A-Z of me (part 2)

Happy Monday!

Thank you so much for your lovely comments about my post last Monday – A-Z of Me (part 1). You are all wonderful. As promised, today is the second part of that blog post. So here we go…

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N – Nebby

This is a word I use ALL the time and it is a word that confuses the hell out of a lot of people. It’s a wonderfully Geordie word which means nosy. It’s one of my favourite Geordie words.

O – Oranges

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SPECIFICALLY SATSUMAS. GUYS I LOVE SATSUMAS. They don’t get enough love to be honest. I just love them: they’re the perfect amount of sweet and sour. You have to get the ones which are more than yellow than orange though. People often tell me that there’s no difference between satsumas, tangerines and clementines and let me tell you, there is. I LOVE SATSUMAS OK?

P – Pride

 

Now, this isn’t something I talk about very often because I don’t feel like it’s something that I NEED to talk about, nor is it something I’m asked about often. I am incredibly proud of who I am. No, I’m not straight. No, I don’t feel the need to tell everyone about it all of the time. No, I don’t know how I identify. I am attracted to the people I’m attracted to. 

Q – Quilliams

 

Ha. Those of you who know me will know this is no surprise. So Quilliams is a wonderful teahouse in Newcastle where I am OFTEN found. It’s one of my favourite places to visit. I’m usually found there on a Sunday. I don’t go every Sunday, but I probably go twice a month. I’m not a massive breakfast fan, but when I want a cooked breakfast, then I’ll go to Quilliams. If you’re ever in Newcastle and you want somewhere to go for breakfast, I can not recommend Quilliams enough!

R – Recommending books

2019 loves

I’m very lucky to have this platform and a job which allows me to recommend books which I love the most. I’m also really lucky to have friends who will take on my recommendations (thanks Charlotte) and read them and then let me freak out about them as much as I want. Recommending books and giving them to their “perfect reader” gives me such joy. There’s nothing better as a teacher to give a child a book you think will be perfect for them and then seeing them fall completely for that book. It does happen. It never stops being wonderful.

S – Scarves

This was originally stationery because I LOVE stationery, but now that it’s Autumn, it’s SCARF WEATHER. I bloody love a scarf. So so much. I think I even wrote a whole blog post about it once… you’ll find it here! The bigger, the warmer and the more checky the scarf, the more I love it!

T – Trains

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I bloody love a bit of train travel. If I could travel on trains to everywhere, I think I would. I think living in the North means you have to appreciate train travel because that’s one of the only ways to get to the South (where everything bloody happens). I don’t drive and have no ambition to drive at all, so train travel is my go to. I love a journey down to London because I can get so much reading done, I can do some blog planning or life planning and still have time to have a little snack. Let’s be honest… one of the best bits of going on a train is train snacks. I must say though for all I love travelling on a train I STILL get unbelievable anxiety around train travel… luckily I have some absolute brilliant friends who accept the fact I need to be at the train station an hour before my train. (thanks pals)

U – University

 

(Sunderland graduation 2017//Newcastle graduation 2018)

For those of you who are new around here, you might not know about my journey into teaching, but it wasn’t your usual journey. I didn’t go to uni until I was 25. I wasn’t ready for university when I was 18, so I didn’t go. I worked my arse off at the shoe shop I worked at, and then I left at 20 to go and work in the school I work at now. I worked there for a few years until I was eventually ready to go to university. I did it part time through Sunderland and as exhausting as it was going to university 5-9 every Thursday, it was incredible. I was in a cohort that was really small (I think there were only 14 of us) and we were from such diverse education backgrounds that I learned so so much. Most of the people on my course worked in apprenticeships, so something totally different to my experience. My time at Sunderland helped me gain a degree in Education and then I did a SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training) at the school I work in through Newcastle University and the local high school SCITT. It was a GRUELLING year with more essays that I dare to recall, but it was incredible. I FINALLY graduated as a teacher in July 2018 and, despite the fact my journey was not conventional, I wouldn’t change it for the world. The friends I’ve made, the things I’ve learned and the people I met made the whole experience so incredible. Follow your dreams friends. It’s really bloody important that if you’re passionate about something to do it!

V – Vocabulary

Here. I am a MASSIVE fan of learning new words. And a massive fan of teaching new words. One of my favourite things to teach is new words, using them, working out what they mean and trying to get used to it. Learning new words is one of those gorgeous things in life. I have my own little “new vocab” book in my handbag for any time I come across a new word in whatever book I’m reading. There’s something so full of potential with a new word – you might finally have a word for something you’ve never had before. I’m really quite secretly a massive nerd.

W – Writing stories

This is one of my favourite things to do. I don’t do it because I want to be published one day, oh no. I don’t think I have that kind of story in me to be honest, but whenever I need a model for school for the children to see what I’m looking for, there’s nothing better than coming up with it myself. I think it’s a BRILLIANT thing to do. It keeps my brain ticking over. It gives the kids such wonder and awe to know that I wrote the stories. They’re probably not perfect, but it brings me joy!

