Life lessons, fear of failure and why I left teaching.


Yep. That’s it.

adarkwhimsy

This morning, I found out an excellent teacher, someone I respect and look up to, received a Requires Improvement from an Ofsted QA Inspection. Needless to say, she’s gutted. I’m furious for her. Not just because she blatantly does not Require Improvement (and any idiot who spent more than 20 minutes observing her would realise this), but because this is the reason I decided to take a break from teaching.

I loved being a teacher. I loved the buzz of the classroom, and teenagers are the most inspiring, frustrating, wonderful, bonkers, infuriating and downright excellent people I have ever had the pleasure to work with. The workload was hard, but a lot of the time it felt…, well, not fun, but certainly not boring. I loved designing lessons, trying to bring in new stuff as and when I could. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, but I never once felt…

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Read on…


Thought I may as well take an opportunity to let you know about some other blogs written by people I know, all about different things, so hopefully something for everyone.   And this is almost exactly a year after the last blog promotion post…
http://talesfromaotearoa.blogspot.co.nz/ – A new blog, just beginning about moving to New Zealand.
http://thecyclingmummy.wordpress.com/  – Stories of parenthood and life from Emma.
http://emmainmwanza.wordpress.com/  
http://suzieinmwanza.wordpress.com/
http://dartfordtomwanza.blogspot.com/   – life in Tanzania
http://thesecretworldofmrsmac.wordpress.com/ – A friend who found she had a bad smear, but it’s all worked out alright now…
http://sunshinysarah.wordpress.com/ – Sarah’s got some news!!
http://tophatandlace.wordpress.com – A blog about planning a wedding.
Let me know what you think!

Blood is thicker than water (except when it isn’t)


A lovely lady adopting a brilliant little boy!

Life Changed That Day

At the beginning, a colleague unkindly and unnecessarily informed me that the bond between myself and my monster would never be the same as any ‘normal’ mother and her birthchild. My mind flailed at this and despite groping around for a fitting response I found none, for what can one say in the face of such stark ignorance, such cruel effrontery? Afterwards I was angry at myself for not having confronted the ridiculous claim, murmuring instead some vague nothing, and I forgive myself only now after having thoroughly ripped the conversation to shreds numerous times and remembering that my monster had, at the time, only been living with me for a matter of weeks and that I was therefore not very confident in my own parenting skills. Also, I can only ever think of kick-ass retorts days after friction-filled conversations.

It amuses me sardonically now to behold those poor fools…

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Anybody can teach!


Secret Teacher

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I wish I could say this was some kind of practical joke; that this had appeared on a whimsical website poking fun at government policy. However this is no joke, and nobody is laughing.

The South Leeds Academy are in need of two maths teachers, but not just any maths teachers. Those with any sort of qualifications to teach are deemed surplus to requirements. Indeed those who have the experience and expertise to assist pupils adequately are going to be immediately overlooked. They needn’t apply. The South Leeds Academy epitomize a worrying transformation in the education system in recent years.

When Michael Gove removed the requirement for QTS in academies, the rhetoric was of professionals such as scientists, engineers, musicians and linguists teaching pupils. I doubt anybody could argue that the above advert isn’t looking for professionals, for professionals are almost always qualified. There isn’t even a mention of a…

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Emily’s Strawberry Shortcake


My first guest blog/recipe comes from Emily Hendren-Allwright and is perfect for this time of year when ripe British strawberries are coming into their own.  It makes a great alternative to scones or sponges and I’ll be trying it out when I get back to England.

Strawberry Shortcake

The British do wonderful cakes, with loads of cream and jam, but I don’t often see strawberry shortcake. In America, it’s one of the high points of summer. A lot of people buy little ready-made sponge cakes in the supermarket that are specially marketed for strawberry shortcake, but to get the proper texture, you really have to make them yourself. It’s somewhere between a scone and a cake, a rich, crumbly, eggy bite.

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