Monday, October 30, 2006

Back to school!

I'm allowed to go to the Conference! So that's Tuesday night and Wednesday sorted ... although I must remember to leave the worl for Wednesday's classes!

It's funny how you can have loads of time to prepare and yet you still end up rushing just before your lesson ... It was an early start, getting up at 6am again ... I had woken up a few times in the night, but had managed to rest and not get up, so I was fine at school. Got a bit tired towards the end of the day though ... anyway, I had two non-contacts this morning, and did some filing and a few admin bits and pieces. Should have marked the year 10 tests though ... After assembly (which went well, I thought ... it was about fireworks, reminding pupils that it is now illegal to have them, and that they will be arrested and permanently excluded if they are found with fireworks ... lots of gory stories about fireworks getting caught in people's wrists and exploding ...), it was time for my duty. Fortunately the upper corridor was quiet, so I was able to nab my line manager and plan a meeting later this week. I then rushed to my room to try and set up the lesson ... and I couldn't switch the computer on!

Well, I tried four times before desperately calling for one of the technicians. When he arrived, I said, "Look, this is what's it's doing," clicked the button again ... and, lo and behold, it started working! Felt like a bit of an idiot! Anyway, good to have it working again. So I set up the lesson ... and watched it all fall apart around me as the class arrived.

Ties not on, shirts not tucked in, hats and jackets on and not being removed, trainers, never mind the lack of blazers. I spent a good few minutes trying to tidy them up before we started. One pupil who has been absent recently was in, on an attendance report. Good that he was punctual ... shame about the behaviour. It affected a couple of others, and the lesson ended up boring me because I spent half of it trying to stop three pupils telling each other stories about Borat.

Before lunch I had a fairly productive meeting with our NQT. She is really impressing me with her determination and the fact that she'll try lots of different teaching methods to motivate the pupils. I'm going to observe her next week.

Lunch - a cupasoup - was followed by a short voluntary departmental meeting - really to plan what we'll get for the baby! Flowers, a card, and perhaps a small gift?

My year 7s wouldn't be quiet. There are a few of them that just won't stop ... I had a couple of moments of peace during the lesson. All they had to do was copy out the key words, but some of them were talking and messing around, and whenever I changed the word, they started complaining - hardly realising that if they copied, and got their heads down, they would manage to keep up. But that would require them to stop talking for a moment or two ...

Year 10s were doing their end of unit assessment. Weren't too happy to have that on their first week back ... Eventually had to send one girl to the Sanctuary who was incredibly rude. I can't remember why now! I think I asked her to remove her jacket ...

Straight from the lesson to a Head of Department meeting ... boring! ... and then off to a meeting with the Chief Consultant who has invited me to take part in the presentation. We've planned what we're going to do on Wednesday now.

I've now got to go and write a reference letter, phone another colleague at another school whom I am driving north tomorrow, mark two sets of assessments, make sure I have the work left for Wednesday, and check my emails. And pack. Just as well we've already had our pot noodle and chicken!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

End of the holidays ...

I've done it! I've finished marking the five sets of exercise books that I brought home! And it's only 9.15pm ... I still have a set of exam questions to complete, but I should have time to do that some time tomorrow, since I see the class on Tuesday.

I had tears in my eyes this morning at church. A couple had a blessing at the end of the service to mark their golden wedding anniversary. They made short, and sweet vows, and had a blessing, and we all applauded.

Later, I went to visit one of my friends who had a baby this week. Her daughter is so sweet, so perfect! I held her for a little while, and it was so relaxing, just sitting holding her and looking at her. I'm glad I was able to see her before returning to work!

Since then, I've had a relaxing day at home, reading the papers, sleeping, watching Alice in Wonderland, and "Reader, I Married Him", a BBC 4 documentary about romantic fiction. We only saw the end of it, so saw a bit about Jane Eyre, then they gradually looked at more modern books, which are perhaps more my sister's area of interest rather than mine ... Sophie Kinsella, Bridget Jones and the like.

Can hardly believe I have to go back to school tomorrow though! I must go and save all my powerpoints onto my memory stick so I can use them tomorrow ... Wonder what next week will bring?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

It's Saturday.

It's definitely a Saturday! And other than thinking a little about my dissertation ("A critical investigation and action research into the effectiveness of Assessment for Learning strategies, in particular peer and self assessment, at raising attainment in Religious Studies at GCSE level"), I have not thought about school or school work today.