(Soz X, but I genuinely can’t think of something for you pal!)

Y – Year 5

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I think ever since I knew I wanted to be a teacher, I knew I wanted to be a teacher of primary school children. I can’t imagine being a secondary teacher – I think they’re a very special group of people who can tolerate teenagers, but I don’t have that skill set. When I qualified, I was asked what my ideal year group was and I genuinely didn’t know. I just knew I wanted to be a teacher. This year sees me being in Year 5 for the second time and I genuinely love it – I think it’s the perfect place for me right now. I would never say no to going to another year group, but I really love being a Year 5 teacher. Year 5 feels where I need to be right now.

Z – Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sleep. Sleep is my friend. I’m one of these people who CAN function on 4-5 hours of sleep a day, but I don’t think you’d like to meet me on those days. I try and get 8 hours a night sleep and most nights I succeed. There’s nothing more wonderful than snuggling in bed with my pyjamas on, especially when it’s cold outside!

A-Z of me! (part 1)

Hello one and all!

After the success of my A-Z of Back to Schools posts (see part 1 and part 2), someone suggested an A-Z of me post! I thought this was a great idea. For new followers, long time followers and everyone in the middle, I’m going to try to give you the A-Z of me. See this as an insight into me!

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A – Auntie Spot

Ha. An interesting one to start with, but quite a big part of my life! My goddaughers, Ruby and Poppy, and my godson, Joey, call me Auntie Spot and they’re the absolute lights of my life. I feel so bloody lucky that I have them in my life. My cousin Kate (their mam) is one of the best people in my life, so any time I get to spend with them is just the best.

B – Books, books, books

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I guess this one is quite predictable. I am SURROUNDED by books. I wouldn’t have my life any other way though. I think books are important and necessary in the world. If my blog didn’t give that away, then I might need to rethink this whole blogging thing, ha! I’ll not rabbit on too much about this one!

C – Colouring in

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One of the things I do when I’m most stressed/anxious/sad/whatever is colour in. I find it’s great for just switching my brain off and it’s just really relaxing. I’m not a fan of colouring in pictures, more a fan of colouring in patterns. If they’re geometric, that’s even better. A good set of felt tip pens, Youtube and a colouring book is what I need when I’m at my most stressed!

D – Dreams

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There’s so many things I’m doing now that I never even dreamt that I could do. I chair events; I talk about books every day; People read what I have to say; I get to teach in my very own classroom. Some of these things were just pipe dreams a few years ago, some of these things weren’t even dreams because I didn’t know they were possible. I’m a firm believer in following in your dreams. If you want something bad enough, you’ll get it… you’ve just got to work for it.

E – Emotional

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If you know me in the real world, you’ll know that I’m very in touch with my emotions. I’m not afraid to cry. I’m not afraid to be happy. I’m not afraid to express myself. I feel every emotion quite deeply. I love hard. I fall hard. I cry hard.

F – Finishing books

This might seem like a strange one, but this is something I am quite stubborn with. If I start a book, I am DETERMINED to finish it. I always think that books can redeem themselves, so I worry if I give up on a book that it’s not going to get the chance to redeem itself. I think there’s like 3 books in the past 3 years that I have DNF’d. I just don’t believe in DNF’ing books! I also think that just because you’re not enjoying a book at a certain point in your life, doesn’t mean you’ll never enjoy it. I’ve found myself reading a few chapters of a book and then just putting it down with the idea that I will come back to it.

G – Geordie extraordinaire!

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Being a Geordie is a BIG part of my identity. I’m awfully proud to be a Geordie. I’m often told that I don’t SOUND like a Geordie because everyone has this stereotypical impression that we go round saying, “whey aye man” and things all the time. We do say them… just not all the time. I love being from the North East… I just wish it weren’t so far away from EVERYTHING ELSE. All the best things come from the north: Ant and Dec, Geordie Gifts, the Great North Run and me!

H – Holidays

Now… I am A BIG FAN of a holiday. I love my time at work, but man I’ ready for a rest when it comes to holiday time. More so than just being off work, I love GOING on holiday. I haven’t been on holiday for a while, but my gosh, give me the sunshine, an unlimited supply of drinks and a massive pile of books and there you have my perfect idea of a holiday. I’m not a big sightseeing kind of holiday gal, but I’ll do a day or two!

I – Inspirational quotes

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It might seem cheesy to some people, but I love a quote. I think it’s nice to know that you aren’t alone; that you’re not the only person who has ever gone through the thing that you’re going through. They crop up occasionally on my Instagram feed and it’s really reminiscent to look through and think “Woah, yeah that’s how I felt at that time, but I don’t feel like that any more”. They’re not for everyone, and some people really hate them, but I love them!

J – Journeys

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Life’s full of journeys. However, I mean literal journeys here. I love going places. Discovering new places is a great joy in life. More than that, I love the ACTUAL journey. Give me a train/car/bus journey of more than 10 mins and I’m a happy happy gal. Journeys are where I do the biggest chunk of my reading and I love that!

