A Year in Review

I haven’t blogged in FOREVER. Rest assured that this is because I am insanely busy and then trying to spend time with my wonderful friends and family, rather than the fact I have fallen out of love with teaching. It is far, far from that. I actually think I am more in love with the job than ever (despite the absolute exhaustion that came with the end of term!)  It has been a total whirlwind of changing timetables, illness and planning but I have loved every (non-poorly) second of it.

It’s hard to believe that this time last year I had only completed one assignment, and had only just been offered my job! Now I have completed a whole term as a PROPER TEACHER, with my own classes! It’s pretty insane how much I have achieved this year…

I thought now may be a good time to reflect on those NQT Resolutions I set myself way back in September, and see if I am breaking all those promises to myself yet.

  1. Don’t take work home. 
    So I started this off pretty well, and I was being sensible with the time I left school each night to get home and have a decent night in with J. However, I quickly started trying to achieve too much in a day, and too much in the time between 5pm and 7pm – a massively unproductive time of day. This resulted in me leaving at 7.30 some evenings, which is insane, and I wasn’t even achieving that much.
    Suffice to say, this resulted in a minor breakdown in week 2 of HT2. I was burned out and exhausted and ill, and I needed someone to help. Thankfully my mentor is the most wonderful human being, and spent his frees that day coming up with a work timetable for me. I now have a set up where I can use my frees productively and should leave school by 6pm at the latest, and 5pm on a Friday. I’ll be doing all my marking in school, planning almost everything at the weekend and tweaking through the week. In the last few weeks of term I started getting into a rhythm with it and it seems to be working. Long may this continue in 2017.
  2. 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.
    This has shifted a little, I’m working on a Saturday now and then Sunday morning is there to catch any over-hang. This means I can really enjoy Sunday evening and chill out with a film/book without thinking about school and planning until bed time, which is often the case when I tried to squish everything into Sunday afternoon.
  3. Use my NQT time to observe excellent teachers.
    I’ve seen so many amazing teachers so far this term, all from my department, and I’ve stolen ideas, if not entire lessons, off each one of them. I’d like to start popping out of the department in 2017, so that I can magpie pedagogy from other teachers and adapt it for maths lessons.
    As with much of my well made plans, I ended up letting this slip after my mini-meltdown – I needed to regroup and mark lots of mocks, but I’ll be right back on it in January.
  4. Gain confidence in teaching A Level.
    These lessons are by far my favorite in the week now. I’m building some great relationships with my class (of 17 boys!!!) and we’re making some good progress. They think I am insane for my total, unadulterated love of mathematics, but I think they secretly love it as much as I do – they were having a lovely conversation about Fermat’s Last Theorem in my proof lesson!
    I don’t get everything right, every time – I frequently write one thing on the board and say another, which they are slowly realising they are allowed to correct. I am also getting better at going away, having a think and getting back to them with something well thought out. They seem to appreciate this, and it gives me a break from feeling like I have to know all of it right away!
    I’ll also never forget the day all 17 of them were sat doing proofs questions and singing along to ‘All I want for Christmas is You’ with some gusto…. (I feel this is a sign of trust!)
  5. Look after myself.
    “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.”

    This one has been hard. I seem to be doing a lot of this, except for the eating thing. That HAS to change in 2017. I am sluggish and feel rubbish, which I attempt to fix with rubbish food and then the cycle continues. I want to get back into my super swish clothes I bought for my PGCE and I’ve just steadily put weight on since buying them, so this year I’m fixing that… As well as sorting the food side of things, we’re going to try to walk Milo at least once a week, and J & I are currently looking at couple’s gym memberships and we said we’d like to go 2/3 times a week… We’ll see, eh?
    I plan date night with Jamie, even if it’s a night on the couch with a movie, and I’ve organised to see the girls twice every half term as a minimum. We also keep in touch regularly on our group chat which we started in October 🙂
    I call Mum every night; we keep each other company on the drive home! I have even managed an almost weekly conversation with my brother this half term, which has been lovely. I call Grandma most weekends. I am missing calling Lisa, my cousin, a lot – but with her shifts as a Doctor & two gorgeous kids, that has never been easy!

    Again, if it looks like I’m not doing any of that, send me a stern tweet.

  6. Keep blogging. 
    This has not been my biggest success of the year so far, has it!? Finding the time to sit and type is a nightmare. However, I want to try to get something blogged at least once a month in 2017 and I want to get things a little more teaching specific. Watch this space!

Other than changing the ‘how’, I don’t think there’s much more I want to change this year, in terms of my teaching goals/resolutions. My personal resolutions for this year are very much oriented towards looking after myself, so I need to find some way to balance these with my professional ones. There’s a lot of overlap with 1, 2 & 5 so hopefully there won’t be too much of a conflict.

I’m not saying it will be easy, but I’m really looking forward to 2017, it should be filled with good things!

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