Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 237 – Me

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The things that make me different are the things that make me.

Winnie The Pooh

Gotta love a bit of Pooh Tao, thanks Spidey!

Go on, hands up. Who is guilty of thinking they need to be ‘like’ others to be accepted?

Thinking a certain way, wearing particular clothes, listening to the ‘in’ music, watching the films everyone is raving about… that kind of thing?

Why do we always want to be keeping up with the Joneses? Why can’t we just be ourselves, and why do you think the world won’t accept you as you are?

As a child I was always different from my school peers. There weren’t many Indian girls in my school. I was never singled out because of it, but where they were horseriding and having piano lessons at the weekends, I was going to family weddings and attempting to learn how to read and write my home language, Punjabi (I failed… can speak and understanding fluently, but the reading/writing? Nope!)

We grew up together and as the others were worrying about prospective boyfriends and dates for the ball we had at 15, then discussing the late night bars they began to frequent, and clubs, I was still there, enjoying the music they listened to, and joining in with their chats about crushes on teeny bopper pop idols, and our own real life crushes, but I was also still busy every weekend with my family (it’s huge, there are neverending lists of events and functions to attend, even now!)

It didn’t single me out in a negative way, my friends just knew I wouldn’t be turning up at the non uniform day in a miniskirt and cropped top, despite it being the fashion. I’d be wearing whatever sensible clothes my mum thought were best.

Because that was me. Ratty. Yes, that was my nickname at school. Not because I was bad tempered or anything, but because my full first name is Ratinder, and we watched The Wind In The Willows one day and the character Ratty came up… and so I was christened. One of my oldest school friends still calls me Ratty, over thirty years later!

As I hit university, I admit, I went through the whole fitting in thing. I wore the clothes everyone else did, went to all the clubs, drank all the drinks, and skipped the lectures… but it took me a while to realise that that wasn’t really me.

In all honesty, it took me a good twenty more years to find ‘me’.

Yes I was always, and will always be Ritu the Daughter, Ritu the Sister, Ritu the Wife, Ritu the Daughter-in-Law, Ritu the Mother, Ritu the Colleague, Ritu the Uni friend, Ratty the school mate.

But I no longer conform to what others may expect. I will wear what I want and feel comfortable in. I will eat what I fancy. I will go where I feel a pull to attend, not be forced to go to events that are a drain on my soul. I will laugh. I will cry. I will write. I will read. I will do everything that I enjoy. That makes me, me.

I won’t be a stereotype.

I will be me.

So… tell me, when did you realise it is okay to be YOU?

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps  And enjoy your week! ❤ 

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 236 – Early Years

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“It is greater work to educate a child, in a true and larger sense of the world, than to rule a state.”

Willia Ellery Channing

Profoundness today, eh Spidey!

And apt, as always, to my situation.

I have completed my first week in my new classroom, with my first very own class.

A group of 30 children who are my responsibility for the next academic year.

That’s a BIG responsibility.

Yes, they are 4-5 years-old.

No, they aren’t going to learn how to write a novel/solve complex equations/create scientific formulas this year.

But what I will have to teach them is to love learning.

  • How to hold a pencil
  • How to count
  • How to recognise their name and write it
  • How to begin to read

Simple academics, but on top of that, and more importantly, I need to teach them how to be compassionate, caring individuals. I need to show them that the world doesn’t revolve around them individually, but rather they, and their actions keep our world turning.

I must show then that asking questions is not wrong, but a way of extending their own knowledge. Every question they ask can be explored, investigated.

I have to make sure they develop confidence; conquer the fear of “I can’t do that” and convert it into “I can’t do that, yet.” and further, to “I will try that” onto “I did it!”

It’s a tough job, being an Early Years teacher. The syllabus isn’t as cut and dried as other years.

But I have the joy of (hopefully) creating a stable foundation for my class. A solid beginning to their academic career, so they move forward with an open mind and joy of learning.

So… tell me, what is the first memory you have of school?

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps  And enjoy your week! ❤ 

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 235 – New Beginnings

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“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” 

Meister Eckhart

Thank you for that, Spidey!

Apt for me this weekend, as tomorrow the new school year officially starts.

Yes, I have been back in school for the last two days of last week as staff training (and we had a brilliant training session involving Ian Gilbert of Independent Thinking and Rhythmical Mike, a poetry and spoken word artist, who came to talk about his beginnings and rough start to school life – there is so much to think of, I can’t tell you now, it would need another post), but it was finishing preparations for the new year, and tomorrow the children start, making it the real beginning of the year.