K – Kids

Yes, I want my own kids. Yes, I feel like a bit of a failure because I haven’t got my own kids yet. I also know that I have 30 kids every day (well 5 of 7) who rely on me. Whenever anyone asks me if I have kids yet (eyeroll, you should never ask someone that question), I always say I have 30. Now THAT gets some interesting reactions! I’d love to be blessed with my own kids one day because being a mam is one of the things I’d love most in life… but for now, my 30 kids at school keep me on my toes enough!

L – Laughter

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Something people comment about me most often is my laugh. Ask anyone who has met me, my laugh is one of the most notable things about me. I’ve been told it’s one of the best sounds on the planet. I have a big laugh and I love it.

M – “Miss”

Being a teacher is a massive part of my identity. It’s probably too big of a part sometimes, but when you’ve chased a dream for as long as I had, you’re allowed to. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher since I can ever remember. It was something I’ve wanted since I was about 6 or 7. I didn’t have the traditional route into teaching. I didn’t do my GCSEs, then my A Levels, then go to uni, then qualify. I did my GCSEs, did my A Levels, wasn’t ready for uni and worked full time in a shoe shop (which I adored). The time came though that my dream needed to be chased, so I became a TA in my school. A few years later, my dream was shouting at me. I didn’t go to uni til I was 25. I was determined to qualify before I was 30 and I did. I made it with 6 months to spare. Hearing those 30 kids say “Miss” every day might be irritating (trust me), but it reminds me that I’ve made it. I’ve got a lot to learn, but I’m doing it now.

And there you go! The A-Z of Me (part 1). Part 2 will come next Monday! I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about me!

Have any of these things surprised you?
Have you learned anything about me?
Is there anything you’d like to learn more about?

Let me know in the comments!

S x

Why do you read so many children’s books?

Hello friends!

You’ve clicked on a blog post with a question as the title, so I guess you want to know my reasons behind the question. Well, settle in for a little lesson in Why Steph reads Children’s Books and Some Recommendations.

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Well… this all stems from the fact that I read this book by Katherine Rundell recently, and it made me think. It made me wonder why more people DON’T read children’s books. Let’s be honest, they’re BLOODY MARVELLOUS. If you’re reading this blog post, or if you’re a frequent reader of my blog, you know that I think this about kids books. They’re a big part of my life and not just because I’m a teacher and a blogger. I’d read kids books even if I weren’t those things. If you’ve not read the book below, please go out and purchase it for yourself – it’s a short essay about why you should be reading children’s books… even if you’re an adult.

So why do I read children’s books? Here’s 9 reasons, with some recommendations to get you started!

They are really fast paced

Adult books can be SO SO SO SLOW. You get half way through and nothing has happened. If you read a children’s book, within the first few pages something has happened and you’re RIGHT into the action.

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They’re INTERESTING

Kids books are filled with stories which are interesting. They’ll open your world up to experiences you’ve never had before. They’ll show you places you’ve never been. You’ll meet characters you’ve never met before. They keep moving and keep evolving as you go.

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They have BEAUTIFUL covers

We all love a good bit of shelf appeal and some of the most gorgeous covers in the world are in the children’s book industry. Adult books can be very boring, but step into the children’s section and you’ll get some gorgeous covers which will make you swoon.

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They’ll make you think

I love reading a children’s book that brings up some interesting talking points. There’s a whole host of things that children’s books can make you think about. Books create a wonderful platform to open conversations about being kind to the world, kind to each other and kind to yourself.

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They’re really bloody well-written

Theyre wonderfully formed stories. They’re complex. They’re stories within stories. So gorgeously sculpted that there’s a true artform to it.

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They teach empathy beautifully

You’ll live life through the eyes of people you’ve never had the experience of before. You’ll meet characters and have your eyes opened to how the world is lived through their eyes. You’ll fall in love with voices and personalities that you might not experience not reading kids books.

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They are gorgeously rich in language

Pick up any children’s book and you’re instantly reading books which are so rich in vocabulary and language that you’ll come across words you may never have come across before.

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There’s such a WIDE range of stories and formats out there

Whether you want something in this world, in a fantastical world, a murder mystery or a magic book. If you’re after a graphic novel, or an illustrated chapter book, you’ll find books of all types for all kinds of readers in the world of chapter books.

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You’ll be seen

Children’s books have A LONG WAY to go in with this, but there is some wonderful representation out there in children’s books. Characters of all races, sexualities and religions are being written about and that’s important. The more books we read about characters of different backgrounds, the more publishers will realise there’s a NEED and a WANT for books like this.

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There are so many other recommendations I have for these different things, but I had to restrict myself. If you want to know more about any of these books, or want more recommendations, please just let me know and I would LOVE to chat with you! Also, most of these books are chapter books, but if you want picture book recommendations, I can do that!

And there you go… the reasons I think eveyrone should be reading children books!Not an exhaustive list of reasons or recommendations, but just some of my favourites!

