What we’re reading!

Hello!

How are you all?

Today, I thought I would share some pictures of the books my class are reading… cause they’re all reading some absolute corkers.

Starting this academic year, I really wanted to get my kids excited about books and about reading. I’m such an advocate for reading for pleasure that I want my kids to know that they can enjoy reading and that it doesn’t always have to be something they’re tested on… they just get to enjoy what they’re reading.

We did a whole hour about our reading habits and our reading identities where they got to tell me about their own reading preferences, which I found really interesting. Learning so much about these new little people of mine really gave me the chance to recommend books that I knew would be right for them!

I was DELIGHTED with the range of books that they chose from my shelves. There’s some of my absolute favourite books of recent years in these piles. There’s all sorts of representation in these books. There’s stories these children might never have come across. A lot of these books are my own copies (as in they don’t belong in the school library) and it gives me such joy to know that I’ve read these books and that I can talk to the kids about these books if they want to.

I love that there’s such a mix of books in these piles. There’s well known authors and there’s indie authors. There’s an anthology of stories among some incredible stand alones. There’s 2 children starting off the Perfect series (which is a series that I adore) and there’s some books I’ve wanted to give to children in so so long. There’s a non-fiction book in among fiction books (which fills me with delight!)

My classroom is definitely the “reading classroom”. It’s where you’ll find all of the books (except the library). That’s something I’m really proud of. I’m a reader through and through and if I can help just one child find their love of reading then I’ve done my job!

Our class reader, which was voted for by the children on transition day is The Dreamsnatcher by Abi Elphinstone. As I have an audible account, we’re actually listening to it on audiobook and I’m really enjoying that! It’s read so brilliantly by the narrator and it’s giving me an extra bit of time to enjoy reading and listening alongside them.

Image result for the dreamsnatcher

As well as general reading, I always try and theme my Writing lessons around a book (I just think it gives everything a lot more purpose). We started the year with a letter to ourselves, so I thought we would continue with letter writing in a fun way. We’re going for letters to complain and using the amazing The Day The Crayons Quit as our model text/inspiration. A lot of people will frown at me using this text in Year 5, but I think it is PERFECT.

Image result for the day the crayons quit

I could ramble on for hours about the love I have for reading and the importance of reading for pleasure, but I won’t ramble on (if you’d like me to, then by all means let me know in the comments because that’s something I can talk about for words and words… it’s what I did my dissertation on!)

Let me know if you’d like any more tales from the classroom and I could probably make it into a series! Leave me some questions if you have any!

Speak soon,

S x

BLOG TOUR: A Planet Full of Plastics

Today, I come to you sharing ‘A Planet Full of Plastics’ by Neal Layton. I was invited to be on the blog tour and I was thrilled as this is something we have been thinking about this year in school and my class and I did a whole unit of work around plastic pollution in the seas.

A Planet Full of Plastic is a wonderful picture book and is perfect for
readers who love nature and want to help the environment.

Everything is made of stuff. Some things are made of paper, like this book. And some things are made of PLASTIC. If you look around you, plastic is everywhere. Even in places where it’s not meant to be. If it drops to the ground, it doesn’t rot away – it sticks around for ever.

Our world is drowning in plastic, and it’s a big problem. Award-winning author-illustrator Neal Layton is here to explain where plastic comes from, why it doesn’t biodegrade, and why that’s dangerous for animals and humans alike. But he’s also FULL of ideas for how you can help! From giving up straws in juice cartons to recycling all we can and taking part in a beach clean, A Planet Full of Plastic will get young readers excited about how they can make a difference to keep Planet Earth happy.

I know a lot of schools who are taking plastic and recycling very seriously, and with a very quick browse of the internet, there are some wonderful and inventive ways to reuse plastic in an art lesson. Some schools take an even wider scape and use plastic as an art tool to create a whole school display.

