One-Liner Wednesday – #1LinerWeds – Being Watched

“Why does sleep elude me when I need it the most?” – Ritu

I’m sorry it’s a ‘one line’ with an explanation – again!

I’ve been really tired again recently, and to top it off, Lil Princess thinks it’s a great idea to wake in the middle of the night, and appear in our bed.

Usually, I don’t realise, but last night (early this morning) at 4.30 am, she dutifully turned up, and since then I haven’t slept.

Instead, my mind has been full of thoughts surrounding playing cards (Alice in Wonderland topic in one class), staff placement, Purple Mash Log-ins (online learning platform), Jack and the Giant (Jack and the Beanstalk topic in other class), and shape activities…

Because I am being observed today, by my head teacher, but I also have to cover another class in the morning too… And somehow fit a little planning in too…

And before you think ” Well that’s not fair! Being observed when you are in and out all day!”, I was meant to be observed two weeks ago, but my arm and the snow week put paid to that. Booked this date in before I realised that I was already meant to be covering the other class.

So it’s my own fault really, and I didn’t want to change the observation date as it has been hanging over me for the last few months!

I just hope a huge yawn does not escape from my mouth mid lesson while I am being watched!!!

For Linda’s #1LinerWeds Challenge.

Born To Teach or Taught To Teach? #ThrowbackThursday

Written before I finally got my own class! But the question still stands…

Image Source, words my own.

I think it’s quite apparent to those of you that read this blog regularly, that I work with children, as an educator, a teacher.

Something a colleague said to me the other week really made me think, and it’s been on my mind ever since.

Is this true?

A good teacher is born, just that.

It’s an inherent quality that is within you, from the beginning. And though there are teaching colleges, and degrees, if you don’t have that quality, you will never be a truly GOOD teacher.

Is it true?

I really don’t know… I have seen some truly awful ‘teachers’ over the years, and experienced them, as a student too. Those that teach by the book. Using methods that they have learned by rote.

Then I have seen those inspiring educators, who seem to just emit that glow of learning, and seem to impart knowledge to their students, without the kids even knowing that they have just learned something new.

Sure, it never hurt anyone to learn a few skills, but it’s how you use them in practice that is the important thing, I guess…

I wanted to be a teacher from the tender age of 7. I remember it well. When I realised what I wanted to do. It’s all down to Jo Duck! She was our Head Girl at school when I was finishing Primary School, and she came down to us for her work experience. Up until then, I had naturally enjoyed school, and the teachers were part and parcel, of a great experience that I had had. Suddenly, it was brought to my attention that being a teacher was a job! It was something I could do too! And well, that was it, my mind was made up.

Sure I went through the ‘I wanna be a pop star/film star/hairdresser’ etc. phase, but I always came back to the teaching option. As I grew up, attending all the family functions that having a huge family generates, I would naturally end up with all the little kids around me, sometimes even setting up a school, and playing being teacher. This continued as I got older, but it would be the parents bringing their children to me, and knowing I would happily keep them entertained.

The thought of spending my whole working life with these little creatures of wonder, these empty vessels, these dry sponges, filled me with excitement! I wanted to be the one to fill them with knowledge, to give them the liquid knowledge for them to soak up.

Then, as was the requirement, I went to university, to study for my degree… 4 years to perfect what I always wanted to do. But by the third year, I was totally disheartened. Really? Is THIS what teaching was? A whole load of red tape, paperwork, assessments, tests? When did we get to be with the children? Learning? Playing? Having fun? I know there was going to be work in there too, but what I remember from school was so different to what I was expected to provide to a class of children. It’s like the National Curriculum had arrived, just in time to suck out the fun from schools. This was not what I had signed up for!

I was so close to quitting, but a conversation with my mum sat in the stairwell of my student digs in my third year, convinced me to at least finish my degree. But the rot had set in. I had lost that oomph.

Fast forward 14 odd years. I had worked in retail,  in the banking industry, then in an office for a marketing company, but no schools. I had my husband and family, and situations at the time meant I left my then job, to give my all to my children, and my son in particular, who needed more support, academically.

