ChocoTzar has started us off again this year with a fantastic 10 for 10 for her Nurture this year and I was very honoured to be mentioned in her blog and it is those new friendships that have blossomed so much this year that have made 2015 such a great year. So in her lead I will go for 10 and 10 if I can manage it.


  1. Family is still complete, after one heart attack (Dad), one major hospital visit for myself which resulted in a three week break from school and another three week break from school just recently. Plus a major burns issue with Alex and for once Charlotte seems to have stayed out of the wars and only required crutches once this year. So not too bad I’d say. Plus 96 year old Nan is still with us, so am grateful.
  2. Charlotte and I got to go away on a fantastic holiday courtesy of my amazingly generous friend Sally and we visited Turkey for a week at the end of August. She knew just what I needed and as ever was there when I needed her. She is one of those special friends who you can always rely on no matter how long its been since you’ve seen each other.
  3. After another couple of rejections including a major one at Dawlish I finally got a new job, although this has meant I have left Dawlish. So now this January I really am starting a new.
  4. I organised and ran the Teachmeet Pick N Mix Dawlish and the incredible Vic Goodard came down and gave the most inspirational keynote speech and I can’t thank him enough, it was also attended by a wonderful Julia Skinner and her fabulous jet lag, Christa Hazell and Mark Anderson, who without all of them I think my panic would have taken over and severe melt down would have ensued.
  5. July saw me say an emotional goodbye to not only my tutor group but to my tremendous 12 girls, who used to hang out in my lab every lunch time and regale me with the school gossip. They turned out to be an amazing group of young people who did themselves proud and we had a fabulous night at prom.
  6. Results day was also another great time. My triple science Biology excelled again and I am so proud of their mammoth hard work and commitment to their learning and to all my other students who achieved so well and managed to get on to the courses they wanted. I wish them all well for their futures. I miss them all.
  7. Eldest teen had a very rocky start to the year with an escalation of his troubles, however this has seen some closure this last week, and we are now hoping this will see an end to his troubles and hopefully 2016 will hold a brighter hope for him.
  8. I got to host a workshop at the fantastic uncoference that was WomensEd. I was so nervous and out of my comfort zone but what a buzz. This incredible eclectic group of passionate, committed, inspiring women to many to mention are working tirelessly to raise awareness about women in leading in education. I was humbled to be considered but realised that I could actually talk about something else other than science teaching. Who knew! (Well they did!)
  9. I spent a couple of lovely days with @rlj1981 and her super boys this summer and what a laugh we had these simple pleasures mean so much and thank you for the invite, I had a blast.
  10. Finally Twitter remains a source of support in times of conflict, dark days, tension. Inspiration when its lacking. Laughs when I need them and most of all friendships that I never knew could develop from virtual in to reality and I marvel at how stronger these get as the months pass and how lucky I am to know so many of you on a more than personal basis. I’m not going to name names, but thank you for being part of my life. You enrich me, tolerate me, laugh and tell me it straight when I need it. Thank you for 2015.


  1. My first priority this year has to be to listen to my body more. I tried last year but failed as the end of the year showed. I did get better at it but this year I must DO.
  2. No more burning the oil at both ends, I need to set time limits and if it doesn’t get done then it doesn’t get done.
  3. Walk, walk, walk, the spinning went away, difficult went you can’t feel the left side of your body, but walking I can manage. Need to set target steps every day, 10,000 isn’t it. So there it is in black and white.
  4. New Job……. so much to do…………. Prioritise…. work out what is the departments, then the school priority; then look at what is achievable in the first term.  As far as that goes I won’t know till I get there. But for me I think, no I know the key will be RELATIONSHIPS. Build those and everything else will stem from that.
  5. On that I need to employ filter much more and not allow my ‘WTF’ face to show. Has been a bit of a problem this last term in meetings!! ( But people are sooo stupid sometimes)
  6. Book my massages and keep to them.
  7. Keep Charlotte focused and revising no matter how hard and stressful with me she or it gets, we have to get through to the end, it will be worth it. She will thank me ….. I hope.
  8. Write more, I wrote lots when I was sick and found it really helped. But now I need do more deeper thinking, I feel the need to challenge myself with my writing. Could be interesting. I have more to say, probably not relevant to anyone else but who knows.
  9. Remember to keep in touch with people, I get so insular sometimes when I am on my own, my shadow who hasn’t completely gone can get very big and I need to make more effort to step outside, visit, get in the car, travel up the road a few junctions to see my friends.
  10. Finally be courageous, be kind, laugh, smile and dance more.

Bring on 2016.






  1. Honest and powerful writing which shows you are a strong and determined woman. We were delighted you could contribute to WomenEd and roll on all the developments this year!

    PS tried to reply to your tweet but I seem to be blocked on Twitter yet wasn’t before. Something gone wrong? Vivienne

  2. Good to read this, Karen, and I was thrilled finally to meet you this year. The very best of luck with the new job. I like your advice to yourself: “I need to set time limits and if it doesn’t get done then it doesn’t get done.” Hope you manage to stick to that and it helps you to find a healthy and workable balance in 2016. We never get to the end of our jobs so have to decide what’s reasonable in terms of the time we spend on different things, looking after ourselves, and those we care most about, as best we can.

    Hope to see you again next year!

    • Jill, I am going to be very strict with myself, with my time limits, have to be otherwise new job will consume me I think. It was great to meet you too, you are an inspiration and I will definitely see you again in 2016.

  3. Good luck in the new job Karen! And good luck to Charlotte in her exams. We will get our bums down a few junctions on the motorway too!

    You are a great friend and source of inspiration to a lot of people. Someone generous and positive is someone I am proud to know.

    All the best for 2016.

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