Tag Archive: #Nurture1415


Nurture 14/15 Review

believe-you-canImage credit (http://www.thehiyl.com/2015/01/believe-you-can.html)

It being that time when the year is way past half over and after @ChocoTzar encouraged us to review our previous year and focus on 5 things for the year of 2015, its now time to review how we are doing. So here goes.

I want to say goodbye to my companion in the shadows. 

He is still lurking but he is much further in the distance and luckily it hasn’t effected work in any fashion which is good, in fact work became the my sanctuary. The wonderful Julia Skinner finishes her emails with ‘ Not every day is a good day but there is good in every day’ and I have adopted this as a mantra I use and it’s a great one to keep in the front of my mind. Still a work in progress but much improved.

Again the work life balance is always an issue, Exercise really took a back seat this year so far as I was seriously ill in February which resulted in a phased return to work but this did result in a better focus on balance and thanks to the #teacher5aday initiative I really have focused on making in roads to my own well being and long may that continue.

Plus yesterday I climbed back on a bike for the first time and managed to ride 12 km and can walk today so a result. Sadly the weight didn’t stay off!

I also want to be more available for Charlotte as she is in year 10, mmm this one has been difficult, Jack once again has featured heavily in life again with some interesting life choices which seem to overshadow everything. However I have made sure that she is at the center of my focus and this has resulted in her pushing the boundaries herself! So now as we move towards GCSE’s we are in for stormy waters I think but no backing down now.

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.  This was a huge success and thank you to all who took part and supported me in this with their presentations, words of advice and encouragement, and videos, and of course Vic Goddard whose keynote was heartfelt, honest and brutal nothing I wouldn’t expect from such an inspiring leader.

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. Well have already done a lot of that with #PedagooLondon, #TMDevon, #TMOkehampton. I have also attended #Northern Rocks and #TLT14, and will be presenting at #PedagooSouthwest and incredibly at #WomenEd under the Confident Leader Strand although as yet not sure what I’ll be saying. This last event is the one that will challenge me the most but I’m ready to push beyond and maybe find a new voice.

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. I feel I have achieved at least a small part of this and now we wait for the results, it was traumatic for me, I couldn’t believe how much a hole they left in my day once they went.

But now I have a lovely new Year 7 tutor group who at first I was nervous about having to deal with. However having met them, I am excited by the prospect of getting to nurture and mold these new secondary school children and having the impact on their lives that maybe I did on the last lot.

Finally I want to be a better me both teacher and person, as earlier stated,  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. Continuing to work on this, practice makes perfect and I’m listening, learning, reading, reflecting all in the hope of improving.

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. The bigger role at Dawlish hasn’t worked out. Watch this space.

So for next term to the end of the year what to do?

  • Help the department remain level as we transition with new head and second in department as they find their feet.
  • Support my students to be the best learners they can be.
  • Develop and reflect on my pedagogy to make sure that I’m continually improving.
  • Push myself beyond the comfort zones, experiment, take risks, learn, fail.
  • Make time for family and friends, share, explore, have fun and laugh, look for the good, as I do believe we still have some tough stuff to get through and with Charlotte doing GCSEs in 2016 we will need to be stronger together.

So there you have it. Have you reviewed yours?

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#Nurture1415

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.