Do you read children’s books?
Why do YOU think people should read children’s books?
What’s the best children’s book you’ve read recently?

Let’s get this conversation started and get it going so more people branch out and read children’s books… I think they’re just mint.

S x

 

A-Z of Back to School (part 2)

Hello everyone!

Last week, I posted the first half of my A-Z of Back to School post and this week it’s time for the end of that post! I had such a lovely reception to last week’s post, so I hope you all enjoy this one just as much. (I’m well aware we are WELL into the swing of things, but I really wanted to share these!)

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Here we go…

N – Noticing change

Now, this could be anything from how much taller your class from last year seem to be, to changes around school. There’s always a lot of things that change over the SUmmer (it’s 6 weeks – you’d expect some things to change!)

O – Overpreparing and not needing it

I don’t know if this is just me, or if it’s everyone. I always overprepare for that first week. I have so many activities ready to go, but then I end up not needing them. I think it’s hard to pitch things at first, so there’s always too much to do and that’s OK. I have an activity that I’m still waiting to do 3 weeks on (it’s not an essential activity, just something a little fun).

P – Picture books aren’t just for EYFS

One of the things I love doing the most is using picture books to inspire writing. As a Year 5 teacher, this may be looked upon with scorn, but there’s a fair few of my writing units based on picture books. I use them not just for writing, but for inspiration for everything. I think people can forget that within picture books there are some amazing stories. I think picture books should have a place in every classroom up and down the land, no matter how old the class are!

Q – Quick toilet breaks

Man… going to the toilet whenever you please is such a luxury that Summer Holiday Me doesn’t realise. Those first few weeks back are all about retraining your bladder to only go to the toilet at break time/lunch time and after school. It’s a real thing.

R – Reading a whole new bunch of books

Another lovely thing about getting into a new year and a new class is that their tastes might be entirely different to the class you just had. My new class love a scary story, whereas my class last year weren’t that keen on them (or at least never expressed that they were). I’m loving finding new books and new authors that I’ve never really delved into before.

S – Stationery

WELL YES. Do I need to explain this one? I love a bit of stationery and a new year is the PERFECT excuse to have to get some new stationery. I think teachers fall into 2 categories with stationery: obsessed or non-plussed. I am definitely the former. Even as a child, there was nothing more exciting than going to Stationery Box and Woolworths (man, I miss those places) and getting my pens, pencils, rubbers and stuff for the year ahead. Stationery, like books, is just one of my loves!

T – Turning the alarm back on

BOOOOO. This is always the worst. You’ve had 6 weeks of not having to get up via an alarm (or however long you’ve had without an alarm) and now here we are, alarm time again. It’s not fun at first getting up to the sound of your alarm… *weep*

U – Using my favourite stories again

I can’t wait to get to use my favourite stories again. I’ve just done a unit of writing with The Day the Crayons Quit; we’re moving on to doing Journey by Aaron Becker next. I bloody love being a teacher and using books. It’s something I could rabbit on about for words and words.

V – Venturing into the unknown

This year I have more responsibility than I have done in previous years and that’s a new thing for me. I don’t really know what to expect. It’s my first year as a qualified teacher when we are expecting Ofsted, which is again something I’ve never experienced before. These things are all TERRIFYING and thrilling… most of the time.

W – Working differently

I think as every year passes there’s things that I’ll start doing differently. For all I’ve worked in school for 10 years now, I’ve only been a qualified teacher for 1. I passed my NQT year this Summer and I’m an RQT this year. I think with a new bunch of kids, a new bunch of responsibilities and a new outlook on teaching (and its politics), I’ve got a few things I’m changing.

X – EXtra responsibility

Lol, I’ve mentioned this 3 times in succession now! So, I’m PE lead, MFL lead, Library lead and one of school’s Maths Mastery lead teachers. That’s a lot to have on my plate, but you know what? I’m someone who loves a bit of responsibility. I love a challenge. Don’t get me wrong, there’s days I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed and worried that I’m not going to do a good enough job, but I know that I’ll put my heart and soul into these roles. If I’m not the right person for the job, then I’m sure I’ll find that out too!

Y – Yes, Miss!

It’s those lightbulb moments that make this all a bit more bearable on the days when it’s just a challenge. I love watching a child who DOESN’T understand something just click and when they do get it, there’s the inevitable “YESSS” moment. That’s always a lush lush touch.

Z – Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Getting back into work is EXHAUSTING. I love my job; I work with an incredible bunch of people; my kids are wonderful, but my lord is it exhausting. Going from living life at your own pace to having to be FULL ON is a lot. So yes, I’m tired. I’m always tired ha! (I imagine you’re either exhausted or have had enough of hearing about being back to school now, so congrats for getting through this post ha!)

And there we go! My whole A-Z of being back at school. I really enjoyed doing this! I hope you enjoyed reading this!

Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to know the A-Z of… I might make this into a series!

See you tomorrow!

