Friday, 31 January 2014

Long days, Late nights

I meant to post on Wednesday, and again yesterday but both have come and gone, so today will have to do instead, before January slips into February.

It's getting towards the end of my first placement and everything is go as I try to get in as much teaching as I can. Between the planning, marking and evaluating this has meant working till 10 and 10:30pm on a few nights this week, which can't be right, and yet I'm only planning one or two lessons per day and marking one round of books. Meanwhile the class teacher is planning and marking the rest, so maybe she isn't sleeping at all, I'm not sure.

Otherwise the week has been dominated by the monsoon that has descended on the country and particularly Somerset, meaning my long days have also been grey days. Strangely it also caused me to accidentally break out in song part way through a handwriting session, much to the children's delight. My excuse is that I couldn't think of any other sentence with the word 'weather' (which they were practising) except 'Oh the weather outside is frightful'. This of course is doubly bad because it's a Christmas song, but the kids seemed to enjoy it immensely and requested that I sing something for the next word. Sadly I couldn't think of a song with the lyric 'heightened' in it. Any suggestions, please put below!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Dennis the Menace?

Happened to be wearing a red jumper at school today, and with my black trousers this prompted a child to comment that I was dressing like Dennis the Menace. However, she said, "you've got a white shirt on and you're wearing glasses so you're sort of like Walter."

I just smiled and waited to see where this was going.

"And you're good sometimes and bad other times."

I stopped smiling and she took back the latter part of the statement, which I was very pleased about, otherwise I might have had to get her with my sling shot.

Friday, 17 January 2014

9pm on a Friday

You know you're a teacher when.... you finish working at 9pm on Friday (and begin again at 9am on Saturday morning, most probably).

I'm not too worried though because I got my first spontaneous hug from a child this afternoon. She was quite small so she just about got her arms around my knees, which took me by surprise. All I did was make her laugh once and tell her the drawing she'd done was good, but hey, when you're that small I suppose anything's great!

It was a nice end to a week in which I'd been much more aware of the other half of teaching. The one in which teachers stay at school till 6pm or go to meetings about obscure planning strategies that makes them come out all grumpy. Several things about assessments and school procedures went worryingly high over my head, but I've made it to the weekend and I'm hanging in there so it's just about okay!

On an entirely different note, I heard about some WW1 diaries being released online this week. Haven't had time to get around to reading any, but it did remind me of some writing I did a while back based on an extract of my Great-Granddad's dairy from WW1. Here is part of it:

Dawn had not yet broken as HMS Inconstant arrived in Rosyth Harbour at 6 am, March 5th, 1918. It had been a night without event, which was not so unusual now, although the cold March winds across the North Sea, and off the East coast of Scotland meant little joy on board, even for the fit young men going about their duties.
     The day was grey and plain, without rain, but the fifteenth century ruins of Rosyth Castle, rising above the new walls of the dockyard, were damp and blurred by the sea spray from the Firth of Forth. At one time the Castle had been surrounded almost completely by the river and over the years had been passed through many hands. By the eighteenth century, however, it was unoccupied and partly dismantled, leaving only the high tower and the courtyard walls. In 1903 it had become the property of the Admiralty and soon after lost its position on the waterfront. The Castle that had withstood many battles had been replaced by a modern defence, but still men fought to defend it.

Saturday, 11 January 2014


It's taken eleven days but the sun has finally won through and the clear skies beckoned me outside, so I wandered down to the canal at Bathampton, just outside Bath. I thought I might as well make use of this window of free time, which will soon be shut as the workload mounts through the term! It was also an opportunity to do some sketching, which is not something I'm skilled at but I do find relaxing. Below is the outcome of my efforts:


And here is what it really looked like!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Inset day

Happy New Year (plus 6 days) and if this was your first day back to work, like me, I hope it's gone well.

I had the pleasure of an inset day (teacher training) to ease me back in, which involved making little tubs of water with vitamin C tablets in explode, and pinging toys cars across desks with elastic bands. I think there was some other stuff about how to deliver good science lessons and assess learning, but I wasn't paying too much attention. To be honest half of my mind is constantly focused on the things I need to do this term just to stay afloat

The day was capped off though, by a sign that has been posted in the staff room:

Due to the current workload,
the light at the end of the tunnel
has been switched off.