Of course, being in Reception makes things a little different for us. Our children don’t start straight away. They are the littlies, 4-5 year-olds who have never been to school before, so we can’t chuck them in at the deep end. There will be many pupils in my class that I already know, as they will have come up from my old nursery class. But there are ar least 12 new children in each of the two classes who haven’t attended our nursery. So, for the first 2 days, we will be doing home visits, going to see the child and family in their homes, and giving them a quick introduction to us and school, in a setting familiar to the child.

Then they start on Wednesday, for half days. We will build up to full time by the third week of term, which is actually quite fast, in comparison to the last few years.

There will be plenty of settling in time, and we have to assess, or baseline the children, so we know their capabilities at the start.

And this is all new for me.

A new set of beginnings. A whole ream of firsts.

  • My first own class
  • My first own classroom
  • My first year where what I do, is chosen, and driven by me more
  • My first year where the progress of a whole class is on my shoulders entirely

And I have a group of children who are going to tax me, going to try me, possibly will give me headaches and cause tears of frustration, but I also know that my intention is to make sure they are also the source of smiles for me too, and happiness, and tears of joy, as I see them progressing in the year.

What I am saying is there are some children with very specific needs within the class, which will add a whole different dynamic to my days.

Am I ready for the challenge?

Of course I am!

Am I nervous?

You’re damn right I am!

Will I pull this year off?

Who knows, but what I do know is that I will give it my all to try and give these children the best start to their academic life!

And every day is a new start. There will be ups and downs, but I always keep in my head the fact that the next day is another chance to try again.

So… tell me, do you consider each can a new start?

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps  And enjoy your week! ❤ 

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 234 – Holiday End

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“I’m a minimalist. I don’t really need much to enjoy a good holiday – just my family and the bare essentials.”

Jean Reno

Thanks for bringing the end of my holidays to my attention, Spidey!

Yes, this is the last Spidey Sunday of my summer vacation, and it really has flown by.

From setting up my classroom, to editing, to generally keeping my kids busy, it has disappeared with alarming speed, and here I am on the last weekend before I start back on Thursday…

But I’ve had a great, productive break.

Okay, so we didn’t jet off to any exotic locations. We didn’t even head off in the car to some different destination (except Birmingham for 2 nights!)

We were just at home.

And it was lovely, really.

Yes, sometimes I felt it would be wonderful to be getting ready to jet off somewhere hot, with a beach I could sprawl on, book in hand and cocktail by my side, but I know, that time will come soon enough too.

The children discovered their friends on the road and kept busy. I was able to lounge about pottering around the house, when not editing, and just relax.

Really, who needs to spend thousands on a break away? Sometimes being with the ones you love, at home is break enough.

So… tell me, what constitutes a good break in your eyes?

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps  And enjoy your week! ❤ 

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 233 – Parenting

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“If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.”

Bette Davis

Thanks Spidey, for that.

Bette Davis, I hear ya sister!

I can tell my household is filled with teen and tweenage hormones.

The angst clouding the atmosphere can sometimes be so thick, I need my own knife to cut it, just so I can get around my house.

And over the last few weeks, I have had “I Hate You!” thrown at me so many times, it is unbelieveable!

Truthfully, I don’t hear it much from the older one.

He’s a little more subtle, with his brooding stares of death, and retreating to the garden to work off frustrations in the garden, whacking cricket balls around, or taking part in lengthy battles on Tekken 7, battering poor unsuspecting characters to submission on screen.

Once he’s done that, any moods disperse, and he’ll be quite calm again.

But the other one. OMG.

Maybe it’s because she’s the female of the species – though I don’t recall ever being this moody at her age!

But, seriously. WOW!

All it takes is saying “Can you change please?” or “Time for a shower.”

Yeah fine, sometimes I’m cramping her style, not allowing her to express herself through her interesting dress sense… butI need her to look decent, or respectable, at least.

But other times, all it takes is a “Good morning!” and the bedroom door is slammed shut in a huff. I’m left standing there thinking “Whaddidido?”

Last night, after insisting she went and showered, I heard the unmistakeable youth chant “Oh, I HATE you!” as she slammed the door again – the bathroom one this time.

“I know,” I replied cheerily, and went off to my room to read.

The life of a parent, eh.

Two hours earlier she was sitting on my lap, posing for Snapchat selfies with the Mum she hates.

I do love her hate!

So, how long does this stage last, anyone? She’s 11…

So… tell me, which stage of parenthood are you going through right now?

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps  And enjoy your week! ❤ 

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