I am so enjoying the one to one at school, although i feel rather guilty when I see what stress all the staff are under and I can just walk out. However I was delighted when asked would I like to take on another pupil after Christmas. She happens to be the sister of a boy I am already helping so it will be really good.
My daughter has begun her teaching practice in a Y6 class so I will continue to be kept in touch with all that is happening. My other daughter’s school is expecting an inspection soon. It is so stressful not knowing how it will all work out, as so much depends on who the inspector are. Having lived through four inspections I know what I am talking about. Three of the inspections were thorough but fair. However the last one was a disgrace as the lead inspector was totally out of order in the way he conducted the inspection and left us all completely deflated and discouraged.
I hav been spending my time making Christmas presents and really enjoying being creative. I almost feel guilty that after tea I can sit down and enjoy myself doing what I like best.
It was back to my 1-2-1 today after half term. I really enjoyed the experience using many of the ideas from the Big Writing. My pupil seems to enjoy the variety of activities and has made good progress. However when I speak to my daughter who is a teacher and she tells me how overwhelmed she is by all there is to do, it brings back so many memories making me really appreciate my retirement. My other daughter is about to begin her first teaching practice in a school where more than 70% have English as a second language! I expect some phone calls for help especially as she has been given Y6. This is a difficult time to train as with a new government even the college is uncertain about how the primary curriculum will shape up in the future
This has been a strange week as I feel I have been on a roller coaster of emotions. Maybe the reality of retiring has caught up with me and created a feeling of being very unsettled. We have many decisions to make including whether to continue living where we do, that in itself is very unsettling. There is more time to think and having watched “The big silence” on television maybe that is a good thing but there needs to be some way of putting those thoughts into words and making some sense of them.
Otherwise the week has been full of activity and it was great to have our 2 year old grandson staying with us last night. What an amazing age when development is so fast as they experiment with words and understanding. Next week it is back to school for the 1-2-1 which will be good as I really enjoy helping the boys to improve.
Today we made a trip to see my sister who developed alzheimer’s some years ago. She was a highly intelligent person who taught English and RE in a secondary school and It is so difficult to see the way she has deteriorated. They have recently built a new bungalow which however she cannot fully appreciate. What a cruel disease this is and how important it was for NICE the drug company to allow early suffers to once again benefit from the drug they removed a few years ago. The disease creates a terrific strain upon the carers and it is so important that they have respite from time to time.
People keep asking me how I am enjoying my retirement and my reply is “What retirement?” I’m not sure what retirement is meant to be, all I know is that I am busier than ever. I really do enjoy my sessions of 1-2-1 with the two boys, although it is a bit of a shock having to get up early especially as the mornings are darker now. However when I see the stressed looks and longings for half-term on the faces of the staff I am grateful for what I have. Tomorrow is my husbands birthday one which he won’t forget as it is also the long awaited, dreaded spending review! I am more concerned about how it will affect my children and their families than I am about how it will affect us.
What a day! I went up to the venue for my colour talk to members of the inner wheel to find the place set out as for a wedding. China cups and saucers, teapots, milk jugs, silver teaspoons etc. I was to sit at the top table next to the Lady mayor. People began to flood in until there were more than sixty. What had I let myself in for? They say that teaching is like acting, as that is what you do most of the time in front of a class, so I went into full acting mode which seemed to work as the feed back was very positive. Quite an experience! However I do find these things take a great deal of mental and emotional energy so will have to think carefully about future requests.
I forgot to mention yesterday that when in Ambleside we visited a wonderful little cafe called Rattle Gill Cafe situated in Bridge Street by the river. The homemade food was delicious and the people very pleasant So good was the place that we ate there twice in one day.
Today has been such a glorious Autumn day and not wanting to waste a minute of the sunshine, we went for a long walk into the country. I just wanted to keep hold of every minute. No wonder people write poetry or paint pictures to capture times like this. However tomorrow is another day and I am giving a talk on colour to a large group of Inner Circle ladies!!!
We have just arrived home from the Lake District after 4 lovely days of beautiful autumn weather and colours. Never having been to Arnside – one of the places we visited I have fallen in love with the place. The views are amazing over the estuary with the mountains in the background. Visiting Ambleside was also great as the weather was perfect and we climbed up, to what Wainwright says in his book is the best waterfall in England. It was certainly spectacular and with shafts of sun coming through the trees I was overcome with the beauty of it all. I considered sending a text to my friends at school ( although I am not sure there would have been a signal) however on due consideration decided that would be cruel as they would all be in the middle of a very busy afternoon. Going from tea shop to tea shop sampling the delicious homemade fare is surely what retirement is all about. However we were certainly brought back to earth on our return home when discovering that the drains were blocked and we couldn’t run taps or flush toilets!
I read with interest a discussion on the TES web site about how best to seat children. Seeing classrooms where children had to twist round to see either the board or the teacher really annoyed me, I always felt that every child should be comfortable and have the same opportunity to see the board. Therefore my class always sat in rows with one row sideways on so that the TA could easily help. In the afternoons tables were often put together if group work was being undertaken. My own children hated sitting in groups for formal work as they were always being interrupted. However this is Monday and school is far from my mind as we are getting ready for our break in the Lake District.
