4 weeks in…do I love teaching?

screenshot_20161127-092019I have now completed my first 4 weeks of teaching. It has been in at the deep end from day 1. Do I love it? Sometimes.  We had a particularly tricky year 4 maths concept to teach which required many a discussion.  But on the whole I have enjoyed the challenge.  I will be very grateful however to teach ks1 maths from now on! The class I have left behind were a challenging ( but lovely) bunch and for my second observation one was in meltdown mode-making it tricky to teach. I didn’t block his meltdown out quite like I should have done.  This lesson was graded as developing with areas of achieving  (TES speak) basically ri but with good sections. I wasn’t happy with my lesson as it didn’t flow quite like I’d planned. I’m always looking for things to be good. I hate it when they are not!

Thursday saw a long evening with a teacher meet but during it I discovered a blog with images to stimulate thought and writing.  I love a good picture! (Or video clip) it’s how I work so to find a blog  (once upon a picture) where good images have already been uploaded is fab.

Next week I start my ks1 journey with a handover week, followed by a teaching week with the current class teacher and then it’s mine…all mine! Scary but exciting. I am looking forward to making the class mine but building new working relationships is terrifying. What if they hate me?  What if well the other student was better? I’m such a worrier! I need of relax and remember not every lesson will go as planned, I’m still learning and I can do this! I started this post with do I love teaching? My answer….I think so! I’m more challenged and less bored and switched off than I was in my previous role. I have made the right decision.  I hope!

First official teaching week

This week was my first week of autumn 2. More significantly it was the first official week of my straight to teaching course. Monday was an inset and I was straight into teaching Tuesday morning for maths. It was awful. Just awful.  I was so worried about it all. I cover regularly. I just felt like the pressure had just increased ten fold.

I then taught all day Wednesday and Thursday morning. Atv7 his point I’d still not wanted anyone in with me. I felt so awkward.  By Thursday inferno had my behaviour management back in control. The kids were beginning to realise i still mean what I say. Thursday was finished with a very late night of a “friends” event stood outside in the cold. Brrr. Friday I was so tired. And my literacy lesson had my class teacher (who was a head teacher until September and now a deputy) day in for some of it. She then took the lower ability 4 children and the difference in the classroom was amazing. On the whole the quality of writing was fine. Maths was hard. The layout of our new books threw them right off target.

Friday afternoon I wasn’t meant to he teaching but ended up doing so. Art on a Friday…no marking but stressful!!!

 

All in all I was pleased to get this first week under my belt. Next week I have my first official observation and a whole day of meetings and assessment. Part of me is wondering what on earth have i decided to do this for? The other part is looking forward to a few weeks time when I take over a class for maternity cover and it becomes MY class. At the moment this class feels like I’m a cuckoo in a nest.

 

Finances and no help.

I’ve had to wait a few days to post about how I have tried to and failed to get help sorting all my soaring debt (interest mainly) as my (draft)post the other night read as though I was suicidal.  I wasn’t.  But I had had enough of it all.  Why is it that big companies can send you letter after letter promising 0% this, low rate that; until that is you’d like some help. First of all I applied to sainsburys bank for a loan.  It wouldn’t cover all of my debt but a significant chunk and would’ve reduced my out goings by £200 ish a month. They were a blanket no. Not interested not even a sorry.

I emailed both barclaycard and mbna to complain about their practises with a much better outcome from barclaycard.  As a gesture they refunded my over limit card charge and the interest that that generated last month and reinstated the promotional level.  Mbna on the other hand were not prepared to do anything at all. They told me if signed up fair point and although acknowledging their interest was what was killing me off (at 29.9% I’ll just add) it was tough luck.  So this has to be the first card to go. Especially considering they doubled my credit limit between two months statements.

Next I telephoned Santander,their slogan being simple, personal, fair. It turns out I have quite a chunk of equity in my house I could ask for an additional loan on my mortgage.  So I did.  I told them it was for debt consolidation, I explained that it would leave some debt left over but I’d  be able to clear it as I would be saving over £300 a month! So much more affordable.  There was a light at the end of a very dark tunnel.  Only for Santander to switch the light off. With no decent explanation.  Apparently it’s not affordable to lend me that money (which I see as being my money as it’s equity), even though to me my outlay would drastically drop every month oh and I might not spend the money on what I said so basically they called me a liar!  Very personal I feel just not in the way  I’m sure it’s meant to be.

So currently I am going to write to Santander and express my disappointment in them.  They could help- they choose not too.  So instead of a lovely relaxing break this week I have spent most of it in a high state of anxiety.  All caused by the banks and their lack of help. 2016-06-12 18.58.38

Apparently it’s only Wednesday!

