Teacher Life – #TestingTimes

Well, hello there, Peeps!

It’s me, back again, musing on a Thursday abot the strange world we’re living in, especially the world of schools.

As you know, I’m not a huge fan of remote learning, and honestly, there are very few teachers worth their salt, who would honestly say they prefer the systems in place now, as opposed to face to face teaching.

eyeroll

I won’t wax lyrical again about the same thing, though.

A quick update. Week one was much smoother than I had imagined, and I embarked upon the calls for week two, as well as having students in the classroom, it being my turn this week. Aside from two parents who asked about the possibility of Zoom, or live lessons, everyone else was pretty happy. A few needed a little urging, again, to make sure they were helping their child to access learning, but there were at least a few who made a point of saying how happy they were with everything we were setting.

I’ve received photos of work, and even some wonderful videos of children demonstrating their learning. It warmed my heart!

Right. Update done.

What I was going to discuss today was the testing regime that has been suddenly flung into the picture today by the DfE for teachers in Primary School.

‘Apparently’, all Primary schools are going to be sent sets of Lateral Flow tests for school staff to utilise every day, if someone was to test positive, who was a possible close contact, I think, or maybe it’s a set of tests we are all to do every day? Still no clear guidance… surprised? I’m not!

So as long as you are getting negative tests, you keep coming in to work.

Though, these LF tests are around 50% accurate, so we may still end up in school, actually positive, but with a result that said negative…

Bitmoji Image

And if you test postive? You have to go and get a proper test, and isolate for 10 days.

Here’s hoping that doesn’t mean we end up shutting schools, if the ‘inaccurate’ tests tell a whole staff, or the majority, that they are positive!

Oh, well, onwards and upwards, eh!

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 265 – Social Distancing Thoughts

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“Never put off til tomorrow, what you can do today.”

Thomas Jefferson

Hmmmm… thank you, Spidey, for another thought provoking quote.

You see, the thing is, there are so many things I’d love to do, but at the moment, I have no choice but to put off ’til goodness knows when, because of this cursed coronavirus.

Things that I think I’d like to do, then I realise I can’t actually do yet.

It got me thinking a little more…

Bucket lists.

Lots of people make them. But how many people actually action their dreams?

I haven’t really got one, as such, but I have dreams. Things I’d like to achieve, places I’d like to visit, things I’d like to learn.

As I sit inside, coccooned from the outside world, I have signed up to a few online courses to keep me sane. They’ll tick off a few of my hopes. I’ll get a certificate for writing. I’ll try and master calligraphy.

But what of the other things?

Before, they were thoughts, what-ifs and maybes.

Who envisioned that this craziness was around the corner? So many key days in peoples lives have been affected by the global pandemic. People’s weddings postponed, birthday gatherings cancelled, among other events.

But something I have learned already in this first week of lockdown, is that once we are able, we really shouldn’t put off things we really want to do.

If you really want to go somewhere, take the bull by the horns and book your trip (finances pending, of course!) Sign up for that course, learn a new sport.

Seriously, go, ride that dream to fruition!

So… tell me, what do you plan to do, once this is all over?

Have a peaceful Sunday, Peeps  And enjoy your week! ❤ 

Ritu’s 9 Unconventional Blogging Rules 2017

What are the rules for blogging?

There are so many posts out there, detailing all these things you are supposed to do, to create a perfect blog that will make money/attract followers/sell your book…

But really, are these rules for everyone?

If you are blogging for a purpose, as a career, then maybe.

But for those of us out there who started to blog for our own entertainment, as a pass-time, are these rules appropriate?

Here’s my take on what you should do to operate a successful, happy blog!

1) Post regularity

Whether you post once an hour, once a day, once a week or even once a month, if that is what is good for you, then that is perfect!

I know some out there hate to be flooded with notifications of posts from one blogger every day, but then, if they enjoy your posts, surely they would be happy to see an influx! (although, I must add a point, mentioned in the comments by Erika, make sure your regular ramblings have some sort of content, not just minute snippets of nothingness… That’s where you link your blog to Twitter or Instagram and we can follow you there too!) Similarly, if you post sparsely then your loyal followers will be on the look out for your next post.

If they don’t like it, they can always unfollow.

2) Unfollow?

OMG Ritu! What are you saying???

I worked so hard to get my followers… I don’t want them to switch off!

Really?

But seriously, look at your numbers… I remember reading somewhere that if you get at least 10 % of your followers liking or reading your posts, you’re doing great!

I have over 3500 WP followers. Most of my posts get less than 100 likes. That is a pitiful amount if I have these apparent followers!

3) Stop Number Crunching

Yes. I find that the more you fixate on the numbers, the more your content suffers.

When you start out, it is so easy to get sucked into the whole stats thing. I remember in my first year I found myself checking my app countless times a day for notifications, and to see what my daily stats were saying. It started to rule my day.

I started to resent blogging. I was getting agitated that the numbers I thought I should see were not appearing on that stats page. Tuning into my blog was beginning to be a chore.

