WOOOOOOAH WE’RE HALF WAY THERE…

The title for this blog has LITERALLY just come to me as I start to type. It is ironic in that it is both true and one of the things I’m going to be mentioning in this blog post.

So… we’re HALF WAY THROUGH THE ACADEMIC YEAR. 

Ahem. Yeah, that’s a thing. I’m half way done being an NQT. What a half a year it has been. I’ve laughed a lot. I’ve cried a bit. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve loved every second. I thought I’d share a happy post kind of thing about all of the things that have happened in my first half of my NQT year. Don’t get me wrong there have been some tough moments, but I’m all about celebrating the good.

So here goes, happy memories of my first half of the year:

Being poorly and my kids listening. Working with my brilliant colleagues. Every time we receive a letter from an author and seeing their joy. Singing Livin’ on a Prayer at the school disco. Watching my kids at the Christmas play, having worked their arses off for 3 weeks of rehearsals. Pictures and poems “for you Miss”. “Miss, can I show you this I did last night?”. Watching them go home at night with smiles on their faces. Delivering two whole school collective worships and them just being brilliant humans. Seeing them start to share their opinions. Watching them grow in confidence and comfort. The amount of progress they’ve made in half a year. Working on Greek myths with them. The confidence with which they use mathematical vocabulary. Putting up my first Christmas tree. The sheer dogged determined-ness of some of them. Their brilliant attitudes. Asking them what my 3 most used phrases are and laughing at their responses. “I love being in your class Miss, you’re dead funny… sometimes”. How quickly they embrace change. Learning Mandarin together. Having an opinion that is not only listened to but encourages. Making mistakes and learning together. Building our very own Nowhere Emporium. Watching them create their own dance routines and seeing some of them just shine. Seeing their enthusiasm for EVERYTHING. Encouraing them to question everything and watching them get to grips with it. Their incredible resilience. Their love of singing. Listening to the radio. Every time they catch me out. Saying good morning every single morning. Every time we have laughed together. Having 200 children sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me. Seeing them take on some BIG questions and embrace it. Looking to the future. Talking about books and them devouring everything. Meeting Lisa Thompson and my kids’ faces just lighting up. Challenging myself. Challenging the children. Positive feedback about my books. Struggling. Knowing I work with some of the most brilliant people. Growing as a person and a teacher. Laughing about dating advice. Laughing in the staff room. My terror every time I’m observed. Constantly learning and striving to be the best teacher I can possibly be. Listening to new artists with them. Story time. Hearing lovely things about their progress. Seeing their progress with my own eyes. Knowing that every day I get to go into work and work with them. Challenging their thinking about themselves and others. Allowing them space to be who they are, without judgement. Being the teacher I am, without them judging me! Listening and being heard. Allowing reading and writing for pleasure to be a thing, and for them to ASK for it. Going in every day and smiling.

I am grateful EVERY SINGLE DAY that I get to do the one thing I know I was meant to do for the rest of my life. Bring on the second half of this year – whatever challenges you have to throw at me, I will embrace them. Year 5 and I will get through them together. 

There’s always a reason to smile…

2019 has been a bit of a shit rollercoaster for me to be honest (don’t worry, we’re on the up again, I hope). However, through all of the crap, I’ve made sure that I’ve found reasons to smile. So today, I bring you my first happy post of the year.

Even when things aren’t great, there’s always a reason to smile. 

Birthday presents. Unexpected compliments. Conversations about cake. Messages from strangers to tell me they’ve read a book because I recommended it. Having 200 kids sing happy birthday to me. Positive feedback on the work I’m doing. Messages from my favourite authors. Emails from people I admire. Playing pool. Being able to look back on memories and smiling. London plans. Waiting for books to be released. Spending time with my family. My mam. Reading books. Buying books. Recommending books. Lovely messages from people. Meeting author friends for the first time. Smiles from my kids. Saying good morning to my kids every morning. Pictures of my twiglets. Spending weekends reading. Working really hard on something and watching it work. Friends letting me cry. Finding songs that you need RIGHT at that moment. Laughing with friends, when it’s hard to think of anything but crying. Breakfast with friends. Solo Starbucks. Birthday Starbucks. Dear Evan Hansen. Being OK. Witchy trio. Lin Manuel Miranda. Drag Race. Rewatching films you’ve seen 600 times before because they’re comforting. Dating advice from my kids. Karaoke. Rereading books. Watching my kids be enthusiastic about something I love so much. Watching one of my kids devour 3 books in the space of a week. My job. My kids. Books.