None of the following images are my own: I am in awe of these creations and credit goes to the original creators (I wish I had the origin of all of these pictures, but I just have them saved in my ‘inspiration bank’ for lessons)

There are some amazing displays from teachers on Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram and some of them are pure envy. There are so many ways we can recycle and reuse plastic/other materials in the classroom. We all love a bit of junk modelling and it’s important to talk to children about the importance of recycling and reusing materials so they don’t end up polluting our lands and seas.

I can’t wait to use this book and some of these amazing ideas with my class next year to create some recycled art ourselves!

Massive thank you to Hachette Kids for inviting me to be in this blog tour!

Check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour!

Plastics Blog Tour (3)

S x

Final half term contemplations…

Ello, ello, ello

So for those of you who are new around here, hi, I’m Steph, an NQT in a gorgeous little primary school in Newcastle. I love my job, I love where I work, I have the best colleagues in the world. My road to teaching hasn’t been conventional, but I got there in the end. I was a TA for 4 years, then I became a HLTA, then I realised that yes in fact teaching was the thing that I wanted to do for the rest of time, so I got my degree (as well as working full time) and then, last year, I finally qualified. So this year has been my NQT year. I work with a brilliant bunch of kids who make me laugh EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Now that we’re at my final half term, I’m just gonna share some musings, some thoughts, some questions, some wonderings about my final half term and maybe, just maybe, what I would like the future to hold.

  • Teaching is completely and utterly for me.
    It’s hard, it’s really exhausting at times and there’s more things to think about than brain space sometimes, but it’s the only thing I want to be doing for the rest of time (cause let’s be real, I’m going to be working until I’m 100). I invite anyone who thinks my job is “easy” to come and join me for a day or two… then you’ll see.
  • The politics of teaching is just ridiculous at times.
    I try not to get involved in the politics of teaching, but there is more of it than I realiased and that’s not fun. I get it, I get it, but man, I came into teaching to be a teacher, not a politician.
  • I do this job because I love it, but yes the holidays are great.
    People are ALWAYS commenting on this… and yes I can’t get away from the fact that the amount of holidays I get is wonderful (I would never deny this) but equally half terms are NEEDED.
  • I want to enjoy teaching for a while.
    People ask me (quite regularly) about going into management and senior leadership and while that’s not something I don’t want, I didn’t qualify just so I could be on someone’s SLT. It would be great to find myself with the responsibility of being a leader one day, but not just yet. I wanna actually master this craft before I try my hand at something else. One day I would like to see myself as a leader, but at the minute I don’t see headship in my future.
  • The subjects I thought would be the scariest haven’t been.
    I was DREADING teaching PE, absolutely dreading it, but actually, it’s become one of my favourite things to teach. Is it the thing I’m best at teaching? Gosh no, but it’s just so FUN. I’ve HAD to open my eyes and upskill myself and that’s been great.
  • Twitter is a wonderful platform for teachers.
    Do I feel like an imposter at times? Yes.
    Do I think why do these people care about what I think at times? Yes.
    Do I sometimes worry that my voice isn’t needed? Yes.
    But let me tell you, twitter teachers are the best, most caring and giving people you can come across. Find yourself a bunch of teachers who make you laugh, challenge you professionally and who support you and you’re laughing. I’m so very lucky that I found my tweacher friends quite quickly and they’re the best bunch ever.
  • Don’t be scared to get involved in conversations and attend events.
    There are so many conversations happening all the time and if you’re passionate about something then join in. People will challenge what you think and people will support what you think – if you’ve got the gusto to go out there and talk about something you’re passionate about do it. Yes there’ll be people who say things to antagonise you, but you choose the conversations you join in and the people you surround yourself with. There are SO SO many teaching events to get along to so get yourself out there and do it (it’s terrifying, but it’s worth it). Look up #BrewEd – there’s bound to be one near you happening.
  • Some lessons won’t go to plan and that’s life.
    I beat myself up SO SO MUCH about this and slowly, I’m realising that I’m human and bad lessons happen. It doesn’t make me a bad teacher, it just means I need to take a step back and think about why it didn’t go as well as I thought. I never did quite understand the whole “doing reflections” thing from my SCITT, but now it’s something I do without even realising (rarely are they written down, but it’s all in my head and it’s all useful)
  • It’s not a bad thing to ask for help.
    Asking for help is such an important tool. I encourage my kids to do it ALL THE BLOODY TIME but I’m so bad at it because I see it as a weakness (isn’t that mad?!) but I’ve got better. I’m still not great at it, but I’m getting there.
  • Ask all of the questions, even if you think they’re stupid questions
    THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A STUPID QUESTION. Say it again. Ask it again because you might not get the chance to ask it again.
  • Stick to your guns about something
    If you believe in something, or you think something isn’t right, then stick with your gut. I’ve had to do this a few times this year and I’ve been right every time. If there’s one thing I believe in in this job it’s that teachers know their kids. If something’s not right with your job, your workload, you, one of your kids, talk to someone about it. People are generally ridiculously supportive.