S x

A-Z of Back to School (Part 1)

Hello there! Friends, teachers, non-teachers, educators, non-educators, readers and everyone!

Today, I’m coming to you with something a bit different. Something a bit serious, a bit fun and a dive into the world of teaching. As you may know (if you’re new around here, hello, come say hello to me!), I’m a teacher and as it’s September, it’s back to school season. Yes, we’re 2 weeks into the term now, but hey ho, this post is better late than never, right?

I stole this idea from someone on twitter (I don’t remember who it was! If it was you, let me know) and it was great fun trying to fill in the A-Z of back to school while I was flapping on a train a few weeks back. So here goes…

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A – Anxiety

Being off for 6 weeks and then going back to work is a scary thought. I can’t lie and tell you that I wasn’t anxious about going back to work because I was. I’ve had a few ridiculously anxious days since being back too.

B – Bye Bye NQT Year!

When you qualify as a teacher, you have to get through your NQT year (Newly Qualified Teacher). It’s a good year where you get loads of extra support and more time than “regular teachers” out of class to use to help you keep progressing as a teacher. It’s a scary year being an NQT, but it’s a great learning curve! I passed my NQT year which was a PROPER lush feeling!

C – Chatting about Summer

YEP. That first week that’s all you talk about: what you got up to, what you didn’t get up to, how your Summer went. To be honest, after the first 3 conversations, I’m over it hah!

D – Deleting emails

This might sound like a funny one, but deleting the emails you’re sent over the Summer from companies is a proper delight. I love a good clear out!

E – Excitement

Along with the anxiety, there’s a whole load of excitement. A new bunch of kids, a whole new bunch of responsibilities and a new outlook on things. Sometimes you need to step back to see the wonderful things and then dive back in. We also got a library over the holidays which is WONDERFUL.

F – Friendships

Working in a school is like working in a microcosm of the real world – there’s people you’re really close to, there’s people you only speak to at certain times, there’s people you don’t really speak to. One of the things that keeps me going is the friends I have at school. I’m really bloody lucky to have the colleagues I have. Some of my best friends in the world are the people I work with. Friendships make my job so much easier!

G – Getting to know a whole new crew

Having a whole new 30 children to get to know is a daunting prospect. If I think of how well I knew my class from last year, I think to myself “there is no way I’ll know a class that well” but I will. I know I will. I can’t wait to get to know this new class – they’re very different from my class last year!

H – Having routine back in my life

You all know that I love a bit of routine in my life. I talked about it in a blog post during the Summer. Having the holidays and there being no routine messes with my head, so having routine back in my life is SO SO lush. As much as getting up when it’s dark is SHITTY, it’s nice to be back into a routine.

I – Imposter syndrome

I could go on about this for words and words. I think imposter syndrome is something most people feel at some time in their lives. I have days where I think I feel like I’m just “playing” teachers and someone is going to come along and take this all away from me. Or when someone emails me and I’m the one who is in charge of that thing… like… CLEARLY A FAKER HERE. Ha.

J – Juggling 72934745639 things at once

Teachers have many hats that they wear during the week and it’s sometimes hard to keep all of those things afloat at once! There’s SO MANY THINGS that need to be done and prioritising is SO BLOODY important! I’ve learned that and I’m learning that some things don’t NEED to be done.

K – Knowing I’m chasing my dream

Many many moons ago, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I think I was about 8 when I knew I wanted to be a teacher. It took me an awfully long time to get there, but it was something I never gave up on, even when I went off path slightly. I think if you’ve got a dream you want to follow bad enough, you’ll get there. Never give up on that. Knowing that I’m living out the one thing that I’ve wanted for all of these years is still quite surreal.

L – Lost PE kits/jumpers

THE BANE OF MY EXISTENCE LBR. Please label everything ever. This makes it so much easier to give it back to the rightful owner. “Miss, I’ve lost my jumper/PE kit/pencil” is one of my least favourite things to hear ha!

M – Mourning the departure of Summer

I can love my job but also be SAD that the Summer holidays is over. Getting up when my body is ready, making plans with my friends to see them DURING THE DAY and just reading all of the books is SUCH a lovely way to spend my time that not being able to do that anymore is SAD TIMES. But also, I love my job.

OK. Well we’ve made it to the middle of the alphabet! Come back next week for the rest of the alphabet!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this installment of “A-Z of Back to School.” It was certainly a lot of fun to write! Share your thoughts in the comments: I’d love to know what you thought!

See you tomorrow!

S x

It’s OK not to be OK

Hello there friends.

How are we all today? I mean, really, how are you today? 

I’ll be honest… I’m OK, but there’s a little bit of struggle about me at the minute. Nothing too bad, just a niggle here and there. Just a worry that won’t go away. A thought that sometimes spirals and then won’t go away. A clump of thoughts about all kinds of things about like that sometimes just get me a little bit down. You might know the thing: there’s a worry and it just grows because you don’t know how to talk about it… nor is it so big that you feel the NEED to talk about it.