I slept in again (how am I going to manage to get up for work on Monday, or even for church on Sunday?!), and, on discovering that we'd finished most of the food in the house, we decided that we had better go shopping. So off we went. And when I got back, I decided to cook beef stew. Three hours later ... a delicious stew with crunchy roast potatoes and a bit over done green beans. Tasty!

Since then I have read the paper, slept, and we are now watching Madame Bovary. Again. In French.

I do feel a little guilty. I do still have a few things left to do on my to-do list. A bit of marking. Planning for my A-level students. And I haven't visited my friend with the new baby yet, and I have to make a card for another friend whom I learnt yesterday has also had her first child.

Still, it's the holidays, and it's nice to be at home!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Wandering ...

I went outside today!

H and I (H being my Husband ... thought it would be quicker from now on!) went out in the morning. Had a delicious hazelnut flavoured hot chocolate in Borders with a tasty mozzarella, sun dried tomato and olive panini - yum! H had a coffee (unusual!) but was supposed to be meeting someone later for lunch. I was planning on visiting the Library later.

However, just before I got on public transport, I got a call from H's friend who was having difficulty contacting to him, to say she couldn't make it. So I ended up going out for lunch too! Rice, lamb with spinach and aubergines with yoghurt. A bit spicy, and since I'd already eaten I filled up very quickly, but it was very tasty, and quite unusual.

We wandered along the road via Waterstone's (no copies of "Where the Wild Things Are" - apparently someone had pulled pages out of all their copies, which was a bit annoying) and the postbox (so my grandparents' anniversary card will arrive, although perhaps later than expected...) back to the tube.

From there we made our way to an art shop, where we wandered around and were inspired, and then walked along the road to the next tube station. As we walked, I heard a vaguely familiar sound ... the sound of the call to prayer. I knew there was a mosque near by, but I couldn't see a minaret, so I was fallowing the sound, and eventually we saw some loudspeakers on either side of the main doors into the mosque. An interesting and unusual sound in this part of the world. Well, not as unusual where we were, I'm sure!

It's been nice being out. Must do it more often! Thought I'd post a mobile "snap" to add a bit of glamour to today's post!

The other interesting news is that Alan Johnson has agreed to drop the necessity for faith schools to accept 25% of pupils from a different faith or none. I think this means the Catholic Church has managed to motivate the masses at Mass into messaging the minister.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Getting on with the marking ...

I slept in again ... today I have marked four sets of books, thought some more about my dissertation, learnt that we used to live in one of the worst areas to live and now live in an area that was even nearer the top of the bad areas to live in the UK!, made some more delicious stovies, and have begun to read "The Puzzle of Ethics" which I think will be much more accessible for my A-Level students than the book I've been using at the moment.

Funnily, I don't feel that I've done school work all day today, but since I've been doing that since dinner, I can't really remember what else I've done! Humdrum stuff anyway, like washing the shower curtain. We're going out tomorrow though!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I've spent much of the day visiting a collague from university who is also going to be completing her dissertation this year. It was good to have a chat about the different ideas we have, and to be able to swap ideas and suggestions. I think I may research the benefits of using peer and self assessment with KS4 (GCSE) pupils, in order to raise attainment. I teach two year 11 classes, one of which mostly contains pupils I taught last year, and the other is a more mixed group. They all sat the first GCSE paper last year, so I would have quite a lot of quantitative data to compare. I could focus on my borderline C/D students - at least 4 pupils were only 2 marks off a C in the last paper, so should manage to get a C overall this year. I now need to write up this Proposal and get it to my supervisor by the end of the month.

Other than that, I read a bit from "The Puzzle of Evil" this morning, which was explaining the St Thomas Aquinas' viewpoint from his Summa Theologiae ... I'm writing that to try and fix it in my mind more than anything else! I've had another look at that official document I finished the other day, and now I'm cooking chicken casserole, rice and veg. And then I think I'm ready for an early night!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fireworks ... Eid Mubarak!

You can tell this is a more Muslim than Hindu area, I think ... there are some beautiful fireworks sparkling in the night sky tonight, marking Eid ul-Fitr, I presume - it was quite quiet a couple of nights back when it was Diwali. Any displays seemed further away. But happy Diwali, too, for any Hindu readers!