Another wet Sunday, so depressing for those who look forward to their weekend away from work. After church my son and his girlfriend came for lunch. It was good to see them and to feel so completely relaxed in the afternoon with no thoughts of Monday.
We visited some friends, as we are renting their accommodation in the Lake District for a few days this week – can’t wait, haven’t been there for a long time, so there will be no 1-2-1 this week. Actually, I shall miss going to school. On Friday I had a visit from twins who had been in my class last year. They were so keen to tell me how they were getting on at secondary school, it was lovely to see them.
What a busy day beginning early with 1-2-1 at school. I am really enjoying it and hope it will make a real difference. On to U3A for a quick visit before giving my colour presentation to a drop in group that meets in a church. I was quite nervous as I wasn’t sure what to expect. However I actually enjoyed the experience and realise how important it is to make sure that I don’t lose my confidence in speaking publicly. This afternoon the head from the school who is taking time out came to visit me. It was so lovely to see her and chat about how we felt about life.
Reading the TES web site I see that the SEF form is to be abolished. My daughter couldn’t believe it as her school have talked about nothing else since the beginning of term.
Visiting the dentist is not my favourite occupation and certainly not when you know that the future treatment is going to cost a great deal of money. No wonder the nations teeth are not in good order when two fillings are going to cost £179! I comforted myself with a visit to a wool shop to buy some amazing wool which knits up as a can can scarf.
I know so many people say it, but it seems to be so true that I wonder how I found time to go to work! The last few days have been so busy what with having curtains cleaned which meant re painting the window frames to looking after our grandson at the weekend, helping to prepare the church for harvest and attending a concert. A friend and I also discovered a new type of wool which is amazing to use. It is Sunday evening and I have just realised I don’t have that Sunday feeling of school on Monday. Mind you it is replaced by that dentist feeling because that is tomorrows treat!
I arrived at the back gate of the school today to find it locked. It brought back memories of the times ( usually when it was raining) that the caretaker forgot to open the gate and the stress I used to feel. I took the boy I have for 1-2-1 outside to look at the surroundings which were beautiful today. It was as though he had never noticed them before, but very quickly had a page full of words. He loved the idea of making up a story about a footballer in a lift with a cricket bat and actually asked me for another scenario to do with a lift
The school had a” meet the team” evening which was well attended and provided some very positive feedback which I was so pleased to hear about. After watching the new drama on BBC about a secondary school, no wonder teaching is seen as being one of the most stressful occupations.
We have such a glut of apples as I suspect many others have also. Today my daughter and partner arrived to help in the garden because my husband has a really bad back. After lunch, she and I along with my 14 year old and 2 year old grandsons sat at the kitchen table preparing apples to make apple and blackberry jam. It was great, if only families could see the value of working together in this way. The 2 year old loved cutting up the apples even though the knife was blunt! Soon the house was filled with the lovely aroma of jam cooking. We had spent some time earlier in the month picking blackberries, so it was a very cheap jam to make.
Everyone seems to lead such busy lives, often working to provide what in my childhood would have been seen as luxuries. But maybe the luxuries in life now are to be found in quality time to spend with family and friends, talking about what really matters in life. Ok I can almost hear the cries from some that they are barely providing the essentials. But it does depend on what we consider are the essentials.
Another early morning and a boy who arrived on time for his 1-2-1 in Literacy. His view like many boys was, that he did not like Literacy because stories were difficult to write when he couldn’t think of any ideas. His favourite author is Roald Dahl – no surprise there.
I ventured into the room where I had spent 12 years – very mixed feelings about it. Maybe it would have been better not to have been involved in school at all. On the other hand I love working with the boys, as well as it being really good to have contact with the staff. I feel so sorry for them as the kitchens are still not finished creating noise and mess everywhere.
It was really strange to be walking up to school again early in the morning, and even stranger to be going in to do a job even if it was only to do 1-2-1 . It was lovely to see everyone again and I really enjoyed my time with the boy I am working with. When the bell went for the beginning of school I realised I was free to go home, quite a nice feeling even though it was pouring with rain. We went straight to U3A , which meant that I was going from one end of the age spectrum to the other, quite weird!
Having five children, meant that I spent years with broken nights but I thought they were a thing of the past until last night. I can’t really complain, my grand daughter woke up once at 4am then finally at 6.30am when I had to give in and get up. Good practice for tomorrow as I have to be in school for 8am for 1-2-1. I wonder how it will feel to be involved in school again even if only on the side lines.
Having watched a sample literacy lesson on teacher’s TV, I want to really make a difference, so I went out and bought some attractive writing books and folders to try and inspire them.
My daughter and husband left early for the lake District. We put our grand daughter in the pram and walked up to church, by the time we arrived she was asleep and slept for half the service. Actually it was a lovely day, as you really bond with a child when you are in charge . It also makes me realise how tiring it is, especially when the house isn’t really child proof. She is in bed now, but for how long I am not sure.
A big family day with lots of people around. As the weather had improved we decided to go to the sea for some fresh air. It was very windy and the tide was quite high but the view was breathtaking! The two toddlers in the family loved the experience and didn’t want to leave. Tomorrow will be scary as we are looking after our fifteen month old grand daughter for a couple of days.