Most of the time I can make myself be fine, I can distract my brain enough until it’s not feeling meh anymore. I can read, go for a little walk, go into town, text my friends. Sometimes however, the spiral into a bit of a rut works much faster, or draws itself out in much longer of a rut that it’s harder to shift.

It’s hard to pretend to be OK when in reality you’re not. It’s hard to be a cheery, happy person, when you just don’t feel like that. As I write this, I’m not 100%. I’m alrite, but I’m not chipper to be honest. I’m not normally one to talk about things like this on my blog – I’m much more likely to post a blog review and ignore the reality of whatever is going on in my life. But I want to be transparent with you all (whoever it is that’s reading this, if anyone is in fact reading this) and talk about NOT being OK.

I don’t know the ins and outs of where it all stems from, but I can tell you that, as a teacher, 6 weeks off is a long time. I miss the routine. I miss having set things to do. I do really well in term time. I know what’s going to happen (not day to day because hell that’s a thing that always changes!) and what to expect. In the holidays, I don’t have that. I’m single. I don’t have kids. So those two big “distractions” (I can’t think of a better word for this right now), I don’t have (we’ll not talk about them being one of my other worries at the minute… that’s a bit real). A lot of my friends are still at work during the holidays. My teacher friends all either have their own families, or live really far away.

I know people will say, “You shouldn’t complain about having so much time off”. I’m not complaining about the time off… trust me. We need it by the time it comes round to July. Teachers need to recharge. I love the summer holidays, BUT I’m a lover of routine and that goes out of the window during the holidays. My eating pattern goes out of the window. My sleeping pattern changes. Sleep is one of those things that can massively impact some people’s moods and I’m one of those people: if I’m not sleeping well, I’m more likely to get into one of those negative thought ruts that I then have to pull myself out of.

I don’t think I’m the only person in the whole world who gets like this. I think there’s properly a good handful of teachers who are in the same boat as me. I don’t want to speak for other people. I can only speak for myself and how I feel. I like to be busy. I love my job an awful lot. I’m quite easily one of those people who could be married to my job. I just struggle with 6 weeks off. I get to week 4 and I’m like, “Yeah, OK, I’m rested now, I can go back to work”. This is always an interesting thing to say to people… one that gets pretty much the same reply every time.

I’ve been lucky these holidays in that I’ve been in to school quite a lot doing a lot of moving of books and creating a library, so getting to the end of week 5 (as I write this) and only now getting restless and bored is really good for me. My mam is ALWAYS saying, “She gets cabin fever after week 2” and it’s true.

I’ve not written this as a, “Oh man, everyone give me sympathy” kind of post. I’ve written it because it’s who I am and how I’m feeling right now in this moment. It’s what I’m going through right now and there might be other people who are also feeling this. It’s nice to not feel lonely in your feelings. I’ve also written it because I want to let myself be ok with the fact that sometimes we have to NOT be OK. We’re all allowed to not be OK. Not being OK means we will be OK again.

The past few days, I’ve been a bit sad (not tragically, but just meh). I’ve been listless (I don’t even know if this is a word, but it keeps being a word I want to say). I’ve felt a bit lost. Maybe a bit lonely. I’ve been restless.

So I’m here saying if you are someone out there who like me struggles a bit, I’m always around to talk to. If you’re someone who needs someone to talk to at any point, I’m around. My twitter inbox is open, my emails are always open: I’m happy to talk. Even if you don’t want to talk about the thing that’s making you not OK.

Remember: it’s OK not to be OK. 

S x

 

August bujo

WELL HELLO. 

I know, you’re probably thinking the same thing as I am as I write this..
a BUJO POST STEPH?
WHAT IS WRONG? 

I haven’t done a bullet journal for 3 months now… but I am finally back on the ball and have a very colourful bullet journal set up for August. I really really love it. So so much. So I’ll stop blathering and show you! If you’re interested in my last bujo post, check out my May bujo post!

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I do not quite know WHAT this is… maybe some kind of window rainbow display. I like it though: it’s colourful and it’s very indicitive of what is to come for the rest of the bujo. August is a month of happiness and sunshine for me, so I picked ALL OF THE COLOURS. 

Next up is the page that I think I might be the most proud of in my whole entire life. I never would’ve imagined that I’d be doing doodles of jeans in my bujo, but I did and I really bloody love how it looks (like they actually LOOK LIKE JEANS). You all know I love a quote page. Then we have my to do list – it is not actually blank… there is SO MUCH on my to do list, which is so sad. I’ve kept it simple this month!

Moving on from the to do list, we have the bookish pages. I’ve got a page for book post and then a page for the books I’ve read. I saw this “books I’ve read” on a google images search and it took me FOREVER, but I think it looks brilliant and I’m so pleased with it! I’ll be writing each book I read on the different pages. Let’s hope I can fill ALL of the pages! 