Baking Biscuits

The smell is so overwhelming, I have decided that I must write about it. I think one of my neighbours is baking biscuits. There is an amazing smell in the room that is making me hungry. It reminds me of the drive to Granny's, passing the biscuit factory on a baking day. Yum! (Now, I wonder ... is it too late to return the chairs and plate that we borrowed at our last party ...!!?!)

Reading, writing and form filling (again!)

Almost 10pm. It feels just now like it's been a busy sort of day, but until a couple of hours ago it didn't feel like that at all! I enjoyed a lazy morning, eating breakfast in bed while finishing off "Rebecca's Tale" by Sally Beauman - by 'finishing off', I mean that I read about three quarters of it this morning! So it was about lunchtime when I got up. Feels like a Saturday!

Since then I've pottered around on the internet again, replying to comments made on this site and trying to outline the books I've read from the "1001 Books to read ..." list on my other website ( And for the past couple of hours or so I've been completing some school admin - a document that needed to be completed, in lot of detail. So some of the more boring stuff on my list has been done!

My to-do list now looks like this:

1. Marking - 5 sets of books, one set of exam papers
2. Read up and prepare for Year 12/Year 13 lessons
3. Plan lessons/ppts for Years 10 and 11
4. Complete planning ppt/talk for uni presentation and school presentation (in case I'm allowed to go...)
5. Try to hone the proposal for my Dissertation
6. Shopping (well, this will be a continual one, won't it!)

I've almost completed the powerpoints for Year 10, so I think tomorrow I might try and do that and make an impact on the marking. Glad I've still a few days left. I hope to visit the British Library at some point as well. I think that all this sitting at a computer is not the best thing for my back!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Truly the holidays

What a lovely day. I have tidied a bit, read a bit, listened to some music, planned a few year 10 lessons, cooked dinner, watched Madame Bovary, learnt that a friend has had a baby (and am waiting for another couple to be born in the next few months ...) and added some posts about books to my attached blog (Louisa's Library). Very relaxing!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

This Week's To Do List

Thought I'd share my to-do list with you (whoever "you" are .... Mum/Dad/sister/husband/random passerby?) before I go to church.

1. Marking - 5 sets of books, one set of exam papers
2. Read up and prepare for Year 12/Year 13 lessons
3. Plan lessons/ppts for Years 7, 10 and 11
4. Complete other school admin
5. Tidy house
6. Laundry
7. Plan ppt/talk for uni presentation and school presentation (in case I'm allowed to go...)
8. Try to come up with a proposal for my Dissertation
9. Shopping

If I leave now I'll be able to get No. 6 underway.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

First Day of the Holidays

What do teachers do when they're on holiday?

Well, I have to admit that as for today ... not much! I have browsed the internet - not really learning much, I'm afraid to say - I have done some of the dishes, but not all, and have cooked a delicious beef stew. And all of that has used up 7 hours of my day. (Oh yes, I had a lie in first of all!)

I haven't even managed to read a book.

Although I did read the Guardian's Weekend magazine ... does that count?

Friday, October 20, 2006

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

This is more for me, out of curiosity ... the books that I have read from this list. I'm quite pleased that I have read so many ... wonder how long it will be before I've made it 10%? And can you see the author that inspired my pen name when I was a little girl? (Or a little woman, perhaps?)