I have a load more to say but I’ve already rattled on for 1000 words (sorry guys).

I’ve loved my NQT year with all of my heart. It’s been exhausting, incredible, moving, frustrating, emotional and so many other words. I know this is just the first step up a VERY BLOODY LONG staircase, but it’s the only staircase I wanna climb

Thanks for sticking with me. If you’ve got any questions or anything you wanna say, please just let me know. I’m a bit inconsistent with my teacher posts, but I think it’s something I’d like to do more of.

You’re all amazing. Let’s have a brilliant final summer half term! 

S x

BOOK BLOG: Sarah Roberts

Somebody Swallowed Stanley: a beautiful story to teach children about the importance of looking after our oceans!

img_5592

“Say hello to Stanley! He’s swimming around in the sea, but he’s no ordinary jellyfish. Most jellyfish have dangly-gangly tentacles, but Stanley has two handles. Other jellyfish have a magical pearly glow, but Stanley has colourful stripes. Lots of hungry fish in the sea are looking for lunch, and all of them have a taste for Stanley. But plastic bags don’t belong in the sea – or in other creatures’ tummies…”

I’m gutted that I’ve only just found this book now because I’ve done my plastic pollution topic in my class this year! But next year… next year! 

img_5597

Somebody Swallowed Stanley is a brilliant picture book telling about the tale of Stanley – a jellyfish unlike other jellyfish, because he is a plastic bag – and what happens to him when creatures of the sea try to eat him. Some manage to spit him back out, but one of the creatures isn’t so lucky, until a brilliant young man comes along and saves the day. 

There’s some incredible messages in this book about the importance of being kind to the environment and recycling. Stanley is recycled at the end of the book to be a kite and this would be a great thing to get children thinking about what we can do with our plastics once we’re finished with them, so that they don’t end up in the sea!

One of the lovely things about this book is the riddle type verses that describe the animals which eat Stanley. This would be a great thing to use with children to get them to come up with their own riddles about animals under the sea! This could be an activity you do with children from as young as KS1 all the way to Upper KS2. 

img_5593

I love this book and it will be a firm fave that I bring out every year when we talk about plastic pollution. I don’t think picture books should be reserved for only EYFS and KS1 – my Year 5s this year have LOVED being read picture books! 

What are your favourite picture books to use around this issue?
What activities do you do to raise awareness of plastic pollution?
Are you any good at writing riddles?

Talk to me. I wanna know what activities and stories you use to teach kids about the importance of lookinga fter our world!

S x 

 

TeachTreat Subscription Box

Last week, I got a very excited email from our school business manager that there was a box in my pigeon hole that looked quite exciting. When I got to my pigeon hole, I found this quite exciting looking package. 

img_4816

It’s roughly the size of a graze box. As I read through the letter, I realised that it is a teacher subscription box. WHOEVER it is that sent this to me KNOWS ME WELL. I am a sucker for a subscription box and I’m a sucker for anything teacher-y. I love my job, proper loads. A monthly dose of something to make me smile? YES PLEASE. 

I managed to withold the temptation and waited til I got home to open… and MY WORD WHAT A JOY IT IS.

This was the inside… AND LOOK AT ALL OF THOSE GOODIES.

First up was a very handy little notebook with some tips on having a productive PPA time… I can always do with some tips on having a more productive PPA. They’re also pretty bloody brilliant tips too!