Last up in the old August bujo are pages for gratitude and my mood tracker. Again, after a little peruse of google, I found this lightbulbs one and I really like it. I’ve just used the rainbow to show my moods – red for happy, down to grey (I know, I added it) for sad. It’ll be interesting to see the range of colours in my lighbulbs! 

And that’s it. I’ve kept my bujo simple this month – no weekly layouts. Not being at work means I don’t really need to track my time that well. 

I hope you all enjoyed seeing my bujo again. I loved taking time (I watched the whole of Pitch Perfect as I did this!) to just be creative again. 

S x 

 

Thursday Tag: 30 Interesting Questions Tag

Hello there!

It’s Thursday again. As if. Following on in the tradition of the past few weeks, I’m stealing a tag from my friend Charlotte’s blog. No shame at all. I love a good tag. Plus I love a tag which means I find out new things about people and allows you to find out things about me (which arent’ necessarily bookish things!)

(If you want to check out Charlotte’s post, it is HERE. Don’t tell her I sent you though!)

Let’s go…

What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?

I have SO MANY nicknames. In a family as big as mine, it is inevitable. Some of the more notable ones are: Peach, Spot, Size, Cowbag, Eena. Outside of that I get Steph a lot. I much prefer being called Steph over Stephanie.

How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?

I’m a frequent doodler. I like to doodle as I’m listening. All of my university notes and staff meeting notes are COVERED in doodles.  I tend to doodle shapes over actual things though.

What do you do if you can’t sleep? Do you count sheep? Toss and turn? Get up and try and be productive?

None of those things. I tend to put on a podcast/video of something that I can tune out of and have it on as white noise. I’m usually quite a good sleeper, but there are times when I just can’t get to sleep. (Shout out to Safiya Nygaard videos here)

Do people consider you talkative or quiet?

Now this is an interesting one – it depends who you are and where you know me from. Probably a bit of everything in my life. I’m a proper introvert, but I can extrovert when I need to.

What makes you cry?

That question should be what DOESN’T make you cry? I cry at EVERYTHING. The most recent things to make me cry: books, my new baby cousin, the Queer Eye advert, thinking about my kids going into Year 6, stress.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Ghosting. Lateness. Cockiness. Those are my top 3. I hate people who do these things.

How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror?

I have no idea. Probably 3-5 times? It depends what I’m doing.

What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?

Who knows. Let’s be real: a lot of things we believe as children are bizarre. A man who can travel around the world in a night and deliver millions of presents? Strange. A fairy who collects teeth and in exchange leaves you money? WEIRD.

What is the guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?

Why should I have a guilty pleasure? Surely something that gives me pleasure should be something that is embraced.

Who performs the most random acts of kindness you know?

Charlotte (the very one I stole this tag from). She’s one of the loveliest people I know, but she only wants people to know that she is the Queen of Fire (which she is).

How often do you read the newspaper? Which sections?

Very rarely. I don’t really read the paper. I’m more likely to catch up on the news online where I’ll read the Education news, Entertainment news and local news.

Which animal scares you most?

Spiders. No question. I don’t know why. But no.

Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage in it?

Avoid. I do not enjoy conflict at all. I’m one for people to just get on with each other. I’m not great in an argument cause I just fold and give in and I don’t want people to see that weakness (ha, deep)

What is the most recent compliment you received?

Hmmm… *shrug*. It probably came from one of my kids, colleagues or Charlotte though.

What question are you tired of hearing?

When are you going to have kids?
When are you going to move out?
When are you going to get married?
Do you want to be a head teacher?

What is the strangest thing you’ve eaten?

Snails. They’re just like mushrooms to be honest.

Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a very few close friends?

Both? Like, I know a lot of people and can socialise with lots of different pockets of people depending on what’s going on, but I definitely have a very close bunch of friends who I trust with my life.

Do you have a catchphrase?

Things I say often:
Why are people?
I’m so tired.
Right.
I own it, but I haven’t read it yet.

What is your all time favourite town or city? Why?

I’m going to be predictable af here, but Newcastle. It’s home. It’s comfort. It’s the people I love the most. It’s Geordies. It’s the Quayside. It’s my friends. It’s growing up.

If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

I don’t know? I’ve been asked this question before and I still haven’t got an answer to that question.

When was the last time you lied?

Erm… who even knows.

What’s something that amazes you?

How incredibly kind humans can be. I am OFTEN floored (and cry) when I see those videos about people helping other people out in times of need. I know the world is a shitty place to live sometimes, but kindness absolutely floors me. More of those videos thanks.

Would you rather be the first person to explore a planet or the inventor of a drug that cures a deadly disease?

Anyone who knows me knows that I am absolutely not the kind of person who will go exploring an unkknown planet. Saving lives however would be my jam, so inventing a drug that cures a deadly disease.

What is your favourite amateur activity?

Swimming. One of my favourite things to do is getting in the pool and just swimming back and forth.

What was your first thought when you got up this morning?

‘What time is it?’ (generally my first thought every morning)

What is your favourite song (at least at the moment)?

Hmmm… The Best in Me by Ed Sheeran. I am loving his new album.

