Tuesday, 30 August 2011

100 words for grown ups week 8

Here is this week's entry for the 100 word challenge. I have thoroughly enjoyed doing these over the summer; having a prompt really helps to give a focus. Hope that they continue everynow and again during the term when the children's one restarts. Hopefully I will be more sympathetic as a teacher when one of my class is struggling to get started. Most of my entries have been unrelated (and random too!) but I have returned to Kit for this one.

The letter

Kit tossed and turned. The letter which had arrived the previous morning consumed her mind and would not allow her the escape of sleep. Trying not to wake Nigel: ever loyal, ever dependable, ever so boring , she slipped out of the bedroom and tiptoed downstairs. She re-read the letter, each word bringing back memories she’d tried so hard to forget. “... time to move on...forget the past...too late...” She let the letter fall and the tears that she’d been fighting finally came. Upstairs, the alarm went off.
She picked up the letter and headed for the stairs.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

100 word challenge for grown ups week 7

Having seen lots of people having a go at writing poems for this weekly challenge, I thought I would have a go. We were given three words which have been dropped from the dictionary; growlery, brabble and  foozle. I only managed to get two of them in . I thought the sound of them would work well with a mix of nonsense words. It scans OK but not sure that poetry is my forte. Good to be out of the comfort zone though :S

The strycoth

The boilig craves gumbled
As the mighty strycoth appeared
From the depths of his growlery
All smithery and affeared.

His fortis opponent stood waiting
With his tropious dagger in hand,
“Fear me you floggerscum strycoth
Let us fight, here and now, beast to man!”

With a  mighty crunchdinger the strycoth
Reared up til his horns scratched  the sky;
A deafening  hubdubba-huldulla
Shrotcottled the man by and by.

“Enough of this brabble  you slumflinger!”
Roared  the man  as he reached for his blade.
With trebendium strength, speed and slashing
The strycoth, at last, had been slayed.

I enjoyed writing this. I have just read it to my 12 YO son; "It's a bit weird , Mum." was his reaction. Well, I think I agree with him there. I coudn't get started on a story with these so tried something completely different! 
Now I really must do something about getting started on that list of things to do before term starts. Before that though, wallpaper needs to be stripped from kitchen so enough prevaricating and time for action...

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

100 word challenge for grown ups week 6

Here is this week's effort; followed by some ramblings.

How long had it been? Was it ten years, or eleven? Too long...
Kit pushed the key into the rusted lock- reluctantly it turned and the door swung open. Cobwebs brushed against her face as she stepped into the hallway.  Flicking the switch just disturbed a sleepy spider which scuttled into a corner. Ridiculous to think the lights would work after all this time.
 The sun shone, but the grimy windows let little light through. Why had she been so stubborn and not come back before now? So many questions unanswered. How would she ever find out the truth? 

This is my attempt for this week's challenge. Having read some of the other entries I was really nervous about writing at all! There are a lot of talented people out there. If only the news and media spent a bit more time celebrating all the great things about this country and what real people can do (not celebs) then perhaps that would not be such a bad thing. One of my favourite comedy sketches was on the Fast Show when Mark Williams is the character who manages to always put his foot in it when in the company of his "well educated" self opinionated  friends". The sketch I refer to is the one when they are discussing events in the news and criticising  non-news stories (such as pets being rescued).  Mark pipes up "I love it when they finish the news with a happy story, it really cheers me up!" His so called friends freeze him out, "I'll get my coat." his final line. 
(Apologies to anyone reading this who has not heard of the Fast Show- not to everyone's taste but I love it!).
Anyway, I digress. My point- yes there is one! is that ,. in my opinion, far too much time is spent telling us all about the bad news. Well, surely this should change. At least some of the cleanups that happened after the riots had some publicity; but I bet there were loads which didn't. I firmly believe that the vast majority of people in the UK are decent people, and that there things going on each day which never get recognised. So, the news SHOULD end with a round up of good things that go on- it's about time that publicity shouldnt just be about the bad things that go ont or the endless goings on of celebrities. I really couldn't care less about the relaitonships/earnings/personal lives/pets/holidays etc of the celebs- but I DO care about what goes on in my local area and my country and would love to hear more about that. 
Perhaps I am just too chilled out in holiday mode. Of course the news needs to report what is happening; but does it all have to be bad? 
Sorry if you think this is naive- maybe it is a bit; but I think a more positive portrayal of our country wouldn't be a bad thing!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

