Half term is…

Half term is…

A time for me to switch off for a minute.
For me to see friends that I’ve not seen for a while.
A time for me to breathe.

Time to get creative.
An opportunity for me to read all of the books.
The time I spend with my family.
A time to reflect. 
Breakfasts and lie ins.
Laughter and relaxation.
Time off from being Miss Elliott, and being Steph again.
Doing what I want to do, when I want to.
Late nights (mainly because books).
Starbucks and cake.
Time for my brain to rearrange itself and process what’s just been happening.
A time I miss my kids.
Getting through that TBR pile.
Posting pictures from whatever I’m up to.
Seeing my goddaughters. 
Sitting in Waterstones doing a bit of planning.
Sundays where I only blog. 
Getting round to doing things I’ve been putting off.
Seaside walks and cups of tea.
Time for me to be by myself.
Realising there’s more to me than my job.
Knowing that my job is an important part of my identity, but not the only part.

What half term looks like is different for everyone, but I love a half term holiday. I love my job with all that I am, but I can enjoy being off too. 

What does half term mean to you?
What does half term look like in your life?

Happy half term everyone! 

S x 

 

A month in the life of me…

In January, I…

Moved to Year 6. Was terrified. Was excited. Dealt with some school stuff. Coped well with a lot of change. Realised some things about myself. Managed a whole month in Year 6. Worked my arse off. Realised that sometimes you’ve just gotta do what you can cause you can’t always do everything. Fretted about things that didn’t really matter. Fretted about things that did matter. Loved working with that class again. Read a lot of Letters from the Lighthouse. Dropped a few balls. Picked them back up. Texted my friends a lot. Used sleepscapes a lot to help me sleep. Rejoiced about the fact that the sunshine is coming back. Bought some new clothes. Cleared out some old clothes. Celebrated my birthday with a book and cake. Turned 31. Realised that age truly is just a number. Was offered some incredible professional opportunities. Got back into contact properly with someone from my past. Got back on online dating. Remembered why I hated it so much. Persevered. Texted new people. Had some wonderfully deep conversations with old friends and new friends. Missed my brother a lot. Went to see Maleficent 2 with my twiglets and Kate. Spent New Years Day on a walk with family. Remembered how much I love walking. Tried to look after myself a lot better. Failed at times. Read a lot of books. Got back into blogging better. Stressed about stupid things. Had a cry or two. Spent a lot of time in my pyjamas. Started making plans for holidays. Received some incredible book post. Watched a lot of The Masked Singer. Listened to a lot of X Ambassador. 

S x 

Dear Clothes Manufacturers…

Dear clothes manufacturers,

Hello, I’m a woman. I wear women’s clothes. I like skirts and trousers and pyjamas. I like to carry a handbag sure but I wear clothes. They keep me warm and they keep me covered, and they’re generally pretty comfortable.

I would like to talk to you today about a few things. Please bear with me.

  1. Pockets. 
    Yes. Those wonderful things that ALL men’s clothes have. Pockets. You know those handy things which come on clothes which can be used to STORE things? Those. They can be useful to all of the people. Why do men get pockets in EVERYTHING, yet women are subjected to pockets only on select things? What is that all about? Yes I may carry a handbag, but I want to put my phone or my change (or whatever else I carry and need quick access to) in a pocket, attached to my clothes. Please provide us with pockets. It would be lovely to have as many pockets as men do. Pockets in skirts, dresses, pyjamas, trousers – I just want more pockets please. I would like to commend you now on the fact that there is more clothing with real, usable pockets, alas there is much to be done in the pocket front. Keep up the good progress.
    Another thing… DEEPER POCKETS. Men get many deep pockets, some of the pockets on my clothes aren’t deep enough to house anything. Please consider that we want and need pockets which are as deep as the ones on men’s clothes. We have deep things to store, just like them!
    ONE MORE THING WHILE WE’RE ON POCKETS… Fake. Pockets. 
    WHO FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY DECIDED FAKE POCKETS WERE A GOOD IDEA? I MEAN, CMON. I HATE going shopping and finding a gorgeous dress, or a pair of trousers that would be perfect for work, or for just human’ing in and then finding that when I unzip the pocket it goes to NOTHING. A fake pocket. WHY? WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS? If you’re going to go to the effort of putting a fake pocket on, you could just use that effort on giving me a real pocket. One of the most frustrating things to play (yet funny) is POCKET OR NO POCKET. I play it often when shopping… the amount of times NO POCKET is the correct answer is frustrating. So either stop pretending there are pockets by making there be NOTHING there at all to even hint at a pocket, OR just give us a real pocket. That would be wonderful.
  2. Holes in clothing
    Why? Why? If my clothes get holes then I generally throw them out. Oh look, my t-shirt has a hole in, what a shame, I must now throw it out. My jeans have a hole in? Oh well, best throw them away and get a new pair. WHY WOULD I WANT TO BUY SOME WITH HOLES ALREADY IN? Now I recognise that lots of people do in fact like this trend and I could just be the untrendiest person in the world here, but I do not understand it. So please can we cut down the holes in clothes thing? That would be lovely.
  3. Jeans
    Now this one could take me a while to articulate. I hate buying jeans. I have asked some female friends this before and they too hate jeans shopping. Just today looking at my Facebook someone was complaining about buying jeans and a lot of replies came saying that they too hated buying jeans. Going shopping for jeans is one of those experiences that crushes my confidence. It never fails to baffle me. There does not seem to be a universal jean sizing rule. I can be one size in one shop and then a completely different size in another – HOW? What is that all about?
    ALSO even within shops I can be a different size – depending on dye. Black jeans and blue jeans I am a different size for. This baffles me. Please can we have some kind of universal sizing for jeans? This would make me, the rest of the jean hating buying people and probably the world.

