Dreams and wishful thinking.

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My last 2 posts just show how close to the edge i was over my career. I have wanted to teach for years, which is odd because school wasn’t somewhere I ever loved being. I went to see friends and I coasted. My dream was to play sport, model, travel the world or be a hippy with a camper van and live by the sea, all very different. I had no drive to study or do well in exams as i felt they were pointless. I loved history, geogrpahy and parts of English the rest of the lessons were boring. I liked parts of primary school-especially the sporty bits. I still find exams pointless and a waste of time but I like teaching. I like the fact that often each day brings something new or different, I enjoy making the children smile and feel that they belong and that we work together.

So when i got stressed over the tests but managed to ruin my boliday.   But I was determined not to let one piece of senseless, pointless paperwork dictate my future. I put more hours in on study and passed it. The pointless box ticked.

So I am back to following my dream of teaching now-i’m not about to give up. If I can pass the maths then I can do the course easily.

As for modelling-i let the skinny me go a long time ago so that is definitely no longer a dream. The hippy me still exists and I’d still love a camper van and to live by the sea. Maybe one day I will get my house near the sea, teach and own the camper van. I’m not afraid of hard work and its now time to start looking after myself again. In the last few weeks i dont remember when I last drank water-well apart from the glass at lunch today, or ate fruit or even fresh food. It’s time to get back on track and get my course finished, find a job and get ready to start a new career come September.

 

stressedQTS Skills Test week+ equivalent tests-some Easter hols this is!

My teacher training has been going well, good observations, children making  progress and happy. I have a backlog of assessment pieces to mark at home but thought that I could tackle those over Easter, making a note of which child requires what in their writing for ARE in Sats-useful work.  I was also hoping  to relax and ret and actually feel a bit less overwhelmed and more prepared for my assessment to go through for the summer.

School is in the throws of a restructure, so  before Easter I had to make a decision-more unnecessary stress.

So Easter arrives, I have practised my maths work for the DFE Skills tests and haven’t really worried about the English-my brother calls me the grammar police on a regular basis.  I get to the test centre in Nottingham to have my tests cancelled-so that stressed me out.  I had to stop practise then as I had to revise to take my science equivalent test in exam conditions at school on the Thursday-another afternoon given up to paperwork that doesn’t actually help my teaching.  I had my skills tests booked for the Saturday-which turned out to be the hottest day of the year at 23 degrees, talk about melting.  Anyway, the tests went as expected-I passed the English but failed the maths.  I failed the maths by 1 measly mark-which I have an issue with considering that my computer froze and cost me over a minute in time and could easily have been the extra mark. So now I am revising  again for maths, especially considering that some of  the questions were not anything like the practise papers and the data so tiny it was hard to see.  So I phone learn Direct’s helpline-and their answerphone states they are closed for the bank holiday-a week early!

Below is a quote taken from the DFE website:

Your first attempt at each test is free of charge. If you don’t pass within three attempts, you will need to wait 24 months before you can book any further tests – this would mean starting the teacher training application process again, so make sure you allow plenty of time to revise.

I find this to be complete and unnecessary stress, as a student teacher-I have been graded as good, as above the children’s progress shows I can teach.  This stupid test full of ridiculously long winded questions does not. I understand having to look at grammar, spelling and punctuation, we use those daily (however, this is covered in standard 3 of the teaching standards!)  This type of maths I do not. It is now getting to me to the point where I actually want to pull out-why on earth do we need to sit such ridiculous tests-which are being made harder and the practise material not being updated, either on the DEF website or in all the books sold.

I just want to cry.  I have spent thousands of pounds doing my course, have taken a risk on my career and now I am in danger of being locked out for 24 months-2 years!!!!!!  We have a teacher crisis for goodness sake and yet we are blocking dedicated people from the profession over a silly test.  You are already required to produce GCSE certificates-why on earth these tests haven’t been abolished is beyond me.

My head, senco, deputy head and assistant head took none of these skills test yet are the SLT of a GOOD school-they are not necessary. They are an extra piece of pointless “red tape” designed to allow only the most academic  in to the profession-not all academic ability can be assessed by a ridiculous electronic test, neither can the ability to teach.

The whole of my first week off has been ruined as the beginning of the second.  So when school reopens on Tuesday next week I will not be refreshed, ready to teach, nor will my assessment be done (as I’ll have to do the weekly planning) as I have wasted time studying  for a silly test that is POINTLESS!

 

 

QTS skills tests.