1. Aesop’s Fables (Aesopus)
2. Metamorphoses (Ovid)
3. Robinson Crusoe (Daniel Defoe)
4. Gulliver’s Travels (Jonathan Swift)
5. A Modest Proposal (Jonathan Swift)
6. The Castle of Otranto (Horace Walpole)
7. The Mysteries of Udolpho (Ann Radcliffe)
8. The Monk (M.G. Lewis)
9. Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen)
10. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
11. Mansfield Park (Jane Austen)
12. Emma (Jane Austen)
13. Persuasion (Jane Austen)
14. Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen)
15. Frankenstein (Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley)
16. The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (James Hogg)
17. The Fall of the House of Usher (Edgar Allan Poe)
18. A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)
19. The Pit and the Pendulum (Edgar Allan Poe)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
22. Moby-Dick (Herman Melville)
23. A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)
24. The Woman in White (Wilkie Collins)
25. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)
26. Journey to the Centre of the Earth (Jules Verne)
27. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
28. The Moonstone (Wilkie Collins)
29. Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There (Lewis Carroll)
30. Around the World in Eighty Days (Jules Verne)
31. Far from the Madding Crowd (Thomas Hardy)
32. Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson)
33. The Strange Case of Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson)
34. The Picture of Dorien Gray (Oscar Wilde)
35. Tess of the D’Urbervilles (Thomas Hardy)
36. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
37. Dracula (Bram Stoker)
38. The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
39. Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad)
40. The Thirty-Nine Steps (John Buchan)
41. The Rainbow (D.H. Lawrence)
42. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (James Joyce)
43. The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
44. Lady Chatterley’s Lover (D.H. Lawrence)
45. Orlando (Virginia Woolf)
46. All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Maria Remarque)
47. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
48. A Scot’s Quair (Sunset Song) (Lewis Grassic Gibbon)
49. Absalom, Absalom (William Faulkner)
50. Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck)
51. Brighton Rock (Graham Greene)
52. Rebecca (Daphne du Maurier)
53. The Power and the Glory (Graham Greene)
54. Animal Farm (George Orwell)
55. If This Is a Man (Primo Levi)
56. The Heart of the Matter (Graham Greene)
57. Nineteen Eighty-Four (George Orwell)
58. The End of the Affair (Graham Greene)
59. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
60. Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
61. The Quiet American (Graham Greene)
62. Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe)
63. A Town Like Alice (Nevil Shute)
64. Billy Liar (Keith Waterhouse)
65. To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
66. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Muriel Spark)
67. Arrow of God (Chinua Achebe)
68. The River Between (Ngugi wa Thiong’o)
69. The Magus (John Fowles)
70. One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
71. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou)
72. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
73. The Name of the Rose (Umberto Eco)
74. Rites of Passage (William Golding)
75. A Pale View of Hills (Kazuo Ishiguro)
76. The Colour Purple (Alice Walker)
77. Perfume (Patrick Suskind)
78. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
79. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
80. Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
81. Cat’s Eye (Margaret Atwood)
82. Time’s Arrow (Martin Amis)
83. The Crow Road (Iain Banks)
84. Possessing the Secret of Joy (Alice Walker)
85. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
86. The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy)
87. Veronika Decides to Die (Paulo Coelho)
88. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
89. The Devil and Miss Prym (Paulo Coelho)
90. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon)
91. Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro)

What a difference a day makes!

What a difference a day makes.

Maybe it was the rain, maybe it was because it was the last day of term, maybe it was because a number of pupils were involved in a special assembly, but I found my classes to be much calmer today.

My first lesson, a double, was really enjoyable. The class received back the test that they sat last lesson, and were keen to swap results. A few pupils asked if they could resit the exam they sat last year, because they want to improve their grade. It was nice to see them being so keen, smiling and trying to work out what mark they would have to get this year to make sure they would get a C (although I feel a bit for the boy to whom I had to answer ... "Emmm, 100%..."). We then learnt the key words for the new unit of work, which is one of the most interesting topics that we look at - the key words included heaven, hell, purgatory, paranormal, contraception, abortion, euthanasia ... So for every word we had an interesting discussion, with pupils posing me the questions ("If you had a child who was extremely ill, and was going to die, and was in a coma, and was on a life support machine, what would you do, Miss? Would you switch off the life support machine?"). We also had an interesting discussion about Madonna and her adoption of a Malawian child, which prompted a Ghanaian pupil to ask why it is always the negative aspects of life in Africa that are shown on TV, such as poverty and dire situations, instead of more everyday and balanced scenes. A question that my husband often addresses. A good question. Eventually, having copied down all the key words, we played Pictionary on the IWB. Great fun was had by all, getting to draw using their fingers. A really enjoyable morning, one of those lessons that makes teaching so worthwhile.

Another nice aspect of teaching is when you get the rare opportunity to sit down for a few minutes with colleagues. Today at lunchtime I discussed the finer points of civil and criminal law with a couple of other teachers who had managed to find twenty minutes in their busy schedules to sit in the staffroom, eat some lunch, rest and relax. My A Level students had been asking whether UK Law is based on determinist (hard or soft) or libertarian ethical theories. Made a change from discussing pupil behaviour!

I was exhausted by the end of the day, but a good exhausted. The first half term has finished; I can rest for a bit, catch up a bit, plan a bit, prepare for Ofsted a bit ... Have brought five sets of books home. Hurrah for holidays!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Day in the Life of ...