But I couldn’t be a Stay At Home Mum, for various reasons. I needed to find work. Something that would suit my life as a wife and mother. One of the mums at Lil Man’s school knew my qualifications and mentioned that there was a Bi-Lingual Teaching Assistant job going at the school. Hours-wise, that would be great, term-time, holidays with the kids, and start and finish alongside them too! And maybe, just maybe, I could get to do what I loved, finally!

I applied, I got an interview, and I got the job! Well, it would have been a no brainier, Teacher for Teaching Assistant money (and, believe me, it is a pittance of salary!).

So, nervously, I stepped back into education, and almost as soon as I got in, working with Primary and Junior school children, that spark was truly ignited once again. Why had I never gone back to it?

I wanted my own class, but I could also see the stresses and strains that the class teachers of now, have put upon them, by the school’s management, who, in turn, are pressured by the higher powers, to produce results, Results RESULTS!

It’s still there though, that yearning for being an inspiration to a generation of children through teaching them. Sure, I get to be something to them as the Teaching Assistant, but it’s not the same as them being your babies, your class… I’m lucky that the teacher I work with gives me a lot of leeway, and respects my ideas, sometimes using them too.

Going back to what my colleague said to me, the other week. She was surprised that I wasn’t a teacher in the school from my demeanour and behaviour with the kids. And she told me “I believe a true teacher is born, not taught. It’s in you. And I can see that in you.”

Honestly, it was one of the biggest compliments that I have ever received, both professionally, and personally.

I can totally see that teaching is not a job or a career, but a vocation. You have to want to do it, you need to have the love for it, in order to do it well. And from that, get the results you hope to achieve.

One day…. I hope, it will happen. I’ll be able to do the job I love fully, with the support of my colleagues, and I already know I have the support of my family behind me!

What do you think? Born to teach or taught to teach?

One-Liner Wednesday – #1LinerWeds – Holi-Yay!


School’s OUT for Christmas! YESSSSS! – Said ALL the teachers!!!!! (and the students!)

Just gotta crawl through this last day… involving 2 parties for both my nursery classes, and popping into the one for my Reception class too… then the staff Christmas dinner tonight!

I can switch my alarm off recurring too for two weeks!!!!

For Linda’s #1LinerWeds Challenge.

December 7 – Flash Fiction – Performance – Nativity

Charli’s prompt this week:

December 7, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write that features a performance. You can interpret what is a performance any way the prompt leads you.

December 7 Flash Fiction Challenge at Carrot Ranch @Charli_Mills

Well, being as I work in school teaching, this time of year is filled with performances! We have the Nursery Christmas singing to parents, the Reception Nativity, the KS1 alternative Nativity, then Lower KS 2 and Upper KS 2 hold their performances of Christmas songs from around the world too!

I am personally involved in the Nursery and Reception performance preparations this year, and I have to say, my throat is hurting from the over singing we have to do, to compensate for the vast majority of the kids who stand and do nothing!

So it goes without saying that my piece for the week would be influenced by my day job!


“Come on children, nice and loud now! Please no shouting – it’s singing we want to hear.”
Mrs Keeble started the intro on the school piano, and nodded to the class in front of her.
As usual, there were the performers: the children who thought they were born for the stage. There were the skulkers: the ones who stood at the back, heads down, hoping no one would notice them. And then there were the stunned: the ones who stood there, gawping, no sound leaving their mouths, eyes scanning the audience for family.
Welcome to another infant Christmas performance!


Curse the Cursive!!! #ThrowbackThursday


We have a new handwriting policy at school, and it means we need to model what we would like our pupils to achieve…

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the way cursive writing looks, it was the handwriting we learned at school too, but over the years, my handwriting has evolved into its own style… A sort of semi-joined formation, depending on the occasion, but it does seem to change, depending on the pen I’m using too. Big, small, straight, slanted, you’ll find them all in my writing over various books!

Being at school means we need decipherable handwriting, so on white boards, and in books, children can read what we have written with ease. I have worked hard at getting my printed handwriting to a great standard for these occasions… It lapses back to my usual spider scrawl at other times.
I love the neatness and conformed sizes of many of my colleagues writing, and aspire to write like them all the time… Now we have to change it!!!

What takes me 10 seconds to write usually is taking me 2 minutes, as I forget to start at the line, and when I use my own doctored joins, I have to re-write them… the correct way!

I need my fountain pen again I think. I’m sure I was much neater with that!

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