List someone you know and describe them in 5 words

Kelly: best dragon owner on Earth.

You can select one person from history and have them truthfully answer one question. Who would you select and what would the question be?

Well that’s a loaded question. I wanna be like “oh, I’d ask Hitler why he was such a dick” when in reality it would be something/someone a lot less political.

Which celebrity or artist do you resemble the most?

I do not know? Someone tell me their thoughts!

What do you want me to know?

You know what, you’re amazing. If you’re having a good day, remember it. If you’re having a bad day, remember that you’ve probably made someone smile today. Whether you realise it or not, the world needs you around. You’re someone’s best friend; you’re someone’s favourite person on the planet. 

And that’s it!

Did anything surprise you in this post?
Have you got any random questions you’d like me to answer?

Let me know in the comments!

S x

 

Anything but books tag

Hellooo,

I saw this tag over on Charlotte’s blog (don’t tell her I read her blog, hehe) and I thought it would be a brilliant way for you all to get to know me a little bit better… when I’m not reading books! So here we are today with the ‘Anything but Books’ tag. Let’s see how many times I manage to mention books though (what can I say? They’re a big part of my life!)

If you fancy doing this tag, please go for it!

Name a cartoon you love

A cartoon I love? I mean any Disney film. But also I love the Lego movies, they’re funny. Any kids animated movie that has jokes in for the adults, I am THERE for. I love a good animated thing. When I was growing up though, my favourite cartoon was The Jetsons or Wacky Races.

What is your favourite song right now?

I love a WHOLE different range of music. I keep coming back to the Dear Evan Hansen soundtrack and You Will Be Found is my jam. I also love Help Me Now by Kevin McHale (yes, that’s him from Glee!). I can always rely on my babe Ed Sheeran too.

What could you do for hours that isn’t reading?

Good question. Besides sleeping though? Walk at the seaside and listen to music. OR OR OR listen to podcasts. Shout out to Rosie and Chris Ramsay’s podcat ‘Shagged, Married, Annoyed’ because it’s hilarious. But also something like sit in Quilliams and just write/planning for school/planning for blogging is one of my favourite things to do. Or go to my cousin Kate’s house and just chill out with the Redshaws because they’re my faves.

What is some thing that you love that would surprise your followers?

Hmmm… I do not know. I love a war film. I really enjoy watching tennis. Gymnastics and swimming are two of my other favourites.

What is your favourite unnecessarily specific thing to learn about?

WORDS. THE ETYMOLOGY OF WORDS. OH MY LORD. I love words. I love finding new words, I love learning about how words have changed. Dear me. Do not get me started because I find it FASCINATING.

What is something unusual that you know how to do?

I genuinely believe I am not interesting enough to have an answer to this question.

Name something that you made last year and show us if you can

I decorated my classroom – does that count?

What is your most recent personal project?

Hmmm… getting through my NQT year? Learning to love myself for all that I am? How deep do you want this answer to be?

Tell us something that you think about often

How gosh darn tired I am? (That takes up a lot of my thought time)

Tell us something that is your favourite, but make it oddly specific

Sitting in one of the window seats leaning against a wall in the Starbucks in Newcastle city centre on a sunny day with a coffee (hot or cold, I dont mind) and either ginger biscuits or banana bread.

Say the first thing that pops into your head

‘I’ll be sitting up in my room, back here thinking about yooooou’ – I’ve been rewatching Terrell and Vincint’s Song Assosciation video OVER AND OVER this week because it makes me laugh so hard and I just adore them. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about and would like to, I suggest you check out THIS VIDEO on the old YT)

And that’s it folks!

Have you learned anything new about me?
Is there anything else you want to know about me?

Let me know in the comments!

S x

“Be happy: it drives people crazy”

Things that have made me smile recently

Books. My family. Meeting Baby Joey. Spending time with my friends. Quilliams. Tea. Breakfast. Going for walks just for time to think. Witchy Trio texts. The sunshine. Waking up to a light morning. Spending time by myself. Doing a job I know I want to do for the rest of the time, even when it’s SO BLOODY HARD sometimes. Knowing that it is almost the Summer holidays. Transition day. Meeting my new class. Overhearing people complimenting the work I’ve done this year. Looking back and seeing how far I’ve come. Allowing myself time to breathe. Texts from lovely people. Finishing two books in one day after not being able to read for ages. Lovely notes from people. Vincint. BookBitchez. Thirsty conversations. ALL OF THE GAY. Some exciting book events coming up. The thought of seeing my Welsh love in a few weeks. YALC excitement. Laughing at stupid jokes. Terrell. Dear Evan Hansen. Ed Sheeran. The Matilda soundtrack. SimplyNailogical videos. Watching tennis. Roger Federer. Wimbledon being everywhere. Watching Wimbledon with my kids and them asking 700 questions. Reflecting on the year I’ve had. Looking forward to the future. Reading amazing picture books. Reading books with the kids. Books. Always books.