The moment I realised that, for me, the stats really meant nothing, was when I started to accept my Blogily.

4) Blogily and the Blogosphere

Your blog is part of a much larger picture.

In order for your blog to flourish, you need to connect with others, create your blogily, your own community.

And how do you do that?

Don’t expect others to come to your blog space if you are not prepared to go and visit others.

5) Commenting is key

It’s all well and good, whizzing through the reader, liking all and sundry, but if you really want to connect, you need to reach out and comment on posts that mean something to you, that touch you, make you laugh, cry, cringe.

Posts you can relate to.

Commenting means you can build up a relationship with others, start a conversation, a rapport, which can lead to a deeper relationship than just a follower.

And it works both ways.

6) Keep up to date with your notifications

If another blogger is reaching out to you, by commenting on one of your posts, don’t ignore them! You don’t want the reputation of that blogger who thinks they are too good for their followers, not deeming them worthy of a reply.

Thank them for a reblog or a pingback.

Respond to their comments.

7) Write from the heart

Nothing will allow your posts to be more human than if you write with genuine emotion. We are all human. It is likely that whatever you write about, will be being experienced by someone out there. And even if they feel unable to express their own feelings, they will appreciate what you are going through, and relate to you.

8) If you don’t know, ask

This one is so important! Once you get going, you are bombarded with so many technical blogging terms, that for someone that may not be tech-savvy, it can be daunting.

But fear not.

Your blogily will have a few members who are seasoned professionals and they are usually always happy to help.

In the early days,  I had fellow bloggers posting screenshots of how to do things for me, so I could work out simple things, like creating hyperlinks, and pingbacks.

Since I have become more experienced, I have managed to post ‘how-to’ posts to help out my fellow bloggers, and they are always much appreciated!

9) You don’t need a niche!

I know some experts tell you that you should have a theme for your blog, posting only on that topic, but if you are like me, you are almost a Jack of all trades, Master of none!

Check my blog out:

  • Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Recipes
  • Reviews
  • Tips
  • Thoughts
  • Motivation
  • General silliness
  • Insights into my life

No particular niche there, see! And yet it still gets hits. It still gets follows!

There you are Peeps, my random ramblings for a Tuesday morning!

Have a wonderful day, and enjoy your blog for what it is, your space to express yourself freely!

Images as always by Bitmoji!

 

 

Tuesday Thought in Poetic Form

I feel a little anxious today
I feel I wanna hide
I want the world to stop and let me off
I don’t wanna ride
I feel so much uncertainty
I really don’t feel right
I wish I knew what was going on
I wanna sleep at night
I spend nights tossing and turning
I’m not sleeping well
I feel the Heaven around me
Is turning into Hell
I need to think what to do
To turn my thoughts around
If I look hard enough
Positivity can be found

Ritu 2017

Seeing all going on around the world, with attacks, elections with no hope no matter what the outcome, poverty and greed, it is so easy to become worried and upset.

Please look around you. There is good, no matter where you look.

As the saying goes, “Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining”.

On Being Observed… 11 ‘What Ifs’ Running Through My Mind.

I haven’t been sleeping well, you guys know that.

The reason is because I have a lesson observation on Thursday. I am pretty used to being observed by my manager, but this time it is her along with the Head Teacher, coming to see me in action.

But there are so many things running through my brain all the time, regarding said observation!

Oh My God!

What if…

  1. …I am doing EVERYTHING wrong!
  2. …I goof up?
  3. …the kids don’t listen?
  4. …I can’t speak?
  5. …I don’t live up to the expectations of the management?
  6. …my lesson just ‘doesn’t work’?
  7. …I can’t control the kids?
  8. …my staff don’t react in the way I’d like them to?
  9. …the children look bored?
  10. …things don’t go to plan?
  11. …the kids don’t learn?

I’ve spent nights thinking about specific activities that show the children being ‘stretched’ through play, and whether the activity makes sense/is fun/is beneficial/ticks the relevant boxes with regards to the learning intention I hope to achieve.

I worry about whether my behaviour management techniques with the children will be deemed to ‘work’. The children I am being observed with are lovely, but there are a couple of children with additional needs, and the obligatory behavioural issues, not to mention English as an Additional Language for most of the class!

Everything needs to be simple, they are three or four years old. But not too simple that it doesn’t challenge the children that are more able.

I have the additional pressure of the fact that when my colleague was observed, there were a lot of ‘issues’ pointed out, and I know that management want to see me addressing these issues, which I will.

I am confident in myself… until someone comes along to judge me.

Then I go to pot.

I’m the same with exams. I know what is needed, but put me under that exam pressure, and I crumble!

But I am worried that I’ll stutter, or I’ll waffle, to overcompensate and over explain things to the kids, waffling away, as is the case with me normally, so imagine what ‘over-waffling’ could be like?!

Oh dear God, see! I am waffling on here again already… you are reading my nerves!!!!

So please, wish me luck for tomorrow.

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