I can hardly believe it but this is the last week of term which means I have been back at work now for a whole half term (that sounds like an oxymoron!). It has FLOWN by. Working two days a week is splendid in a lot of ways: the working week is over before you know it; the preparation time is much reduced; I have a lot less marking. And even though I am not there every day, I still get the benefits of work including time with my wonderful colleagues, time in the classroom with the kids, a bit of money and a break away from being Mama Kate by being Mrs B instead.
Every January for the past three years, I have chosen a word to focus on. Last year was Nurture – I did a lot of that but I also didn’t really focus on it like I’d hoped. The joy of motherhood sometimes means that life seems to be passing by, like you’re on a train and watching it pass out the window. You see it but you don’t feel a part of it. It’s a strange feeling.
Today was my last day at work before starting my maternity leave. It was a teacher training day which was actually pretty useful with a particularly uplifting and interesting session with our behaviour consultant Victor Allen who is a complete legend. He has such a calming presence and he also reminds us that above all, it’s kindness that these kids need. I also had a chance to hand over my classes to the supply teacher who will be taking my classes, at least to start with. I was of course elated to be finishing work for a year especially because it means my baby is coming and I really am very excited to meet him.
But I also left with a strange sadness: I was leaving behind this place which was my place of belonging. I was giving up my classroom. I was leaving my friends. I was leaving a part of my identity which I didn’t even realise I valued like I apparently do. So this is an end (for now).
But it is also a beginning. The beginning of our next adventure as a family. I can’t wait.
I haven’t done much in the way of crafting lately but I did manage to knock up a small piece of embroidery for my work bestie Louise for her birthday last month. We were almost Buzz and Woody for the staff talent show before Christmas but decided the costumes were too elaborate. I also liked the generally friendly message!
Since this month’s NaBloPoMo theme is ‘pressure’, I thought I ought to write about it at least once this month and yet every day that I have come to write something I have felt reluctant. Maybe this is because ‘pressure’ is such a negative word and my word for 2014, as you know, is Positivity. Maybe it’s because I am bored by the constant pressure I am under and so feel no great urge to moan about all those things that life throws at me because I am a teacher or a working mother or a human being. I am not really sure I could write about this subject all month.
Then I thought about other applications of the word ‘pressure’ and tried to find positive ones. There is the cool kind of pressure that turns coal into diamonds. That kind of pressure is NICE. There is peer pressure which can be utterly horrendous but now that I am a proper grown-up person is instead supportive and appreciated. Thanks, Louise, for shouting NO! at me when I was about to reach for a chocolate without thinking in the English office the other day. Having someone like my work bestie Louise working with me and dieting with me is exactly the kind of pressure I respond to and apparently, even with my fully-grown status, something I really need to be an effective teacher/mother/human being.
Yesterday, I was back at school for teacher training and while this posts, I will be slap bang in the middle of a full day of teaching. As I went to bed last night, I was surprisingly calm (despite some last minute planning because it wouldn’t be me if I was *completely* prepared ahead of time) and was actually looking forward to seeing the kids again. I am sure by tonight this will have worn off. Tuesdays are my busiest day so I am quite glad to be getting it out of the way. It was a tough day of scary messages yesterday (Ofsted are looming and we HAVE to be ready!). I just want to get teaching now.
This evening I am a bag of nerves. Tomorrow I have a meeting with a teaching mentor which I am not looking forward to, I have volunteered to perform with another teacher at the school Children in Need show for the students and I have my first observation on Monday.
I am not sure which is making me more nervous…