I’ve read quite a few #nurture1415 posts over the last couple of days: thoughtful, life-affirming, reflective pieces by people who have important things to say and interesting events to reflect on. They are a hard act to follow but I thought I’d have a go. Nurture-lite, if you will.

On exactly the same date last year, my #nurture1314 post was my first post on my shiny new blog. I haven’t revisited it since, so this provides me with a good opportunity to reflect on what I wanted to achieve at this point last year.

I wanted to spend more time with my son, and I did. He learned to drive and, less than four months after his 17th birthday in the summer, is now driving independently and keeping me awake at night. I wonder if that worry ever goes away?

I wanted to gain the trust of my rescue dog. It took a long time, but we are there now. She’s happy, silly and still very exuberant, but she’s most definitely part of my family now.

I said I wanted to make a positive impact at school, especially with the implementation of the new curriculum. I’ve been given responsibility for learning and teaching, which is an exciting role I now want to take even further.

iPads! We went from the promise of two to the purchase of eighteen within the blink of an eye. I’m still enjoying finding ways to use them to enhance learning.

I wanted to attend a TeachMeet. They seem to be a bit thin on the ground in Shropshire, unfortunately. I was asked to present at one, but it was cancelled.

I said I wanted to go out more. I can still count the number of times I went out this year on my fingers, but I think I need fingers from more than one hand, which is a small step forward.

Running. Running has sort of been superseded by bootcamp, which I now attend 3 times each week, but I’m still plodding away. And I’m pleased to report than I am getting (a little bit) faster and (a little bit) further.

Weightloss is linked to running and bootcamp and again, I’m making steps forward.

I said I wanted to go on holiday and see my sister more. I think a week in Tenerife with my sister ticked both boxes!

I wanted to investigate becoming published. I wonder if articles in ukedchat magazine count?

I said I wanted to take on an ITT student. I did. Next time, I’ll hope the student doesn’t withdraw from placement after two weeks!

I still want to be the best teacher I can be, for every child in my class.

My wishes for 2015:

  • I mentioned last year about making some changes. I am still trying to locate my “bravery” gene, which I think I may temporarily have mislaid. This year’s mission is to find it and use it.
  • I am now fitter than I ever remember being before, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to rest on my laurels. I am going to enter some local mud runs with fellow bootcampers and push myself even further this year.
  • I want to support my son as he develops his independence and moves into the grown up world of work. I will not nag him about changing his mind about going to university this year, and I will try very hard not to insist on a text every time he leaves the house in his car. I’m not making promises on that one, though.
  • I still want to be the best teacher I can be, for every child in my class. My practice is developing all the time, and taking on learning and teaching responsibility in school gives me greater chance to work with others and continue to grow as a teacher.

So, not much change from this time last year. Maybe my end of year report should say, “Must try harder?”


Feeling guilty

I haven’t written a blog post in a very long time. It’s ironic that I am able to find the time to post because I am off work, ill.

Most teachers don’t take sick days. Last week I was sick early on Friday morning morning but still went in to school, where I found out that the headteacher had also been sick that morning. We both dragged ourselves through the day, hanging on to the thought that the next day was Saturday and we could have a rest. One of my colleagues then pointed out on Monday that emailing about planning at 10.30 on the Saturday night did not constitute “a rest”.

I think I’ve got flu – it’s certainly more than a cold – and I spent the day in my classroom yesterday shivering, coughing and finding it increasingly difficult to even walk. I went to bed early, after adjusting my planning for today and emailing it to my TAs, hoping that a night’s sleep would miraculously make me feel better. I woke many times during the night feeling poorly, and realised as my alarm went off at 5.50am that, actually, I could hardly move. I discovered a few minutes later that I have no voice at all.

Reluctantly, I sent a text to my headteacher, apologising and explaining in great detail what the children were supposed to be doing today, where resources could be found, and how to find things on my computer in the classroom. With typical good humour she sent me a text back essentially telling me to shut up and go back to sleep.

I did manage to go back to sleep, but I have woken up over and over, worrying about whether or not all the children’s permission slips have been brought back; whether the Christmas maths activity should have been differentiated more for the less able in the class and extended more for the more able; whether the behaviour of a select few went out the window today in light of the unexpected change to routine…

Now I’m worrying about tomorrow. Will I be well enough to go to school? Should I make a decision tonight and not have to worry about the alarm in the morning or should I decide in the morning and run the risk of leaving cover to the last minute again? I wonder how many other professions feel such guilt at taking one or two days off work, ill?