What a week so far… my stinking cold had really taken hold over the weekend and by 11am on Monday morning I was hoping for an on time or at least close to finish. Well, 11.45 and the phone rings, itv is only blooming Ofsted! Just before the cut off.  Now, we have known they are due any day but have been saying this for what feels like forever. So no early finish for me on Monday, instead it was a meeting to double check we were happy with all our lessons, a quick staff meeting to be given details for Tuesday and a last minute are we ready and i left school around 6.30. So actually not bad but some staff were much later. Thank goodness for organised teaching partners.

So 8am Tuesday morning and the car park is already full, the inspector arrives early and is met by someone asking if they are blocking him in and would it be a problem. Friendly intro to our team!

I never saw the inspector again really.  Even in my leadership role.  To me it was like any other day. Last minute cover, struggling on full of cold. By 4pm we knew they weren’t in for a second day.  A good bit of news.  Followed by more good news, I was accepted on to the TES straight to teaching course.  Starting in 4 weeks time. Excited and nervous all together.

Then today. Last minute cover all morning. Meeting this afternoon followed by finally the MRI scan I’ve been waiting for.  That wasn’t my favourite part of the day, being closed in with my head secured in place.  I felt caged. And I’m no good at lying still.  3o mins not being able to move. I did however listen to the radio in the scanner! Now I just need to wait.

 

2 days of this week left and then I really need to sleep this weekend.

 

 

Bye bye weightwatchers thanks for the 12lb loss but time to move on.

So I finally made a decision and I have to say for the last couple of weeks I have felt better for it. No I haven’t lost any weight but neither have i gained any.

Weightwatchers was working for me until Christmas 2015 and then the plan changed and it became unworkable. I spent months hating the new plan, feeling like I couldn’t have certain foods and really not enjoying anything I ate. I was eating more sweets out of anger and generally my head was in a mess.

This made me reassess. I needed a few weeks of normal. Will I go back in the future i might, will I swap back to slimming world. I might. But for the next few weeks I’m going to focus on finding foods I like again. Getting my head out of the black cloud. Save a few £s along the way and see how my body reacts. I need to lose some weight as my trousers I wore to an interview in April don’t fasten although everything else still fits.  

Yesterday I really enjoyed a cheese and coleslaw door stop sandwich with a French fries side. Really tasty  (even through my cold) and I wasn’t hungry enough for a tea.

Another diet and bank balance aim was to take my lunch to work.  I have managed this for 3 whole weeks. 3 weeks must be a record. I have had salad, pitta breads, sandwiches, cheese and crackers and again.  Do I love my lunches; no. But they are ok. And they are as good or bad a supermarket sandwich.  Which as a veggie are never great. Thankfully I don’t work too close to a pret a manger with their lovely sounding veggie sandwiches.

Oh and the first weeks at work did equal chaos! 3 down 4 to go.

 

Time flies…

Wow I have officially reached the final (working) day of my holidays. 6 weeks have flown by, in a mix of hospital appointments  (mostly not mine), meals out, phone calls, paperwork sorting and copious amounts of TV watching.

For 6 weeks I have had a life. I have been mostly calm and relaxed with just the odd day where the black cloud or anxiety kicked in. With 2 days left to work I suddenly feel ill. All tired and achy and worn out. Psychological? Maybe. Poor sleep? Likely.

So September is here, work starts on Monday.  I’m still waiting for the hospital to sort my mri-apparently I have to wait 6 weeks until my follow up to discuss needing a scan.  Hey? How inefficient.no wonder the NHS is in crisis. I spoke to a friend who works ent at a different hospital who agrees.  I phoned Tuesday.  No call back. I phoned today and have been told they need to look into it. Wait and see i guess.

I’m still waiting to hear on my teaching application-i can see these two things clashing.

I met with a friend I hadn’t seen since the charity coffee morning and before that my birthday. It was awkward at the start to say the least. Especially with her constantly on her phone and me sat waiting. It was better towards the end. This is what happens when things slide. Her doing not mine.

The weight loss has failed and I’m concerned that my work trousers won’t fit on Tuesday. I can get away with jeggings on Monday but back in work gear by Tuesday.

 

So summer, it was lovely. Time and calmness it was lovely knowing you.

Let chaos commenced…..

 

 

 

 

Medical meltdown

Since January I have felt a lump/bump in my cheek, the first dr dismissed me and told me “your bloods are fine you should be pleased”. Of course I was pleased that I didn’t even scale on the vitamin d chart but yes it could have been much more worrying. So I visited the dentist to check for abcesses. Nothing mentioned. I then mentioned to another Dr and he checked saying he thought yes something felt different.  A wait for an ent appointment, a long delay in eat followed by a 5 min appointment and a referral to ultrasound.

