@jillberry started this when she challenged – or should I say goaded!! – me when I said I couldn’t face updating this blog as Id’ done nothing. Her view was that I’d probably done more than I thought and so I had a quick look. And, do you know what? I think she might be right although some of it seems like a swizz as bits of it are more a wish list than things I could actively do. Still….
- I yearned for my son to have a successful interview for a TA post…and he did. Wonderful achievement for him after a long disheartening period in his life.
- I was pleased with my classes’ exam results to date – and they’ve improved. All of one group have achieved C+ and 80% of them have achieved B+ in English language while my amalgamated group of C/D borderliners all now have at least a C+. Well done them – they have one of the important “golden keys”. Let’s hope their literature results match next week.
- The IT tecchies continue to love me and are downcast that I am dropping to 4 days from September.
- Terrific T (subject of another blog) got a D with me from a standing start of absolute zero and an opening statement of “I can’t read”! We await her IGCSE result and hope for a magic C.
- I’ve been working with a fabulous group of young, brilliant AHTs who are also Faculty leaders. They re-generate me and have worked wonders within the school as a whole. This goes from strength to strength.
- I found Twitter – finally. And I almost lost my entire life to it as I looked at just one more Tweet! I enjoy it and like the blogging when I can overcome my sloth and actually write something!
- I was thrilled at actually meeting someone I follow on Twitter – David Didau, The Learning Spy – and still am. Now it’s great when someone well-known responds to a Tweet. I’ve had a few!!
- I did my first blog and I’m still going strong although it’s true to say I’m a tiny little mini-beast in the great blogging jungle!
- Our new school building should have a mention here. It’s up and we’re in it. It was hard work and quite traumatic and I was right – it’s not big enough!!
10. In the original blog I wrote “Loving my job has to feature here. I’ve been doing this for a long time now – when I look at Twitter I feel I may be like something from the Dark Ages compared to what seem to be the bright young things on there! But the thing is, I still love it. I still feel enlivened by it. I still feel full of enthusiasm and curiosity and a desire to keep learning about this craft of ours. I feel privileged every day that I am a teacher and I’m not prepared to let Gove and his Forces of Darkness spoil that for me!” If anything this gets stronger the closer I get to the day I hang up my chalk.
- One great thrill for me was paying off my mortgage! I have had and lost houses and probably paid enough in interest charges to buy a property in London. It was a long slog for me to finally pay off my mortgage. Now, I can hardly believe that I am poised to buy and apartment in the village in Spain where my dad lives!!! And yes, it is a blog on its own.
- I wrote about our town’s first Literacy and Ideas Festival and I’m pleased to say I now have an enduring friendship with Ikram Butt and The White Ribbon Campaign as a result. Even better we are having another festival this October.
- The rugby club continues to thrive and turned a profit for last year – a massive achievement. Sadly we will be relegated thanks to a change of league structure but we are confident we can get straight back up again.
So that lot looks great. Now for the 14…
My 14 – in no particular order
- “Do my best to make the new building work for everybody- no easy task but essential. Some areas have gained greatly and some have lost hugely we need to look for equilibrium.” This proved difficult at first –ironically for me more than most! To be fair, I was having to move not only classroom but floor practically every lesson and fulfil a full roster of duties – basically every morning, break and lunchtime!! We are overcrowded, there are not enough classrooms and people are having to teach in all sorts of nooks and crannies, the much-vaunted air circulation system doesn’t seem to work on the top floor which is unbearably hot, stale and fetid. We are to have some additional building so these things should ease over the next few months.
- “Working with colleagues to design a new curriculum for KS3 will be hard work but exciting and worthwhile. It’s long overdue.” Our little group of five has done this and, after a lot of heartache, blood, snot and tears, we’ve made brilliant progress. We are going for a much more challenging and enriching curriculum and not before time.
- “Working with my Assessment focus Group to design new assessments now we have no levels is a priority and links with number 2. Exciting.” This proved quite hard to do and needed a lot of thinking! The same group has worked hard on assessment post-levels and we are pleased with what we’ve come up with – we just have to make it work now!!
- “Working out how to deal with the new accountability measures without putting undue pressure on the staff while keeping us off Ofsted’s radar is a must!. Enough said!” We’re still working on this but we have been helped by the changes Ofsted has already made to their framework – as well as the appointment of a new Deputy Head with a brief for standards who is already working on these issues.
- “Continuing to work with our bright young Assistant Heads before they inevitably move on to Deputy Headships – sigh.” I’m still doing this although one has already moved on – he’s the new Deputy mentioned above. One also applied for the job and will inevitably move on during the course of this year. She’s too good to stay anchored at AHT level.
- “Oh alright then – I want to lose weight. I’ve been saying this for about three years but I really need to do this.” After spending most of the year trying to persuade myself on this one, I did have quite a bit of success and lost 5 pounds. Sadly this was right before I came away on holiday so the losses are now gains I suspect. Isn’t it hard though when there are so many lunches and teas to be had out with friends????
- “Fervently hoping for the demise of Gove and his right hand man Wilshaw.” Job half done!! Although I can’t claim personal credit for this, more’s the pity!!
- “Helping AJ to find a job which will enable him to have his independence and self-respect back will be a challenge but after nearly 4 years of limited employment it is vital.” He did it!
- “Watching the re-generation of my town and seeing it grow and flourish.” It’s well under way and I’m hopeful the town will once again flourish.
- “Improving my Spanish and not copping out because I’m tired!” Erm no – not yet!! Although being in Spain does improve mu usage.
- “Finishing the bloody mystery blanket! This is a knitting project I started 3 years ago but have yet to finish because of time and the inability to do Swiss darning! How hard can it be?” Not yet. However, from September I will have an extra day to do my own thing so my first project is the mystery blanket. I have an added incentive as in December I will be gaining a genetic granddaughter – who may be called Peggy, although I’m hoping not! – and so I have a recipient for the blanket.
- “Working to ensure my rugby team don’t get relegated after all the hard work last season. It won’t be easy but we will leave no stone unturned in the quest.” We will be relegated probably only because of a change in the league structure, which is very annoying. I think we can still be proud of what we have achieved.
- “Taking more exercise by doing more walking and dusting off the bike I haven’t seen for the last two years! And when I try and excuse myself I will think of Tim Taylor and his inspiring, humbling blog and get my carcass into gear.” No! However, I have done a lot of swimming. Whilst in Spain I am swimming about 1500 metres a day and I swim a lot at home. The bike can be dusted off when I get back home and need to shift the holiday weight! Makes Tim’s dedication look even more impressive.
- “Weaning us all off ready meals and having more home cooked ones instead. Started that one already. Well done me!” No! Maybe I’ll get round to it when I have an extra day a week to ply with. I’m just not a cooking sort of girl – it’s lonely in that there kitchen!
So there it is. A bit of a mixed bag but as @jillberry102 suggested, I have done more than I thought.