My day started with a meeting with the parents of a boy whose behaviour has been quite disruptive in lessons. It was a very productive meeting ... until it appeared that another teacher had the boy's school planner. The Father wanted to know where the teacher's room was, and the son helpfully pointed it out - not far from where we were meeting. I pointed out that the teacher was teaching, but the Father got up and strode off. He came back a few minutes later, angry with the response from the teacher. An angry stranger strides into your classroom as you finish taking the register and getting pupils on task with the starter, demanding to see his son's planner ... slightly intimidating, I would think - I'm sure I wouldn't be at my most accommodating. I felt very bad about my colleague - I was glad that I was able to see her in assembly a couple of hours later to apologise for not managing to stop him. I had been very taken by surprise at his reaction, since he had been very pleasant not long before. Anyway, I'm sure when I have children I might have a better idea of that protective feeling that parents must feel that can enable them to become angry like that ...

This meeting meant I was a bit late for my first class. Fortunately one of my departmental colleagues had let the class in, and they were all getting their books out. I was worried that I would arrive and find them playing tig, chase, basketball and let's annoy the other teachers in the playground. We were going over the last exam that the class had sat, and they were very keen to share their results with each other; not too keen to see how they could have improved though! We then began looking at the Key Words for the new unit of work. About four pupils were more interested in chatting than in getting started, and when I moved onto the next slide on the interactive whiteboard (IWB), they were very vocal about their discontent. "Move it back, Miss!", "I've almost finished!", "What have you done that for?" They were not too happy when I pointed out that everyone else in the class had long since finished copying out the meaning of Resurrection, but I like to think that everyone else was on my side, and happy that they could proceed! One boy took exception and decided to do no work for the rest of the lesson. Since he wasn't disturbing anyone else and was otherwise taking part in the class discussions that accompanied learning the meanings of contraception, paranormal and euthanasia, I decided to keep him in the room - he will just have extra homework over the holidays.

Assembly went well today - much better than the last one. Possibly because most of year 10 and year 11 were missing, for no apparent reason ... bizarre. Miss told the story of St Moses the Black to them, much better than I could have done! The pupils seemed quite happy that Black History Month was being marked in this way. I think we have done quite a bit for BHM recently. We've been studying Rosa Parks and Desmond Tutu in RE, and the Year 7s have been designing "Kick Racism Out of Football" posters, after reading interviews with Sol Campbell, Rio Ferdinand and Thierry Henry.

I have an interesting set of girls in one of my Year 10 classes. Today one of the them decided to sit in my chair when I was getting a new book from the office for a girl from another class. I told her to move to her own seat, and she petulantly answered back, "Don't speak to me rudely like that"! I couldn't quite believe my ears - she had simply been given a clear instruction - so already I started to form the idea that she would need to be sent to the Referral Unit. I thought I would give her a chance though, after she moved. However, she started listening to music, and when I told her to switch off the music and remove the earphones she spoke insolently again: "No, you spoke to me rudely. I'm going to listen to my music." Can you imagine the scene? The sulky pushed out bottom lip, the furrowed brow, the wrinkled nose, the disdain in her eyes? And she's quite a pretty girl really! Anyway, she was too much, so I told her to pack and go. She refused! Fortunately this time I was able to get in touch with an on-call teacher who came to take her away. She didn't want to go at first, but eventually did, calling me a silly woman on her way out. I'm sure I've had worse though! I have a period tomorrow when I should be able to catch up with her to get an apology in order to reintegrate her into the class.

In another Year 10 lesson, the class was completing its end of unit assessment. Well. Almost as soon as they started, one pupil pointed out that another child was cheating, looking at the book. I collected the book, did a sweep of the room for other books, sat back down again. One pupil was whispering an answer to another child. Two marks off each. Then another pupil made a comment about cheating. Another pupil had taken a book off the pile at the back and had it under the desk. That one was removed, another reappeared, removed, a pupil from another teacher came to borrow textbooks, another child picked up a book ... I suppose at least this shows that the pupils were keen to succeed, to do well. But the pupils who were calling out about cheating did not stop. I eventually had to send two outside, and told them that their calling out during the test was much worse for the whole class than the pupils who were cheating who were only limiting their own chances to learn how to improve. However, during this incident I could feel my blood pressure rise and rise ...

