be able to recognise when I am responsible and accountable for my own success, rather than attribute it to luck or other people. Here I need to practice what I preach to my pupils and accept that to 'Fail again. Fail better.' (Beckett) is what leads to success and break the 'mind-forged manacles' (Blake) of my fear of failure. This is one of the many things that will help me see off The Black Dog. 
Some improvement here thanks to my CBT sessions, which have basically trained me not to mentally self-flagellate like some ridiculous martyr. I am being a little kinder to myself. 
5. To learn something entirely new and for utterly selfish and not work related reasons. This will feed my soul much better than I am doing at the moment. I am currently into my 'overdraft' as far as my inner health goes.  This can and must change. I've always like the idea of learning to dance, thank you Strictly Come Dancing.
Update 31/12/12 - Via Joel Hicks' (male model and fundraiser extraordinaire) Facebook page I have got in contact with people who run dance classes. They start the second week of the new year and I don't need a partner to go with me (a big thing that has stopped me before). 
Started Ceroc dancing a term ago. Love it! Great dance to learn and lovely people. It died a death this half term due to, well, exhaustion, but I WILL get back on the dancing wagon ASAP. 
6. To always make time for my friends. I don't always get this right.  I have chosen my friends well and they are wonderful people. Time with them is time very well spent. 
Update 31/12/12 - off to a better start here too. I had a meal with my local friends on Saturday 29th December. Good food, great company and lots of laughter. More of the same needed!

7. To phone my mum more often and be able to tell her how I feel, and to be able to talk about how she feels too.  I contain my feelings and bury them to the extent I can't retrieve them or discuss them with other people, which is to avoid what I think may burden them.  Mum always offers, I'm rubbish at taking her up on it.  
Thankfully an improvement here, we are talking much more openly and I can articulate feelings a little better. Still room for improvement - isn't there always?
8.  Have the courage to make some small, and then big changes in my life.  This may involve getting a shower installed or throwing in the towel of house ownership; meeting new people; buying some more dresses, or even a change of job - by that I mean some form of promotion. This may even involve, with some courage, good luck and a following wind, include my de-singlification (made-up word). 
Update 31/12/12 - Here I have made several marginal gains!

  • Bought and worn dresses to work, for first time in a decade (mentioned above), so come pay day, another dress was ordered!
  • Bought and worn a pair of skinny jeans for the first time. As long as the top is long enough, and heels are worn, they look quite good!
  • I tried scallops, anchovies and fillet steak for the first time when out with my friends (mentioned above).
  • I have had the same hair cut for a good few years. Today I was brave and had a new one. The picture was posted on Facebook on Twitter and I had so many lovely comments!
  • Post #neighbourgate scandal, I blew some insurance money on more new clothes, with colour. More pretty dresses! If only the weather would perk up! 
9. Play my part in helping our new and fabulous Head Teacher in helping to turn our tanker (school) around and onto a better course.  I think she is exceptional and easily the best Head I have ever worked for.  I want to stick around to see how and where she takes us. 
I have stuck around, she's seen us through a very turbulent patch. I have emailed all teachers a 'Teacher's toolkit' of ideas swiped from Twitter and the above mentioned books, 'She said it was brilliant'.  I also delivered my first ever assembly to Yr 11, vibrating with nerves, and she put a lovely thank you card in my pigeon hole the next day. 
10. To be able to use my dolphin like swimming capabilities to good use, in some sort of sponsored, long distance, open water swim or do the swimming leg in a some kind of team triathlon.
Update 31/12/12 @Edutronic-Net and @_MrsThatcher_ have suggested I found out about open water swims on - brilliant, thank you! Now, to get a wetsuit!
Nope, not yet but I HAVE found someone to do an The Great North swim with next year - a lovely AHT who I used to work with. 
11.  Make sure I go back to Pembrokeshire, to visit my friends and bask in what is clearly a jewel of the British Isles.  It was much like going back to Middle Earth's Hobbiton; brim full of the same quirks and charms.
Nope, not managed this yet, but there is still time! 
12. Keep up my girlie days out in Birmingham with my friend Lisa and hopefully come with her down to Cornwall again. It was a heavenly patch in our last Summer holiday. Cornwall was magical and her family were just awesome. 
Update 31/12/12 - Our first one of the year is set for 5th January 2013 before we lurch back to school. Long may they continue!
A definite WIN. Next one is due in mid June. We also went to Dublin together for a long weekend. We didn't bicker once, our friendship was tested and passed! Down to Cornwall with Lisa again in the last week of the summer hols this year too. 
13. To maintain all these many Twitter tweacher relationships I've established so far; continue to share and collaborate with these wonderful people; meet many more and perhaps, just perhaps, find the chutzpah to actually present at a Teach Meet. 
Update 31/12/12 The subsequent blog post documents all the lovely, warm and welcoming invitations I've had from many Tweachers to visit their schools. As Jean-Luc Picard would say - make it so!
Another definite win! I have presented at #TMCoventry and #TMBrum, the latter was the most TERRIFYING as @kevbartle is witness too. Like a lovely big brother I never had, he sat next to me before I presented. I'm convinced he could feel and hear my pulse quicken as the time drew near. I presented without too much Muppetry and then he held my hand as I sat back down, aiding my pulse rate to lower down from 'full blown hysteria' to 'mild panic' then something approaching normality. Next one is #TMEnglish in Leeds next weekend. Gulp. (Note to self, must prepare presentation!)
Again, thanks to Kev, I got HORRIFICALLY drunk at a tweet up we had in the Easter hols in 'sunny' Watford. Beware, I like an arm wrestle when I've had a few.  @ieshasmall @MrPalomar1 and @HeyMisssmith are witnesses. 
Next up and end of term tweet up with @beetlebug1 and a 'we're nearly there' tweet up with @chocotzar. Go me! Thanks Twitter!

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant review with so many positives. you have clearly grown in the past 6 months and have set yourself more 'doable' challenges. I'm pleased that we have met albeit virtually but you keep going girl!