S x

When life throws you lemons…

find the things you’re most grateful for. 

My little Christmas tree in my classroom. My kids loving doing the Advent calendar. My kids making me smile EVERY DAY. Laughing at the Christmas play (despite the fact I’ve seen it a fair amount of times). Being able to brush myself off. My cousins. My goddaughters. Books. Hot chocolate. Good news. A free slice of banana bread. Having tea with one of my favourite people. Quilliams. Being a Geordie. My brother and his sheer ridiculousness. Nachos, cake and tea. My family. Watching my best friend be brilliant and brave. Book post. Cats. People of twitter being lovely. Blogging. Finding that one song that you need to make you feel better. Little Mix. Cosy scarves. Hilarious Christmas presents. Looking forward to the future. Leaving work after a tiring day, knowing that I’m doing the thing I want to do forever. Being told I’m doing a good job. Overhearing my kids say how much they love coming to school. Singing the songs for the school play in the classroom. Walking into my classroom every single day. The sun. Reading to my kids. Seeing my class and their excitement when I bring in the book they won’t shut up about. Being proud of my kids. Working with some of the best, most supportive people in the world. Reading that book you’ve been waiting months for. New pillows. Books. Always books. 

Happiness is…

Opening the door to my classroom. Positive feedback. Seeing how much progress my kids have made. Pictures from my kids. Reading books. Fenwicks Christmas Window. Texts that make me smile. Livin on a Prayer. The future. Reading books and knowing EXACTLY who to recommend them to. handing over the perfect book to a child and them just GLOWING with joy. Good morning texts. Listening to the radio in the classroom. Breakfast with my best friends. Chairing a panel with two authors I admire most in the world. My friends being happy for me. The pride you feel for your friends. Watching SimplyNailogical videos. Real pockets in trousers. Laughing with my mam. Seeing my twiglets. Going back to work and seeing the smiles on my kids’ faces. The run up to Christmas. Singing stupid songs. Newcastle United winning (finally). Spending time with my favourite Welsh human in the world. My reading rainbow display. Laughing and chatting with my TA. Doing the thing I love doing. Getting back to blogging. Being wrapped up warm with a cup of tea and a book. Books. Always books. My kids. Always my kids. 

If it makes you happy…

I’ve done 4 weeks of teaching now, so I feel this is a good time to write another happy things post.

Walking into my classroom every single morning. Having my own classroom. My kids drawing me pictures. Feedback from my first observation. The culture of caring in the classroom. Laughing with my kids. Making my kids laugh. Watching a lesson just take off on a completely random tangent, but the kids learning much more from that than they would’ve done my plan. Having confidence to go with my gut, rather than a piece of planning. Setting routines. Being able to call my classroom MY classroom. Watching my kids make progress. Seeing friendships blossom. Watching their kindness and consideration for each other. Hearing their conversations. Getting lovely feedback from parents. Recommending a book and hearing it was a 9/10. Showing persistence and finally making breakthroughs. Watching my kids succeed at something they struggled with. Listening to Frank Sinatra songs and my kids thinking he’s “cool”. Believing in each and every one of them. Reading our class novel at the end of the day. Celebrating our collective worship with the rest of the school. How keen they are to do well. How well they persevere. Their sheer determination. Their enthusiasm about Journey. Their enthusiasm about poetry. Their happy faces every day. My happy face every day. That tired, exhausted teacher feeling. Knowing I’m doing the one thing I’ve always wanted to do. 

Happy things – bloggerversary edition

Hello. It’s 2 years since I posted my first blog post. Today I’m celebrating all of the happy things that have happened over the past 2 years. All of the bookish brilliance. 