At the end of the day I was encouraging pupils to move quickly to the next lesson when a girl came and told me that there was a fight in the car park. Fortunately there was already a sixth former there separating the two main antagonists, or perhaps I should say the bully and victim. The rest of that period was spent sorting out that one incident. I was grateful to the sixth former and another pupil who did a great job of calming down the angry recipient of the bullying. I'm not sure how Heads of Year can manage, trying to sort out many such incidents in one day. They must be exhausted. I do think they should have more non-contact periods to help them do their job better.

Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that I have attended three meetings this week, a clear breach of the Workload Agreement (or at least it's spirit), which recommends no more than one meeting per week. I will alert my union rep.

Right. I am exhausted now. Beef stew is in the oven, with stovies as the accompaniment. Looking forward to it - I think I need it!

Parents' Evening

I was too tired to write an entry last night ... There was an evening for Year 10 parents, and I had to do a presentation about my department, along with the other core subjects. So I was quite tired when I arrived home around 9pm ... It was a busy day all day, although because I had AS and A2 lessons there weren't too many behaviour issues.

Right, I'm off to work now! Will write later.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

St Moses the Black and Black British Boys

I learnt a bit about some African Popes and black Saints today, as part of marking Black History Month with my Sixth Formers. I found St Moses the Black particularly interesting. He was a bit of a robber who was converted to Christianity by some hermits in the desert (near Ethiopia, I think). His robber associates tried to persuade him to go back to his robbing ways, but instead he converted them. I thought it sounded a bit like a modern day parable, with a positive message for our Sixth Formers. They just wanted to listen to hip hop ... Some of them eventually did made some simple posters for display. (One of my A2 students later asked if they were done by my year 7s!)

The highlight of my day was probably getting invited to speak at a conference in Nottingham next month. It's very exciting! I have finished the second year of my Masters and am about to begin my dissertation (did I mention that yesterday?!), and I've been asked to speak about how my research last year fits in with the Black British Boys' project (I think that's the title, although I understand that the project is changing). I will also have to explain how the course I've been following has supported my role as a teacher and impacted on my students, in order to encourage other LEAs to begin similar courses. It's such a privilege to be invited to this conference; I hope the Head will give me permission to go. I told one of the Assistant Heads and he was very positive about it, so hopefully he might have a word with the Head ...

The day finished on a more subdued note with a rowdy year 7 class followed by an extended leadership meeting. It's good to be home!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Form Filling

I don't think I realised there were so many forms to be filled in at school! I spent the whole day trying to complete one such form, and in the end I had to admit defeat ... unfortunately that simply means postponement, and I'll need to try and complete it over the holidays, which are (fortunately) fast approaching. I learnt a few interesting things, though, such as some of the responsibilities of the Governing Body. Also discovered that I actually know a few more things about the School than I perhaps thought I did.

My lessons were covered by a supply teacher. He seemed an organised and friendly person, who gave me a clear account of what had happened in the first lesson of mine that he covered. And the classroom looked very tidy at the end of the day, so that bodes well. However, it gives me the opportunity to reflect on supply teaching. Yes, I know there is no (or at least, very little) preparation, and no marking, little to follow up or follow through. However, I really would not like to do that sort of teaching. My behaviour management tends to be based on building up positive pupil relationships; I'm not really a fly in, fly back out again type of person. I'd be worried that I'd just have aggro after aggro all day! I don't really like doing cover either. One of the good things about the Workload Agreement is the "aspiration" (my word, not theirs) that eventually teachers will do no cover at all. Roll on those days!

Well, I have to teach a few lessons tomorrow, so perhaps I'll have something more interesting to say then! In the meantime, perhaps you can think of a topic for my Masters dissertation?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

My first post ...

Does every blog have a post titled "My first post"? Shouldn't I be a bit more creative than that?!

It's taken an hour to set up this blog, because I couldn't decide on a name, and any ideas I had my husband vetoed, and any he came up with I didn't like.

We finally came up with this one ... an empty classroom.

Just saying the words bring me peace! I love that feeling at the end of the day when they all leave, and I have the place to myself ... (That doesn't mean I don't enjoy their company as well, though!) (But that deep peace that they leave, when they've gone ... Mmmmmmmmmm!)

So, what's the point of this blog?

Well, it's partly to stop me driving my husband mad (must think of another name for him ...) by telling him all my stories about school at the end of the day, and partly because I love thinking of teaching, methods and ideas, and I enjoy sharing my ideas, so I thought it might be a good idea to have a blog to encourage me to put my ideas down.

I'm glad I've started this. Hope I can continue ... Now, I *must* go and finish my marking!