I BLOODY LOVE THIS PENCIL. “I’m only Greater Depth with coffee”. I love a teacher joke me man. I got 2 of these pencils and they’ve kept me proper chuckling.

These “Straight Outta Assembly” badges might be my favourite thing in the box though… just such a lol. I put one on my lanyard the other day and so many of my collagues commented on how brilliant it was!

The other thing that was inside was some postcards. ALWAYS handy to have in the classroom. I use more postcards than I care to mention, so seeing them was a BRILLIANT addition!

There was a bottle opener, some hot chocolate and coffee and a brilliant lanyard also included in this box!

So how do you get one?

Having done some tip tapping on the interwebs, I have found where you can get this box AND the items separately! What a proper joy!

Click me if you’d like the box…

You can buy a one off (£10), a box as a gift for someone else (£10), a box for a term (£40) or a monthly box for the year (£120)!

How exciting… I am PROPER tempted to go and treat myself! 

Click me if you’d like the items…

I really like that you can buy the items separately too. I imagine items will be added as there are more and more boxes released!

A massive massive thank you to WHOEVER sent this to me! It’s so incredible to get a surprise in the post. 

I’m off to go and get myself a subscription… sorry, not sorry!

S x

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. 

Using blurbs in the classroom

As you saw the other day, I was very very lucky to be able to share the exclusive cover of Aisha Bushby’s new book A Pocketful of Stars (if you missed the announcement, check it out here!) 

It got me thinking about using blurbs in the classroom and how much we really learn about a book from its blurb. What do we learn about the characters? What about the plot? What about the themes? 

My kids are proper book devourers (more about reading in my classroom next week!) and I thought it would make a brilliant lesson to share with them the blurb of A Pocketful of Stars and give them the chance to design a cover based solely on the information given in the blurb.

Initially, a few of them were quite hesitant because they wanted more information – which obviously I couldn’t provide, because I didn’t know it myself – but after a bit of encouragement, they all had a go. We had a chance to have some discussions about what makes a good cover, what makes you want to pick up a book, what covers of books should give away and the kids were SO engaged. Once we’d had a talk about covers, they got talking about their ideas and started to share ideas. 

I literally only gave them a blank sheet of A5 paper and told them they had time to design their cover… and this is what some of them came up with!

aisha covers 1aisha covers 2aisha covers 3aisha covers 4

I LOVE all of them – the kids all put their hearts into their designs and really thought about what they’d want to go on the cover. 

This is definitely something I’d do again. The levels of engagement and the thought that they put into it made me so proud! I even got to show them to Aisha too and she loved them! 

What are your favourite book activities to do in the classroom?
What would you have put on the cover?
Do you have a favourite cover of the designed ones?

I can’t wait to show my kids the actual finished cover. One of my girls will be very surprised at how close her design is! 

S x 

Reading Rocks North

Two weekends ago, I spent an amazing Saturday at a school in Blyth with some people I admire most in my teaching bubble, learning all about reading and everything that entails. 

For those of you who don’t know, Reading Rocks is a wonderful community which grew from a community of educators and librarians sharing and talking on Twitter about getting every pupil reading. It’s a place to share ideas for teaching reading and writing; reviewing and recommending books and sharing ways to grow a love of reading. It started as just a community of teachers, educaters and librarians loving books and now it’s grown into this incredible day of CPD. So far RR has been in the North, South and has even gone to uni!

You can follow all of the wonderful fun via their twitter (@_Reading_Rocks_) and their website (Where Reading Rocks).

When I heard that RR was coming to the North East, I knew I needed to get myself a ticket and I was lucky enough to get one! 

The day came, I was up at the crack of dawn (in fact it was before dawn when I got up!) and set off to Blyth to Horton Grange Primary School for my day of learning, reading and bookish fun. Now, you know me by now, you know this is my idea of a WONDERFUL Saturday. It was so incredible to be there and see all of the amazing teachers who had given up their Saturdays to be there to celebrate reading! You have to sign up for workshops and, as I was so early (I know right, quelle surprise?!) I managed to get a space in the 2 workshops I wanted most!