That is all for now. Thank you for your time. It has been a pleasure.

Steph (on behalf of WomenForPockets, WomenWhoHateBuyingJeans and WhyDoesMyTopHaveHolesIn?) x

Student-ing

So it’s now May 5th and I have HOPEFULLY handed in my dissertation. Hopefully, it went yesterday. (I write this the Sunday before and I’m MEGA stressed about it).

So yeah, that’s that done. 2 years of my life building up to this. I can’t lie. I haven’t been a great student. I’ve left things til last minute because I work better under a bit of pressure. I’ve been a stressy group member. I was a much better Year 1 student than Year 2. I don’t know what happened in Year 2, I think my whole “don’t try, don’t fail” attitude hit a bit harder and I’ve just spent this year internally stressed. I don’t think the modules helped either though. I think I do better with someone hounding me. With the pressure. This year was a lot more lax than last. I should have had much better self motivation to be fair. But hey ho. It’s almost over now. I have 1 more submission in and then that’s it, that’s me done with my degree.

That’s pretty terrifying. 

Had you said to me 3 years ago that I would have a degree I would’ve said you were a complete liar. Me? A degree? No way. 

But look at me now. I am almost there. I made it happen. No one made it happen for me. I made it happen. I ahd some incredible support throughout the process though. If I hadn’t had that, I don’t know that I would’ve got all the way through without going insane. But I did it, myself. I pushed myself. I motivated myself. I took myself off to Starbucks (either at Haymarket or Monument) and made myself read articles or write assignments. To say I’m proud is a slight exaggeration, but I’m pretty pleased. Come back to me after graduation and I’ll talk more about it. Right now I’m not sure it’s going to happen!

It’s not been easy doing a degree and working full time. I take my hat off to the people on my course who have worked full time, studied and been parents. I don’t know that I could do it. They are superheroes in my mind. I’ve developed a good sense of studying over the past 2 years though. I’ve found my weaknesses and worked with my strengths. I never would’ve guessed that I worked better under pressure, but here I stand 2 years later knowing that I do. I work better to a deadline. I’ve learned that I have opinions on things and will stand for them. That education absolutely is the thing I want to do and that I have a total passion for it. I don’t want to be a student forever. I want to be in front of kids. That being in front of the kids is the place I flourish. I don’t flourish being a student. I thrive for the knowledge that I gain hands-on. That’s how I learn and how I have been learning over the past 8 years. But being a student has helped me hone my skills. 

I’ve learned SO much about education doing this degree. I knew NOTHING about FE or apprenticeships before I started my degree. I don’t think I was naive to the rest of the education world, but I certainly wasn’t in the know. I wouldn’t say I’m a font of knowledge now about education in all its forms but I’m certainly more educated and it has made me think about education as a whole, not just schooling. Being the only person on my course in primary was a challenge, no one else was fighting the same fight as me, but it opened my eyes to a whole other world and a whole other fight. I have such respect for all of the others on my course. They have become some of my best friends. We have grown, changed and challenged each other over the past 2 years. I will miss seeing them every Thursday, having inane and in depth conversations with them. I’ll miss learning about their section of education, about their struggles, about their lives. I’ll miss their questions about my life, my sector of education and my struggles. 

