A Mixed Bag

I apologise in advance, as this blog is not going to be as cheery and positive as my usual ones. I am having a very stressful time at the moment… feeling a little overwhelmed by it all. I am trying to take solace in the fact that many other trainees are in this exact same position as me at the moment though. On Twitter and on WordPress it seems that everyone has 9 million things to do each day, on top of a cold and 6 assignments, and trying to see our friends and family without feeling guilty. It is getting us all down!

I thought I’d do a little recap of everything since starting at school number two!

I won’t lie, in my first week I was more than a little homesick for placement one. I had been all of half term after the absolute sob-fest that was my last day! I hated that everything was so unfamiliar – the building, the new ITT’s & other staff I saw each day, the classes, the uniform, the rules… Everyone was lovely, but I felt a total fish out of water. None of this was helped by contracting a stomach bug on the Wednesday and nearly vomiting on a Year 7 before being sent home!

Thankfully, all of that has gotten a lot better. I started teaching, rather than just observing and feeling in the way all the time. I got to know my classes better as I had more interactions with them and got a feel for the place. I started embracing the way this school works instead of comparing it to the last one because… No, it is not placement one. But nowhere is!

My Year 8 class are bottom set, and they are a lovely bunch. I’ve really taken to them, and I think they have really taken to me. They are a struggle for me because their ability is much lower than any class I have had before, and breaking things down for them, or thinking of another explanation can be hard. But I think I am getting better with every lesson, taking in all the advice I can. The Assistant Head is actually my host teacher with them and he has given me some wonderful and constructive feedback.

Year 7 are a joy. Top set, super keen. Albeit super chatty. They’re a joy to plan for, and proving to be an asset for my low level disruption techniques (I’m trying to put a positive spin on my headaches here, can you tell?)

Year 10 are Set 2, and a class full of characters. One of which took a terrible dislike to me in the first week I taught them, literally rolling her eyes at everything I said, and asking the host teacher ‘When are YOU teaching us again?!’ very loudly in my earshot. Her distaste for me also seemed to rub off on the rest of the class, to the point that on Monday I was filled with a physical sense of dread walking to the classroom… But then, for whatever reason, things started to turn around with her. She doesn’t exactly LIKE me, but has clearly decided to tolerate me. And I can deal with that more than an obvious and glaring hatred on the front row every lesson. Each lesson I teach them, the better the classroom climate gets and that’s making me feel much better!

All of this change has also made me regress a little bit. I’m making silly mistakes a lot, and not knowing all of the students names really makes me feel off balance.

This coupled with absolute exhaustion (let’s remember that I haven’t really had any time off to relax this year with Uni in half terms and illnesses and driving all over the place during Christmas) and an assignment due on Thursday pushed me to breaking point.

So I broke one of my resolutions this weekend. I have not had Saturday off. I broke down crying on the phone to my mum, cancelled seeing my cousin and her gorgeous kids, then sat down to finish Draft 1 of my assignment. Because otherwise it will never be done.

I know that “A teacher’s To Do List is never complete”, but I really do feel like this past week or so has been taking the mick… I feel sad today. Not just a fleeting sad, a really deep sad that only comes from being so tired and having so much to do. It’s the first time I’ve really felt like this all year, and I know it is circumstantial, but I’m finding it hard to be positive right now. There are not physically enough hours in my day to work, plan, eat, finish an assignment, spend time with people I love, AND sleep. So this weekend I am prioritising this assignment, planning for Monday and sleeping… because those things have a deadline/are just plain needed…

I really need Easter to recharge. Until then, I’m going to have to focus on finding at least one positive a day. And to stop answering ‘How are you?’ with ‘Tired, but good.’

I’m so sorry this post was so negative. But I needed to post something and I’m hoping this has gotten it all out of my system! Because I do love this job. I actually really do. Every day I look forward to going into school and passing on how much I love maths to a group of young people that haven’t found the wonder of it yet. I love talking to other teachers about how best to convey that to them, and to help them get the qualifications they need. I love all of it. But I am just so tired!

Love to you all struggling with assignments, planning and balancing general life with it all. We can do this!

2 thoughts on “A Mixed Bag

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