100 word challenge for grown ups week 5

“Nooooo!” he threw himself to the ground as she wrenched the ring from her finger.
“I’ll change, I’ll do whatever it takes, I’ll be the man you want me to be...”
She tossed the ring towards him. “It’s too late, I can’t do this anymore.”  Picking up her bag she rushed out to the waiting cab. Without a backward glance she told the driver to take her to St Pancras.
He lay motionless on the ground in the hallway, maybe he should just stay there.
* * *
(Some time later)
“Excuse me sir, telephone...
Sir? ...
Mr Cameron,  Sir?”

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Reflections on the year

Now that the summer holiday is here, have managed to relax and enjoy much needed time with friends and family. It's only when holidays kick in that you really notice how hectic term time life is. Constantly on a schedule, thinking about the next thing on the to do list...and that's before the school day starts which whizzes past at breakneck speed! Switching off the alarm clock and...not wearing a watch...signs that the holiday is here.

Teaching is one of those jobs that extends far beyond the classroom. It is often recurred to as a vocation rather than a career. http://randallbutisingh.wordpress.com/2007/11/20/teaching-is-a-vocation/ However, I have been astounded at the amount of teachers for whom teaching becomes all encompassing. Since joining twitter, I have been in the company of many hundreds of incredibly dedicated teachers sharing their expertise, helping and supporting each other. Fabulous. Teaching in a small, rural school, the internet is a convenient way to feel part of the bigger picture, to share with colleagues from around the country.

But, since the beginning of the holiday I have made a concerted effort to put school to the back of my mind and concentrate on family time. Of course I can't help thinking about next term and the year to come...Photos are snapped with a stimulus in mind, plans whirl in my head. But to recharge and relax is top of my to do list!

Last year was a good one. A mixed age class, massive spread of ability. When July came it was met with a mixture of pride and sadness . Pride in the achievements the children have made; those who were initially quiet and shy but now speak confidently in front of others. Their academic achievements don't thrill me in the same way as the progress in confidence, in skills, in a child retelling something they really enjoyed doing. Of course the academic progress is how we are measured as teachers, but seeing children mature, grow in confidence, learn to overcome difficulties. Those are the really important things to me. Sadness in seeing a child leaving the school.

Last year saw a change in leadership at our school and this has re energised the school tremendously. I am lucky to work alongside a team of incredibly committed and dedicated people.

So, what is going to be the same or different next year? For a start I go back in September as a job share teacher. Although the first week I am in  all week as we have two INSET days! Working alongside a jobshare partner will be the biggest change and challenge having been full time for the last 20 years give or take maternity leave and two terms on 4 days a week.

Changing the way I teach maths is one of the main areas I want to develop this year. I think the strategy did a lot to damage the teaching of maths; I know that I have been guilty of trying to do too much. Teaching so many different ways to approach calculations seems to cause more problems than it solves. We are producing a maths calculation policy on one of our INSET days so I will be interested to see how this impacts. Although I am a firm believer in bringing the best out of children, enabling them to meet their potential. Attainment has to be considered (through gritted teeth albeit). My class results showed less progress in maths than reading and writing which indicates that I need to look at how I teach the subject and how to improve that.
Step 1- get to grips with policy
Step 2- put the guided writing approach into my maths lessons more effectively and use the time in lessons to work more effectively with children who have weaknesses...
That is where I will begin; let's see how that goes.

Other than the maths, I was really pleased with how the year went. I can't wait to get going with a new class. Tudor day with King Henry himself coming in. ( http://www.goodkinghal.co.uk/ ) . Lunar samples in January  ( http://www.stfc.ac.uk/Public+and+Schools/2497.aspx )

Well, that's the first time this holiday I have sat down and really focussed on school. I shall revisit this later to add any further thoughts.