If I didn’t think these were completely pointless enough, after all they show nothing about my ability to teach. Maybe the spelling and grammar could be assessed through observations etc as they are useful but as for the rest its another beurocratic waste of time tonput potential teachers off. I am yet to decide what these prove.

So today I am mentally prepared for the maths and the English. I get there early. I sit down I read the information.

Others arrive andthen….oh I’m sorry we are going to have to cancel the tests!!! Now one lady had a family emergency and I completely understand her having to go. However, the centre should have proper staffing. It should have staff on supply of who can be called in. So know have to wait 3 weeks to take my tests. 3 weeks which is after the date to decide if I can go forward for assessment and these needed to be done. But learndirect don’t care. Not one bit.

I could travel miles to Leicester or even further to Birmingham. But why should I? It is their fault not mine. I have had my tests booked since February as they didn’t have any evening or weekend ones. I am absolutley disgusted in the treatment. I am justvexpexted thatbi can have time off to do them. Well i cant. I’m teaching and teaching yr2 for sats in 4 weeks time. Cross does not come close. I am livid.

Well what a few weeks

Well in the last few weeks I have swum twice for my challenge as life got in the way.

For my teaching course i need to do a 4 week block placement only mine has been split due to year 2 tests. I started that Monday just gone and spent the first few nights at home crying. I hated it. It was different, there were too many staff in the room especially when they were talking.  Nice kids with a couple of challenging ones but that’s all ok. By the end of the week I felt a little more confident and the anxiety had subsided a little.

The school is very different to mine in its approach so I am learning lots of new stuff and ways of working which is good evidence and useful. The teacher I’m working with is SLT  so is a strong teacher but is very in demand with her role so getting chance to chat is tricky sometimes. I have this week to go and then I can go back to my class who I am missing and the routines and the normality.  As well as starting my placement and having to hand over to a supply teacher I also got an interview.  I was nervous but the feedback was constructive and useful and I feel like it’s only a matter of confidence. I have started to put together a little sheet showing the stuff I do as I often finding selling myself the most uncomfortable thing I do!

So week 1 of placement down and 1 to go. 3 weeks until easter and after the easter hols I will need to have passed my qts skills tests, my science equivalent test and got all my evidence together as my tes tutor will be coming in to do one final day of observation and then pulling together all of the evidence.

Then the official assessment start! And in all this I am trying to find a job for september so I am visiting schools, writing applications etc.  My I’m tired and ready for the 2 weeks break. My plan this week is to get as much evidence together as possible from my 2nd placement. Make sure everything is marked at night and then, no interview permitting, I am going to try and practise for my science and mark the writing assessments. It’s none stop at the moment with me really wanting to get everything together in 1.5 terms . I must be crazy.

 

 

Well sugar free feb is nearly over….so now on to the swim 22 challenge.

2 days remain of sugar free February and I have done so well. I have avoided all the sweet treats (bar 1 teeny slip on Sat 25th) for the whole month. I have survived dinners out, being rejected at interview, being generally tired and it shows I don’t need 3 bars a day!

I started my swim 22 challenge for diabetes today.  I managed 81 lengths which is 1 mile. I was pleased I did it as I haven’t swam since May and that was on holiday. Another 21 miles to go in 9 weeks. I enjoy swimming and I find it easy to switch off, today I was too busy counting laps to worry about teaching, student placements and work, planning and observations and the minimal support I get some days. I am at another after work meeting on Tuesday so I will take my kit and try and get a short half a mile 40 ish lengths. It will be a late night back but least I will have had time for me and Wednesday is an easy teaching day.

Teaching update in another blog!

Half way through sugar free.

So it’s half term and I am now half way through Feb and the no chocolate, cakes, biscuits and sweets is going ok.

I am however quite bored by the process. It’s more of a now grrr I can’t have a pudding at the pub. I have been out 3 or 4 times and I have missed out on pudding. I really fancy an ice cream or I have to say the chocolate fudge cake the other night looked amazing. But I have stuck to my guns but the next 2 weeks are going to be tough. I don’t want loads but just a little would be nice.

Come on Feb.  Hurry up and end!20161227_114116

Teaching interview

Today was my first ever teaching interview. The whole experience was random. I hate the “take an object that describes you” crap. I hated the presentation element and the thing I thought I could’ve done well was the lesson. Only the lesson part was plan something using a picture. A black and white picture that we only had one of copy of.  The whole thing felt a little aimed at the scitt students who are training with them. They even knew about or partly about the task before hand.