At this point I’m still quite chilled. No point stressing, other than being tired there’s nothing wrong with me. So Monday arrives, a lovely nurse settles me in the chair and goes out to meet the person doing the ultra sound.  In walks this very tiny, possibly Chinese, guy with glasses. He introduced himself then set about fixing the computer with many a grumble. He was actually quite funny the whole way through the procedure.  Proclaiming my name was too common and when I married I needed someone with an unusual name! He then said my issue was random and he couldn’t find the matching  nerves etc from the good side to the dodgy. He then showed me my teeth were visible on the left but not at all on the right. There was a black space.  I left feeling a mix of oh I need more tests to that’s random.

I’m quite a together person, I Googled and it says black areas are fluid-so does that mean a cyst or worse, I have no idea.  I dealt with it. But all I really wanted was my parents and the 1 friend I’d told to remember my appointment. To check in and ask how I’d got on. I felt a bit annoyed.  By Tuesday when my mum turned up and started talking about my brother and his self chosen medical appointment I felt really worthless.  I have to admit. I binged. I ate a load of rubbish for 2 days. I gained 1.5 lb today probably due to that binge. The food didn’t help at all. My mood was awful. I felt so down. This morning I told mum I was cross and she apologised.  I only wanted someone to remember.

Spa day relaxation

Well after a long summer term, one filled with illness, million and one (ok slight exaggeration) after work events, summer fayres etc etc last Friday was welcomed. A nice break to recharge; ready to roll in September.

It has become a tradition to visit the spa.  Our favourite being Eden Hall spa in Nottinghamshire.  Lately, their prices have increased again, however as regulars we had access to a spa day for £60. This is a basic day but involves a 3 course lunch. With finances tight, I used my vouchers from my birthday and got my day for £10-a bargain really. I have floated around in the pool, swam, been in the rooms and hot/cold showers etc and had a relaxing day. After our lovely 3 course lunch; which was much better than last time, mum and I went outside and joined two other girls with the Clarins lady called Paige. She took us through a step by step cleansing and moisturising routine and even fetched the eye creams on request by me. I have to say although expensive the products felt lovely and kind on the skin. At the end of the session we were given a freebie. Shown in the picture. However, no one warned us of the photographer and mum’s pic is now all over social media.  I have to say she’s rocking the no make up/white robe look.

All in all a relaxing day and just what was needed.

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Straight to teaching…

20160710_100641Firstly this picture is the official picture for the TES Institute’s straight to teaching programme.

I only found out about this course recently, I fell into being a TA after school and have worked up to being a lead TA on the leadership team. I always thought I’d do my foundation degree and BA in education and then transfer to teaching, this didn’t work out.  I secured the lead job and the money is good ish and that became a salary trap.

I recently attended a lead network and was frustrated that I’d already found out about and used what she had brought to share.  However, towards the end this was introduced to a room of approx 20 lead Tas, myself and a fellow ta have the necessary degree etc already and were quite excited. Her school apparently said no. My head said leave it with me-i will have a look into it. I gave it a week and asked her if she’d had time to read it. I got a weird response and assumed it was a polite brush off. It in fact turns she does have a plan she just couldn’t tell me about it as it involved a teacher’s pregnancy.  Eeek. I now have to get a decent application sorted by September to start 1st Nov. I need to start compiling evidence now so that I can prove experience to make the training time as short as possible. I need to work out how to do an equivalence test in science  because my double award is a D. Even though I’m sure one of my exams was a C. I need to train whilst still doing my lead TA role as much as I can and I need to hopefully be on course to pass in January or Feb. If the maternity cover happens I’ll be teaching full time from before Christmas.  It’s all becoming real, scary and challenging. I did say I felt like I needed a new challenge. I feel the rainbow has a big thunder cloud of pressure right over my head at the moment….

 

Finances and dreams.

Don’t generally go together well in my world.  I have a billion dreams; from teaching to owning a house with a swimming pool to owning a vintage caravan and selling cream teas and hot chocolates. These things need capital, something my last post mentions is seriously lacking.

This month I have made the cardinal sin of not paying all of the minimum payment on one of my credit cards. This is down to music magpie not honouring their price on my old mobile phone. Apparently there was a fault. There was not a fault. It should be on its way back now so it had better arrive in the same condition I sent it in.

The lack of funds as meant that after 2 meals out this week I couldn’t afford to go out last night on a staff do. I had a nice catch up with my friend Tues and a team meal Thurs so I’ve done a couple of nice things this week.

My plan for teaching seems to be coming together so I really need to sort the finances. The fees will be approx 6k so that is the bathroom and kitchen on hold-again!