I’ve grown, changed and learned a lot over the past 2 years. This isn’t the end of my status as a student. But this is almost the end of being an Education student. The next challenge is being a teacher training student. That’s a whole other barrel of thoughts. For another day. 

S x

The state of education…

Welcome to Wednesday! It’s me. I’m here to talk about something which is quite dear to my heart… education. As you all know I work in a primary school and am currently doing my degree and everything going well I should be doing a teacher training course in September. I can’t wait. I’ve never not wanted to be a teacher. Yes, I’ve wanted to be other things and yes I’ve had other passions and done other jobs, but teaching is the one thing that has given me most happiness. I know that it’s the one job I’m MEANT to do. I know it’s not easy. I’ve lived it, worked it and seen it with my own eyes for the past 7 years. I have the experience. It’s the one thing I have the passion for.

BUT there’s something I need to talk about… 

Every day you will read the news and you will see news articles saying things such as “Teachers need to teach this“, “Teachers need to teach that“, “Had I been taught this when I was at school that would’ve been better“, “There needs to room in the curriculum for this/that/the other“. Just doing a quick search on Twitter and news outlets you’ll find things about financial matters, internet security, sex and relationships among other things that teachers SHOULD be teaching.

Now… I’m not saying these things aren’t important but I am saying that teachers have a curriculum, prescribed to us by the government, that we must follow. These things that change daily, that are suggested daily, are NOT NECESSARILY part the curriculum. Things such as digital literacy and internet safety ARE on the curriculum. We can’t MAKE children listen to us. We can’t MAKE children NOT go on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. We can’t STOP children bullying. We do a brilliant job of educating children about how to safely use social media, how to behave online, the dangers of cyber bullying and how to be good citizens. I can’t speak for every school but you ask any teacher and they will tell you that YES they do teach that. That is in their lesson plans. It is part of their whole school initiative to make children safe online/in school/at home but we can’t ENFORCE it. We aren’t in control of what happens to children outside of school. Certain things are out of our control.

These other things which are suggested are great, we need to grow with the technology and the society that we are in… but where does that leave teachers? We can’t teach EVERYTHING. There’s not enough time in the day. There’s so many other things that teachers are now becoming. Teachers, counsellors, friends, mentors… yes this comes with the job but shouldn’t there be a shared responsibility. Since when did the line blur between what teachers teach and what parents talk to their children about? I’m not saying there should be a book listing what teachers teach (but essentially that’s the curriculum) and what parents should be in charge of instilling in their children, but I do think parents need to take a role in their children’s upbringing and education as much as teachers.

I don’t want this to become an argument saying “parents do nothing” because I know parents have an incredibly complex and difficult role in their children’s lives but there is so much onus on teachers now that it’s becoming stifling.

An ever changing world needs ever changing and adaptable teachers, but there needs to be some shared responsibility with everyone involved in a child’s life. 

S x

Handbag post

A woman’s handbag is a mystery to most men! I thought I would share what was inside mine,  so please keep reading if you’re interested… if not I won’t be insulted! This is not a book/school post! But there’s more to me than books and work! 

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Since I was changing my bag… my gorgeous blue spotty Cath Kidston bag had died so I needed to sort everything out and put it into my gorgeous new Accessorize bag that SantaMam brought me for Christmas!

Left: keys (obviously), purse (trusty old Cath Kiston from the sale last year!), Parma Violets (yummmmm, gotta have a sweet fix), phone (duh…), deodorant, hand sanitiser and spray (you’ve gotta smell nice and be clean thanks!) 

Right: pens (highlighters and red pens… what do you expect? I’m a teacher!), kindle (purple spotty thing… I always have my kindle AS WELL AS a real life pages book), loose change (which should be in my purse with its friends!), lip balms (how many does one woman need?!), hand lotion (which smells amazing!), nail file (for all those times my nails snap… grrr), spotty glasses case (housing my prescription sunglasses… ooooh! I know! How fancy!)

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Chewing gum (obviously), mints (gotta have a fail safe incase you run out of chewing gum!), Waterstones gift card (got it for Christmas, haven’t spent it yet!), make up bag (housing make up, period things and painkillers!).

Not pictured: a book (always in my handbag but I had just finished one so I was in between books), a notebook (which I received for Christmas to carry about for blog ideas) and a diary (for blog scheduling and life stuffs).

So there we have it… a glimpse into my handbag! 

S x