I’ve seen a few of these ‘New (School) Year resolutions’ going around, whether that be blogged or on Twitter (including #teacherpledge by Emma Bell) so I thought I would have a think about my own. I know that this year is going to be hard in 1000 ways that the PGCE wasn’t, and easier than it in 1000 others, but this is what I have so far, and I may change them up once I have some more experience behind me…
- Don’t take work home.
This may sound bonkers and totally un-achievable to some. Maybe it is. But last year my flat became the place I did work because as an ITT I had no space that was really ‘mine’ in school. I like to have all the things I could possibly need around me when planning/working and carting things to and from school didn’t facilitate that. So I brought everything home. Then it took over my desk, so I had no space to work on anymore. So I started planning from the sofa, while watching TV… And ignoring my boyfriend all evening, and taking 2.5 hours to plan something that should take 1 hour.
This year I have my own classroom and I plan to make the most of that. If you are a regular reader, you’ll have already seen the hard work I have put into making my classroom an engaging and welcoming place – this goes for me as well as my students. School ends at 2.30/3.30 with enrichment activities every day, so that leaves me with a few hours to work in my room after school, working ‘normal’ 9-5ish hours. With any luck, that means home time really will be time to be at home and spend time with my wonderful boyfriend, instead of sitting at opposite ends of the couch and ignoring eachother…
- Continue my weekend pattern.
No work Friday night. No work Saturday. Leisurely planning on a Sunday if needs be. Use this time for date night, seeing friends, and being not-teacher-Kathryn. That is an order.
- Use my NQT time to observe excellent teachers.
I think this could be easy to let slip. But I want to keep it up and gather up as many ideas I can use in my own classroom as I can – my new school is AMAZING and I know my mentor is drafting a list of people to see already.
- Gain confidence in teaching A Level.
My major target from both my placements was that I need to believe in myself more and stop being so hard on myself. It seems a little too broad to pick that as a target, so I’m being a bit more specific with the part of my timetable that scares me most.
I am 100% convinced that in my first double with my A Level class they’re going to realise I am a fraud with no idea what I am doing. But I need to combat that fear, and be an excellent teacher for them. I’ve already started work on this at the New to Teaching A Level Maths Summer School through the STEM centre last week. I would 100% recommend to anyone who;s taking up A Level next year – it was really great to see the exciting ways the content can be taught. I hope to take that into the classroom and make those lessons engaging for me and my Year 12s.
- Look after myself.
In my PGCE year, I let my standards of self-care slip a lot. I absolutely adore teaching, but I know that if I carry on like I did last year, it won’t be sustainable for me. Having been in a position before where I was miserable in my job and not taking care of myself, I don’t ever want to go there again, and especially not in a job I adore.
I am planning to sort out my eating again, and ensure that I am cooking most nights of the week. I want to get out with Milo, the gorgeous Collie-cross we walk through Borrow My Doggy, a few times a week. I want to take time out to watch a chick-flick and cry if I need to. I want to ring my mum, and my cousin, and my grandma more. I want to organise dinner with my friends and laugh until our sides hurt.
If it looks like I’m not doing any of that, send me a stern tweet.
- Keep blogging.
I’ve really enjoyed keeping track of everything I have been doing this year. It’s been great to reflect on what I do right and wrong, what I want as teacher-Kathryn, what I’ve achieved and how to be better. I think I may start writing much more reflectively about lessons and classes to help me through the year too, rather than just sporadic updates.
I hope you’ll keep reading through my next chapter too 🙂