My first trip was a trip to the bookshop (again, what a surprise!) but I was quite reserved and only bought 2 books!

One of the most amazing things about RR is that, not only does it unite teachers, but it brings authors along too! We were lucky enough to be accompanied by Piers Torday (author of The Last Wild trilogy and The Lost Magician), Dan Smith (author of so many amazing books, including Boy X and Below Zero) and Ross Welford (author of The 1000 Year Old Boy, Time Travelling With A Hamster and What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible).

Piers Torday was first up talking to us about the importance of reading for pleasure. His talk was just incrediblereading should make you think about who you are, what you believe and what you think you could be. Having never met Piers before, but beinga massive fan of his books (I told him the embarrassing story about reading The Last Wild on the train and a man consoling me because I was so upset), I was slightly starstruck and awed. 

In the afternoon, Ross Welford took to the RR stage, talking to us about the importance of the magic of books. Not just magic (like wands), but finding the magic of reading. Once you find that, once you find that passion and spark, it won’t go away – you just have to know how to feed it. His talk was hilarious. I genuinely cackled at one point. He even did some magic tricks for us!

Last up was Dan Smith, who rounded up an amazing day with an incredible talk about how it’s stories that matter. It’s stories that bring out awe and wonder. It’s the stories that kids are interested in. He had so many wonderful tales to regale about his life (he’s a well travelled man, I did not know!) and even read us some of his letters home to his parents as a child (mainly about going to see Star Wars!).

(Are you still with me? Not much more to read!)

As well as the amazing authors, going to workshops was so inspiring. I’d managed to get on the list for Rob Smith‘s workshop about using films in the class. Rob is the founder of The Literacy Shed (you should check it out, I LOVE IT) and he talked to us about using videos for a variety of purposes (reading skills, writing lessons). I’m a massive fan of using videos to inspire writing, so I left the workshop feeling invigorated and ready to take on a new video. Also, he’s BLOODY HILARIOUS. 

The second workshop I managed to get in was the main one that I’d hoped I’d get to go to. My brilliant friend Jack was doing a workshop all about vocabulary. Jack is amazing. He’s been a brilliant twitter friend to me, so I was a bit starstruck when I met him for the first time! He talked us through some amazing games to use in the classroom to get kids thinking about words and read us an incredible book – The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds. If you’re unfamiliar with Jack, he’s the creator of the brilliant Verbivore website, which you definitely need to check out (he does lose points however for his odd socks wearing!)

All of this amazing CPD, meeting teachers that have been long time twitter friends and my ticket was only like £20. I would recommend getting yourself to a Reading Rocks day if you can! It is worth every penny (and waking up at dawn hours for).

Massive thanks to Heather for bringing RR to the North! I can’t wait for the next one!

S x

Blackout poetry

To coincide with National Poetry Day, we celebtrated at school with Poetry Week, where our English lessons all centred around poems. We in Year 5 had already done a week of poetry (it’s what I started the year with), so when it came round the celebrating Poetry Week, the kids were enthused to say the least! They have boundless energy about everything, with poetry being no exception. We have tried to incorporate poetry into EVERYTHING… I am often asked “Miss, can I write a poem?” and I always encourage this… write creatively my friends!

One thing I’d seen flying around the internet in particular was blackout poems. I was a bit tentative to start and thought long and hard about how we could POSSIBLY make it happen. After mulling it over since the beginning of the year, (I had wanted to do it during out first week) I bit the bullet and started to plan a one off lesson as part of our school Poetry Week.

To the kids, I posed the question

“What do you think blackout poetry is?”

and we got some brilliant answers:

  • It’s a poem that describes the night
  • It’s a poem about the war
  • A poem that’s only made up of black and white pictures
  • A poem written on black page and the writing is made of only white words

Then, I showed them some examples that I found on Google:

Their reactions were amazing. They were astounded by these, with one boy saying “Miss, they’re not even poems“. We talked about what the poems might be about just on first glance and talked about how we knew that.