Making the best bunch of friends a girl can have. Having so much support it makes me burst with joy. Making a best friend. Having a bunch of people around me who make me laugh every day. Getting to chair events with my favourite authors. Being asked to chair events with my favourite authors. Getting to go to events with some of my favourite people. Vising London an awful lot for so many brilliant events. SundayYA. YALC. YAShot. Recommending books to people and them actually going out and reading/buying them. People reading my blog. Reading comments and tweet from people about my blog. Being known as “one of the book people”. Realising that it’s OK to post what I want, when I want. Shouting about all of the books. Having my blog be a place of positivity. Watching my friends absolutely boss this whole blogging world. Desert Island Discs. Hosting some amazing content from some of the people I love and admire the most in the world. Being stunned any time anyone recognises me. Having some of my favourite authors become my friends. Reading advanced copies of books from authors I absolutely adore. Traditions with friends. Getting stupid o’clock trains in the morning to go to events. Still reading. Still blogging. Still loving all of it. 

 

The everyone who has been here over the past 2 years,
You are all brilliant and you’re the reason I’m still here today. I’m so glad to be involved in a community that celebrates brilliance like the book blogging community. Thank you for listening to me shout about books. 
Love you all, here’s to more shouting! S x

If you’re happy and you know it…

Sometimes you’ve gotta remember the things that make you smile…

Getting my job. Coming to the end of my training year. Succeeding and feeling proud. Exhaustion – the good kind. Watching my friends succeed. Being surrounded by the most supportive bunch of people I have ever known. Reading some incredible books. Authors I’d consider my friends. DMs which make you smile. Cats. #CatDad. Seeing so many people join in #SixforSunday. Tea with my people. Sunshine. Pyjamas. Clean pyjamas after having a shower. Book post. My bujo. Blogging for me. Ariana Grande. Roger Federer. Ed Sheeran concerts. My amazing family. Reading a book I’ve waited FOREVER for and loving every single page. Talking about books with the kids at school. Talking about books with the adults at school. Feeling like progress is being made. The future. The basement in Waterstones. Paperchase sales. Kaz Brekker. Books. Always books. 

Forget your troubles, come on get happy…

What’s made me smile recently?

Getting a job. Following my dreams. Working hard. Realising it’s OK to be scared and it’s OK to be afraid of failure, but not to let it take over. Reading. Bank holiday weekends. Productivity. Taking time to myself. Meals out with friends. Meals out with family. Deliveroo. Wagamamas. A bottle of Desperado’s after a long day of working. Friends who trust you. Knowing that if you’re having a bad day that people want to listen. Speaking at events. Positive feedback. More books.  Being comfortable in my surroundings. Allowing myself time to breathe. The pressure being almost over. Sunshine. Walking. Saying no. Sleeping. Reading on a morning. Laughter. Drag Race. Friends. Youtube. The Greatest Showman. Matilda. Books. Always books.

 

Oh happy day!

What’s making me smile at the minute?

Seeing my twiglets. Knowing my best friend is coming tomorrow. Bookish events. My friends. Cocktails and fajitos. Little people. Books. Tea. Having an incredibly supportive family. Going to the bingo. Easter holidays. Getting up with the sunshine. Finishing a notebook (IKR?!) Light evenings. Exciting emails. People believing in me. Chocolate. Going for a walk. Good morning texts. More books. Listening to the Sister Act 2 soundtrack. Going in to Starbucks and them knowing my order (ha!). Geordie books. Exciting opportunities. Following my dreams. The sunshine. Train travel. Going to the beach. Snapchat videos from my best friend. PRINCE ALIIIIIIIIIIIII. Cats. Sleep. Watching gymnastics. Seeing my friends succeed. Conversations with friends. More books. Always books. 

Don’t rain on my parade…

Working hard. Going places. Smiles from friends. Going back to work. The snow going away. Reading whole books in a day. Laughter. Cocktails. Mexican food. Cocktails and Mexican food with friends. Book launches. Having an incredible bunch of friends. Being supported. Chasing my dreams. Starbucks on a Sunday. Creativity. More books. Book post. When friends are GENUINELY happy for me. The future. Book events. Jellies. Blogging because I want to blog. Light mornings. Zumba classes. Hitting my step total. Rachel Berry’s singing. Ed Sheeran. The twiglets. World Book Day. People having faith in me. Being trusted. Having my opinion respected. Newcastle United winning. Books. Always books.