Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Reviewing 2013

Everyone says the years fly by, and this one is now almost over, but can you remember everything that's happened in the past 365 days, or even the bigger stories?

I guess we'll all remember the deaths of Nelson Mandela and Margaret Thatcher, but how about the 1129 who died in the building collapse in Dhaka in April, or the 6149 who died because of Typhoon Haiyan in November?
     In other news, this was also the year of Edward Snowden, the 3D printer, a meteor over Russia, Pope Francis and Prince George. Will I remember all this in years to come, maybe, maybe not, but there are some things I will recall, things that are a little more personal...

I graduated with a 2:1 in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, and then stayed on to do a PGCE, which I am now part way through.

I visited the Cathedrals of Salisbury and St Pauls for the first time, as part of my job with Bath Abbey, which I finished in July.

I fractured my left arm during what turned into something of an epic cycle ride (see more here: http://jbayes-insideoutside.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/an-unexpected-journey.html)

I was in the crowd on the first two days of the summer Ashes series at Trent Bridge, a victorious series, although that certainly seems a long time ago given the current situation in Australia.

The weirdest moment of the year would have to be when ITV rang me up to ask if I was interested in auditioning for 'Take me out', I declined, but it was flattering none the less!

The most memorable days, though, are easily the best ones, and it is hard to call between them.
     I guess the most exciting individual day would be seeing the mighty Nottinghamshire Outlaws cricket team win the trophy at Lords Cricket Ground, my first visit to the famous venue. I love sport. I love the competition and the way it unifies people. Next year sees the Winter Olympics and the Commonwealth games and I hope both will help to bring greater peace between people and nations.
     For me though the best thing I did this year was driving through the Canadian Rockies with my sisters in June. It was a beautiful experience with mind-blowing scenery. Certainly something I won't forget.

This has been my 100th blog post, thank you to everyone who has taken time to indulge me by reading them. Watch out for more in 2014!

Have a very happy and blessed New Year!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Maths Test

Christmas is coming, the last week of term,
We've had our class party
Then the teacher says, "Maths test!"

Last week of term, handing out cards,
Now an hour of silence (sort of)
Because the teacher said, "Maths test!"

Handing out cards, and presents too,
There's a tree in the corner,
And the teacher says, "Maths test!"

Why, oh why, Miss, must we do a maths test?
It's the last week of term, Miss, we just want a rest.
Can't we play games, Miss, that's much more fun.
"Don't worry," she says, "You'll soon be done."

Christmas is coming, just want to go home,
I'm tired of working,
But I've finished the Maths test!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Discussing Christmas Trees

So I had a conversation with a pupil about Christmas Trees today. This was how it went:

Pupil: We put our tree up last night, it has 366 lights on it.

Me: Wow! It must be big!

Pupil: No, we only got a small one this year.

Me: Oh, you mean like our class tree. (I pointed at our tree, which seems to be pretending to be a 3 foot bush)

Pupil: No, it's 10 feet tall.

Me: What! That's taller than I am. (I thought, 'she must be confused')

Pupil: Yeah, well we usually get a 21 foot tree, but Dad decided not to this year.

Me: Err, do you live in a castle?

Pupil: No, we just have a very high ceiling.

(Then she left)

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Who is Vygotsky, again?

Nothing particularly funny or interesting happening at the moment. This is the time on a PGCE course when there's nothing for it but to invent a load of waffle and make vague connections to some academic from eighty-seven years ago - I mean, of course, critically analyse observations I have made into the learning theories of Piaget and Vygotsky (can't even pronounce their names).

Christmas feeling has arrived, but it would be much better without the looming deadline. School is bedecked, against the wishes of several self-proclaimed scrooges on the staff, and I have even received a couple of cards from children, who will now be getting A*s on their next piece of homework, or something like that.
     The days and lessons are definitely become less structured. Literacy this week was all about writing instructions, so the children spent 2 hours doing origami and a confused 10 minutes trying to explain in writing how to make a paper frog, or 300, which was about how many they'd made by this time. I guess that counts as something funny and potentially interesting!

Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Equality and Diversity

This week my school downed the timetable and had a week focused on Equality. There was discussion in the classrooms about rights and responsibilities and about diversity. Which made it an interesting week for Nelson Mandela to die.

It has crossed my mind that it might be a good idea to imprison all politicians for 27 years before they can take charge of a nation. It certainly changed the life of Mandela dramatically from a person of hatred to forgiveness. I hope there are many more world leaders like him to come.

On a totally unrelated subject Christmas approaches and therefore so do my deadlines, however the Uni continue to plug us with information until we're practically comatose, and even if it is interesting (see this link for the important work being done to save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/) I feel my time could have been better spent this week.

Oh well it's gone 8pm on a Friday night in December so I'm going to do something unrelated to work. I hope you are too.

Have a happy weekend!