Blimey. How can 3 months of your life just disappear like that?!

Normally I find this term the hardest; whilst I love a thick sweater and fluffy socks, I struggle in the winter. It’s one big cycle of losing one glove, going to work when it’s dark, coming home when it’s dark etc until March.

This year however has been different; I am at a new school where the laws of time seem different and every day just disappears! We work long days there: you teach until 5 o’clock for 2 days a week, we’re in on Saturday mornings and a few Sundays for parades. I know some people would hate this, but I love it. This term I’ve taught Art and Yoga (which has been so successful I can run it next term too!) and got to know a lot of students outside of my classes because of it. The school is like a little town and everybody has been so welcoming.

One aspect that I was concerned about was that I wouldn’t be so attached to my new students as I was to my old ones. WOW. How wrong was I?! I have taught some of the best lessons I have ever taught in the last 12 weeks because these guys arrive and just go for the ride. It’s so refreshing and they’re so funny. There hasn’t been a morning where I’ve sat in the car, not wanting to get out and that has had such a positive effect on my mental health.

This turned out to be more important than I could have guessed. A few Monday lunchtimes ago, I received a phone call telling me that my mum had died. We hadn’t spoken in almost 2 years; we had always had a difficult, tumultuous relationship (made worse by the fact she was a single parent and there was no one to buffer it) and ultimately we had stopped talking because she felt the moves in my life were wrong. Notably, she told me not to become a teacher, that I wouldn’t be very good at it and that it was a fad because I was bored.
Now I’m a stubborn woman. I don’t take it well when someone says I can’t do something and I think deep down, that was my biggest drive over my training year.
I went home straight away and I took the Tuesday off. Like all teachers though, I find setting cover such a pain that I’d rather just be in and teaching it myself. I came back to school on Wednesday and my department were amazing! No hugs, platitudes or emotional chats, just people that cared about me and respected my want to just come to work with no faff. What made me sure I had done the right thing (in terms of both going into teaching and coming back to school) was my Year 7s and Year 10’s saying “THANK GOD YOU’RE BACK”. 2 of my Year 11 boys wrote me a card saying they hoped I was okay and that they will help me through it.
It’s strange how much power a few words from some teenagers you see 4 hours a week can have.

So, in a nutshell, how has my term been?

UP POINTS:

  • Amazing department, especially my new BFF.

  • Amazing new classes

  • Teaching yoga is fun

  • Less marking = happier life

  • Better teaching (less all-out fancy PPTs, more board pens and confident discussions)

  • NQT is a lot less work than SCITT; I can just teach without having to evidence my every breath!

DOWN POINTS:

  • Not going to the gym half as much as I should. It’s hard to be motivated in the winter and I’m looking forward to January A LOT. There’s something so refreshing about a new year.

  • Not blogging or updating the website as much as I should

  • Not reading enough

  • Still having wobbles about whether I’m ‘good enough’ (whatever that means)

Finally, I would just like to say THANK YOU to all of you. LauranTeaches is a bigger success than I could have thought and that’s because of you all.

Have a very merry Christmas and I’ll see you in Term 2!