Archive for May, 2015

Time to Say Goodbye


“The time has come……” is one of the sayings I have used a lot with you over these last four years. “Be the best you, you can be”, ” Now is your time to shine”, ” I believe in you, when no one else does”, “We are Super heroes”, “Resistance is futile”, “Failure is not an option, just fail better”, “Fail 7 times, get up 8”, “Heads up, Chins up, you are better than this”, “Believe in yourself”, “Reach for the stars”, “Dream big”, “Don’t stop believing”, “You rock”, “You are superstars”, “Find your special, that makes you you” “Education isn’t just about what you learn in school it’s about so much more”, “This is just the start of your journey not the end”, “Look in the mirror and see the person I see at 25”, “Go be amazing because you all are.”

I am sure often these have fallen on deaf ears but I have meant every one over the last four years. I started at Dawlish in what was your second year. You were hardened year 8, survived year 7, ready to take on this new NQT teacher who arrived ready to take on the world.

I was tough, I played by the rules, made you observe ALL of the rules, questioned you when you were late, made you wear the right uniform, conducted uniform checks and sent letters home. Checked the equipment when I was told. Made you do silent reading as per the schedule even when other tutor groups clearly didn’t follow the timetable. Signed your planner. Made you watch motivational videos to encourage you to look beyond Dawlish, to help you aspire to being bigger than you ever imagined possible.

I made each one of take part in the tutor competitions and sports day where I cheered you on till I was hoarse and you all were embarrassed by me when I danced on the side-lines.

I was proud when we won the attendance box of Celebrations, two years in a row and displayed our certificates on the wall by the door.

I got annoyed at you when you moaned saying you wouldn’t go on school trips that teachers had taken time to lay on for you as I saw them as missed opportunities to experience something new.

I pestered you into completing your record of achievements so that you were ready for your mock interviews and applications for college.

I was glad that I stayed late on that Friday so that I could be there to help sort out your late taxi so you didn’t have to stand in the rain.

I was touched when your Mum came up to me at the Business Enterprise evening to say thank you for everything I did for you during that difficult family time and how much more settled and focused you were now.

I was surprised by your vehement support of me when you said that I was ‘sound’ and that I understood where you came from after all that time you spent begging to change tutor groups.

I have supported you in not forgetting your dream of reaching for the stars, who says who can’t go into space, if that is what you really want to do.

I will remember the time we circled the field, I don’t know how many times, to help you express your emotions about the break up between you and that girl, I was the last person I’d thought you’d confide in but I was glad you chose me.

Thank you for trusting me with that letter and I know you knew what I had to do was the right thing and that everything has worked out.

I was so elated to see so many of you put yourselves forward for student leaders and most of you be successful. I could hardly contain myself when you hugged me so tight when you became head girl.

I have loved my notes, whiteboard messages, balloons, they have picked me up more than you’ll ever know.

I was bursting with laughter and pain while I watched your GCSE drama productions. I spent far too much at the Enterprise evening.

I could barely speak when you got one of only 60 places available on the course you want. Against the whole of the country.

I knew that you’d both have an incredible time on the Chemistry course at Cambridge, even though you didn’t believe me.

I have feigned shock at some of the stories you have told me about the parties you go to, like I wasn’t young once!

And now I am in the final stretch, tissues, chocolates, space, pep talks and back to those motivational sayings to keep you at it for those final weeks of the GCSEs.

You  have pushed all my buttons and some I didn’t know I had, over the last four years, but I have learnt so much from you all. I will have more tutor groups over the years but you will always, like a first love hold a special place in my heart.

You have grown from truculent little boys and shy, giggling little girls into articulate, confident, grounded and some of you very tall young people. Who can be proud of their journey.

So  now as you leave me  I’ll leave you with one more of my favourite quotes from Winnie the Pooh written by AA Milne.

Image credit

Goodbye 11KDW



On bank Holiday Monday night I was sat contemplating my weekend spent alone as other half had to work over the holiday and was thinking about how the next few weeks will pan out when I had a lovely post pop up in my in box with the above heading.

I had been reading these posts with awe and wonder never imagining I would be nominated as this year I didn’t feel I had done anything that worthy to be part of the crew.

However here I was thanks to the amazing @Chocotzar with my own nomination, so now it was my turn to nominate my 5, in no particular order.

1. @musicmind, Nina Jackson.

I met Nina back in 2012 at TMClevedon after an extremely stressful ofsted and I was a bright eyed bushy tailed NQT. She has always been there as my editor, supporter, coach, mentor, sounding board, sherbert lemon giver. She has supported me in her unwavering belief in my pedagogical stance in providing the best opportunity for the pupils in my care. She just seems to know when to contact me and always knows how I am feeling and what I need to hear to get through the problem. Often she just listens, but more often then not she has a simple solution to what seems like an insurmountable problem.

2. @hrogerson, Helen Rogerson.

A fantastic Head of Science Teacher who is a Physicist, (don’t hold it against her), she is an active member of the South West ASE and of the ASE as a whole, she has welcomed me into that science community with open arms, encouraged me to develop and stretch my understanding of the changes that will be affecting the GCSE curriculum in science, she has explained the changes with the patience of Job! She as read letters of applications, encouraged me in my search for a new position. Her passion for science is a pleasure to behold and I am lucky to know her.

3. @KevBartle, Keven Bartle.

He was one of the first of my twitter friends I met in the real world over a glass of wine and a meal watching the sun go down one evening in Torquay. He is a true gentleman and I have had the pleasure of visiting him both personally and professionally and his amazing school Cannons where he is now the Head. He has a vision that is pure and focused on the best for the pupils and community his school serves. He is truly generous with his time, wisdom and insight. Happy to share both his successes and tribulations with honesty and clarity.

4. @CristaHazell, Christa Hazell

A great Head of MFL teacher, who I hadn’t realised was also a friend of the amazing @Misswrightatdcc. I love her ideas on Kagan and she is generous with her time and advice and I know that if I have a question she will respond with a strategy that will work. Plus her encouraging words help lift the dark days.

5. @aegilopoides

I had the pleasure of taking part in the first round of twittercoaching that was set up by @ASTsupportAAli and @aegilopoides was my coachee. Since then we have talked and not met sadly but she is always willing to share resources, ideas, and her revision resources have saved the day many a time over the last few months.

So there you have it, the likes of @ChocoTzar, @Betsysalt, @Gwenelope, @rjl1981, have already been nominated, but I’d like to nominate all on the  #ASECHAT as they are amazing educators who share and help the subject of science move forward.

So to the rules:

@teachertoolkit ‘s rules are: 

  1. You cannot knowingly include someone you work with in real life
  2. You cannot list somebody that has already been named if you are already made aware of them being listed on #TwitteratiChallenge
  3. You will need to copy and paste the title of this blogpost and (the rules and what to do) information into your own blog post

What to do?

  • Within 7 days of being nominated by somebody else, you need to identify colleagues that you rely regularly go-to for support and challenge. They have now been challenged and must act and must act as participants of the #TwitteratiChallenge
  • If you’ve been nominated, please write your own #TwitteratiChallenge blogpost within 7 days. If you do not have your own blog, try @staffrm
  • The educator that is now (newly) nominated, has 7 days to compose their own #TwitteratiChallenge blogpost and identify who their top 5 go-to educators are. However, as I am a rebel, I nominate everyone. You are not the last to be picked in PE again