Tag Archive: Reflection

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?


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