Well I heard I didn’t get the job. Floored me a bit as I’d been led to believe that I would do fine against the other candidates and as I was training on the trust I stood a good chance. I thought I answered the questions well even though i was nervous. I thought my activity was rubbish but that’s no surprise considering and I thought my letter was well written even if my handwriting was not the neatest.  For that i am forever being penalised.

 

So fuck you academy trust.  You talk about high aspirations of our children.  Well I was one of the children you would’ve been pushing.  I was an fsm child at times therefore would’ve been pp and yet you’ve just kicked me in the teeth.

Sugar free February and swimming 22 miles in Feb/March

Well today is day 3 of sugar free February. I signed up to give up chocolate, sweets, cake and biscuits and limit other sugar intake in the form of sugar within food.

Now this may seem a copy put to some, however when you think there isn’t a day go by without chocolate or sweets or a week without cake them you’ll know how big a deal this is for me. I can easily eat 3 chocolate bars on one go or 2 bags of sweets and 2 cakes etc.

Day three so far hasn’t been so bad-i have had to think about choices etc and it’s breaking habits. I did buy some sugar free sweets just to see me through the sweet cravings but I dare not eat those like i would ordinary ones!!!

Can I make another 25days we will see. To add to my challenges I also signed up to swim 22 miles for diabetes UK.  Thankfully this is not a 22mile swim in one go but over 10 weeks ish. I hope that the two challenges will bring my weight down, increase my fitness and help me switch off. If I’m not fit and if I’ve not lost weight by May there will be serious trouble. #cancerresearch #diabetes #sugarfree

January Blues ?

It’s now the 22nd of January and I am still teaching and the actual observation part is going well-lots of good lessons etc, working on a new team with a particularly manipulative member of staff is draining as is working with one who is always moaning and stropping.  I don’t feel I have had the support from the teacher as I thought I was meant to and feel very much I have done this alone.  But that at least is good practise for next year.  I still hope to complete for September start in a new school. I am currently looking, visiting and writing applications.

It is interesting visiting different schools, within a week I have visited a large brand new build school 400+ pupils and a small Church of England school with a one form entry in an old victorian building with tiny classrooms and steep stairs!

I keep thinking that in 8 months time  I will be preparing to settle into a new school with a new team, but going in as an nqt and not part of a leadership team will be quite bonus. I can be me.

In other news, I have decided to sign up for cancer research’s  sugar free feb and I have chosen to cut out chocolate, sweets, biscuits and cakes. Alongside this one have signed up to swim 22 miles over 3 months for diabetes UK.  Both of these conditions have effected friends or family in one way or another.

Wish me luck. I am such a sugar addict I don’t know what I’m going to do without it. Oh and I’m so busy with work I’m not sure where to fit in 22 miles that’s about 2 and a bit miles a week! If I am not fit by May half term I will cry!!!

Christmas

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It’s Christmas!!! Sorry for the predictable opening words.  Well it’s now Christmas Eve 2016. This year has been eventful and uneventful in equal measures. This time last year I hated work, couldn’t bear the thought of going in day after day, was incredibly run down an later found out that the vitamin d in my body was non existent.  So thankfully nothing serious but caused so many problems at the time. April brought a job interview as work was so awful an interview I didn’t get but opened so many doors.  I then  enjoyed the run down from April to summer hols which included a lovely week in menorca with the family, a nice relaxing August and I didn’t feel quite so bad going back to work in September.  Then I found out I could do my teaching and wow I’m half a term down and it’s Christmas!

Usually I love the run up to Christmas and I enjoy shopping etc but the finances have meant that I have had to he a savvy shopper a bit more this year. I have plans to use my Christmas money to pay more off the credit cards and live on so as much as I love a sale and shopping I won’t be joining in as such this year. I have instead added a few dresses to my online shop account which though not ideal has helped the itch a bit!

I’m currently sat at home, alone on Christmas Eve. I find this all quite sad. However after talking to friends with families andpartner’s families they assure me I have the best deal.  Do I agree? Not really. My Christmas is quiet and quite boring. Just like a long, drawn out Sunday lunch with a bonus of chocolate (there’d better be chocolate). But at least my only moan is I can’t drink as I’ve been pretty much told I’m doing all the driving and taking home of grandparents. No choice. Not impressed with that really.  But I only have the one moan. Others have families dragging them all over. That I do not wish.

I currently am feeling a bit yak. I have a  cough which hurts and I can’t taste anything.The cough is almost a tradition, who am I kidding, it is a traditional, Turkey  (for family) veggie meal left by me and a cough happen every year!

 

So Merry Christmas and whatever you are up to- enjoy, make the most of it and remember it’s just a day!