Then I explained to them their task: they were given a page of our class novel Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Milwood Hargrave and they had to create their own piece of blackout poetry based on the page they were given. They had to think about the words they chose and the illustrations which they paired with the words. Some of the children struggled at first, but once they’d had some time to reflect and look at the models again, they had a very good go.

In a one hour lesson, we didn’t all finish. Some of the children were so enthused and loving it so much they even wanted to stay in at lunchtime to finish! I’ve made time next week for them to finish, as I think the finished products will just look incredible.

Here is an example of 4 of the finished ones. I can’t wait to see them all when they’re finished!

Once they’re all finished, I’m going to make them into a book!

My Year 5 class LOVED this and the finished products look amazing. This is definitely going to be a lesson that stays in my arsenal for my future poetry lessons!

Did you enjoy that tale from my classroom?
Do you want to see what else we get up to in Year 5?
Have you any requests for things to see?

Let me know your thoughts on the poems so far, my kids would love feedback!

S x

NQT life

Well hello,

Here I stand, 3 weeks into my NQT life and what a ride it has been so far. There have definitely been more ups than downs (I’m not even sure I’d say there’s been any downs so far). I am learning so much every day. I can’t wait every single day to get into the classroom and get started.

The only wobble I’ve had so far was when I was asked when I could be observed. (I knew it was coming, but the DREAD I feel is real). You’d think having been observed weekly (sometimes twice weekly) last year, that I’d be used the observations, but no. I still get uneasy around them. I think it’s the “judgement” side of it. This is the only job I want to do, in fact I know it’s the only thing I want to do for the rest of my life, so to hear that I’m potentially not doing brilliantly terrifies me. I’m a perfectionist and a bit of a control freak, so yeah… that’s something. Don’t get me wrong, I know I can’t be perfect all the time. I know this. I’m one of these people who doesn’t believe there’s such a thing as an outstanding teacher… I just think there’s teachers who can teach outstanding lessons and for me that’s a MASSIVELY different thing. No one’s at their utter best ALL THE TIME. That’d be exhausting. (I’m rambling now, sorry guys)

I still have to pinch myself that yes I do have my own class, I have my own kidseverything that goes down in that classroom is our doing: me and my kids. It’s still quite a surreal feeling. But it’s also bloody incredible. Having worked for SO MANY YEARS to get here, getting here is taking a bit of processing. There are days where I still feel like I’m “playing” at being a teacher and that someone is going to come along and just burst my bubble. I think that will take a while to get rid of tbh.

It’s a brilliant thing reaching your goals, but there’s always more. However, for now, I’m celebrating where I am. Now that I’m here I want to be the best I can beit’s what I deserve, it’s what my kids deserve, it’s what every single person who believed in me deserves. The hard work isn’t over yet, it’s just started in fact. I’m here, with my own classroom, but this is only the start of my journey. I’m on this amazing learning curve with this amazing bunch of kids and a brilliantly group of staff who are supporting me and I genuinely couldn’t feel any luckier. I am learning from the kids, from myself, from all of my colleagues. I think that’s something I’ve always strived for… to never stop learning. I’m in a profession now where that’s something that will happen. I have to keep learning because EVERY SINGLE DAY is different. 

It’s quite lush sitting in my classroom at the end of the day and thinking about what’s happened through the day. The amount of progress I feel my kids are making is just lovely. Their enthusiasm, their determination, their resilience astounds me so much. There’s something very special about that enthusiasm and excitement of learning that I hope they never lose. For me, it’s those moments.

It’s that little girl’s face when she made the connection between the purple bird and the boy’s purple pen in Journey; it’s another boy’s face when he used incredible mathematical vocabulary to describe a process; it’s seeing their faces when they finally hit their goal having struggled a bit; it’s the YET about all of it.

Seeing the tiniest and biggest bits of joy that make it worthwhile for me.

I love my job. It’s not all plain sailing. But I’m not here to whinge. I’m here to be thankful and celebrate everything that’s happened so far.

I feel lucky every single day that I walk though that door.