I promised myself I would do this before the end of 2014, so here I sit and reflect on the year gone by again, far to fast for my liking.

This one will be a hard one to write. Some of you are aware of the tough year I’ve had personally and it still isn’t resolved. I think I won’t reflect on last years post but here goes for the best bits in no particular order.

My Best Bits from 2014.

When I read ChocoTzars blog about children who needed a holiday I joined in with the Twitter conversation with Carol Webb and some how agreed to send in a picture for her calendar to raise money for the Family Association,  I convinced a couple of other willing victims, Sarah Wright and Emily King to contribute and finally after much procrastinating and weighing what I might say is my heaviest for a long time, contributed my picture taken by my ever patient husband. It was fantastic to see it finally in print and feel in a small way I have contributed to a bigger cause. Plus it spurred me on to losing two and half stone, which is mostly been kept off.

I also attended this year as a representative of the amazing Nina Jackson the launch of Rachel Jones’ amazing Don’t Change the Lightbulbs collaborative book. I felt humbled to be among such leading lights in the education sector and is often my way felt out of my depth especially when people kept asking me what did I write, to which my reply was nothing sorry!

However I had my celebrity moment with Vic Goddard who was charming as ever and got to spend quality time with Christa Hazel, Gwen Nelson, ChocoTzar, Kev Bartle and of course the fabulous Hélène Galdin O’Shea. This was then followed by an amazing dinner with my special friend Sally Thompson. I felt especially grown up that night.

On an aside I am also grateful in assisting Crista Hazel in a very small way becoming an Independent Thinking  Associate.

Educationally I had fantastic results with my first cohort of Biology triple scientists, they excelled and I attended the results day with great pride in all they had achieved. On the back of this I was amazed to find out this December that I went through threshold and am now UPS1 which isn’t bad for 4 years teaching I guess, I feel that my school has supported all my madness and even though I have applied for two jobs outside of Dawlish am happy that I am still there.

On a personal level I have struggled this year with a visitor that I hadn’t seen for over 20 years but the #blackdog has been a constant companion since Easter (well maybe before) but I acknowledged his existence finally after a very traumatic time with my eldest. Unfortunately the situation with eldest deteriorated even further, but thanks to the support of some very special people both on Twitter and inside and outside of school. I have been able to deal with the situation and have remained somewhat stable, ( if I ever was!)

This situation went to show me how much friendships mean and those who truly care for you are there through good and bad. It was and still is a time where I asked for support and got it. Thank you, you know who you are.

Finally family. Jack turned 18 this year, Charlotte 15 and even though they have their moments they are my reason along with their Dad that I work,worry and laugh so much. My parents are still healthy and doing their own thing, my 95 year old Nan is still going strong. And finally a new addition to the household arrived in August in the form of Bentley the latest in a long line of German shepherds, he is absolutely adorable, (even though after the last three I said I’d never have another dog) he gives me hours of pleasure when I’m alone at home marking and preparing and it’s totally unconditional,I can’t imagine our home without him. (Don’t tell Alex!)

My Wishes for 2015

Gosh where do I start, as this is where I find it hard to consolidate all my thoughts. But here goes.

I want to say goodbye to my companion in the shadows, however we have a few obstacles to overcome with eldest first, so not sure that will be all that easy. But as long as it doesn’t impact on work then I can manage. Our relationship needs work and I hope that no matter what happens he know that I love him.

Again the work life balance is always an issue, I start with great intentions, spinning was going great but then illness took over at half term and I haven’t really got back on the bike since. So come the New year and new resolutions I will climb back up and see how long I can keep going for this time. It will be important to ensure I keep at it as I want to keep off the two and half stone I lost in September and October. I also want to be more available for Charlotte as she is in year 10, quite highly strung with dramas that only 15 year olds have. However with events of last year overshadowing her needs. I want to be there when she needs me either in time or tissues. She is a very special young lady and needs nurturing.

I want to make sure that my next teachmeet at Dawlish goes off with a bang so save the date for Monday 2nd March 2015 for some #TMPicknMix. We are very lucky to have the amazing Vic Goddard to be our keynote this year.  On the back of that I want to attend and present more this year at Teachmeets, Pedagoos and TLT’s having attended all three last year. It pushes me out of my comfort zone and I learn more from these events than I do from other formalised CPD.

My tutor group have been with me since I started at Dawlish in year 8 and they are year 11 now and I want to make sure that they all leave in the summer happy with their achievements, for some it will mean making it through a whole week at school, for others it will be the receipt of a string of A’s, but for all of them I hope they remember me with fondness and madness. I hope that I can be the quiet in the storm for them this year as pressure at home and in class builds, I want to provide an oasis where they can come and chill, cry, laugh and eat chocolate as each and every one has touched my heart in a positive way.

Finally I want to be a better me both teacher and person, as earlier stated, I applied for two new roles this year outside of my school, neither of which I got. However I do want to have more of an impact in the teaching and learning with in a school not just in my subject, so in order to do that I need to be the best me I can be; so think, another year of practice and risk will help.

I’d like to play a bigger role in the success of Dawlish Community College but not sure what that will look like,  maybe that will mean I will have to leave and in doing so I will be looking for that next step so any advice will be gratefully received.

So there it is folks, not as mind blowing as some but never the less important to me.

I wish you all a Happy, healthy New Year and well done for staying awake.