Tuesday, 25 October 2011

100 words for grown ups week 16

This week, Julia’s  prompt was a picture of a burger (made from paper mache by the looks of it) with the challenge  to write from the point of view of a vegetarian.
 Not being a vegetarian this has been a challenge and a half!

If you haven't looked at the 100 word challenge before, where have you been? You will find it at http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week-16/

There are already some fab entries, my favourites so far this week are http://dughall.posterous.com/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week16 , http://abgreenteacher.blogspot.com/2011/10/week-16-this-just-gets-more-interesting.html and http://wordpress.sjbteaching.com/wp/?p=627.  It is great fun reading the other entries each week and seeing the variety of interpretations.

Anyway, I digress

So, here goes with my entry- WHY?

In the 21st century
Are animals still disrespected?
Caged, over-farmed, pumped with drugs.
Have you not read Animal Farm?
Animals have rights.
Our future depends on it.
What good have these burger chains done?
Look around you at the litter on our streets
I bet it’s a burger box
It wasn’t me
Turn around, make a better choice.
Choose local. Respect your body.

Heart disease, cholesterol, obesity
So what?

Choose a different path, make a difference and be free.
Meat free,  guilt free. Why not?

Reflections on the first half term

It certainly has been a busy start to the year.
Since making the decision to go part time last year, I am so delighted that the governors at my school were so supportive and allowed me to drop to three days a week.

So, what has been achieved so far this term? Well, we had a very useful INSET to write the maths policy. I admit I was pretty cynical about it to start with, but it was one of the most useful (though tiring) INSET days I have had. Have been trying very hard to work on the maths teaching and group work; having a trainee teacher is fab as it gives a chance to focus on specific aspects of the job.Talking about trainees; have been really lucky again and am enjoying the experience.

Back to the job share side;I know that I have made the right decision. It's funny that not one person has tried to talk me out of it. (Other than my head who asked me to reconsider my decision.)
I love being a teacher; a job that I love even more now that I finally have some time during the week to do other things.

Non teachers sometimes just can't see what the problem is- after all, you get all those holidays. Yes, the holidays are great...but boy are they needed to give the children and teachers a chance to unwind, relax, catch up!

Teaching is one of those professions that it is almost impossible to switch off from. I could easily spend the two days I am not at work preparing resources, researching etc Still there would be more to do- there is no clear "end point". That's why the whole work/life balance game is such a difficult one to get right. http://www.guardian.co.uk/teacher-network/2011/oct/03/work-life-balance

Juggling  being a parent,the demands of the job, being a wife, seeing friends and family... as a full time teacher I was constantly juggling trying to be all things to all people. I got it right some of the time, but was a stress head for much of it.

The job is no less demanding. I care as passionately as always about the children in (our) class, but the relief that comes from knowing that I have that extra time are priceless. It's still a rush the night before work, and I still feel shattered at the end of my three days; but I do feel that I am actually doing the job better now than I  have for a while.

 Why? More time to reflect on my practice for a start and to share ideas with others. More time to chill out so I am far less of a stress head than I have been for as long as I can remember. More able to spend time with my gorgeous son and OH.

I am keen to make the job share work as well as possible; one of my PM targets is just that... I am meeting my JS partner later this week and am planning to chat about doing some observations of each other in order to help consistency. I certainly don't think we should be clones of each other; I think our differences are one of the greatest strengths, but I think it is vital for us to have time to observe each other, have some professional dialogue and follow up with another visit. Maybe even use video cameras!

With teaching and learning at the centre of our jobs, I am constantly disappointed by the lack of opportunity to peer observe. I am determined to rectify that! I have been looking into coaching models in teaching , for example:


The next half term, run up to Christmas and all that brings in Primary schools, I hope to be on the way to cementing a really effective working partnership with my JS partner, and to find out more about effective coaching. I have been on lots of mentoring courses in relation to trainee teachers, and have been on a few coaching courses incorporating NLP http://www.nlp-now.co.uk/nlp-what.htm and coaching in teaching, but have not really focussed on it; yet!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

100 word challenge in 50 words

This week Julia added a new twist- write a 100 word challenge in 50 words with the prompt- the autumn leaves.
Wanted to avoid the obvious, here is my effort for this week.
Here is the link to the others... 


The spring brings new beginnings, hopes and dreams of long and  balmy evenings. The summer comes and leaves – all too soon. Autumn’s arrival is almost imperceptible, yet memories of summer linger. As the autumn leaves behind her muted colours, the winter crashes in ,bringing snow, storms and bitter north winds. 

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

100 word for grown ups week 14

Well, Julia has excelled herself this week with her weekly challenge :)  http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week14/
When I saw this last night I had NO idea at all what to do with it. I couldn't believe how fast some poeple have got their entries in- and the more I read the less I knew what to do.
I love the cockney rhyming slang inspired post by Dughall  http://dughall.posterous.com/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week14 chuckled at Alison's interpretation http://abgreenteacher.blogspot.com/2011/10/100-words-for-grownups-week-14.html  and was blown away by Sally's http://wordpress.sjbteaching.com/wp/?p=543 

So, what to do. 
Well, I have tried to do something different- some word play. Have fiddled about with it as much as I can for the moment. It's certainly different to anything I have tried before. Thanks again to Julia for posing a great challenge. 

Alphabet – 26 letters, endless combinations and possibilities
 Alphadet – Well, it is a recession (FTSE and GDP  have a lot to answer for)
Alphajet- the way to go  (JAL, BMI and VLM)
Alphalet- where k, q ,x and z go when they are feeling underrated
Alphanet- the place where knowledge is sourced and shared (http://www.alphanet.com)
Alphapet- anybody who’s anybody wants one
Alphaset- the “in” crowd
Alphavet- where to go when the letters just wnot cmoe in the rghit oedrr
Alphawet- for inclement weather (rain, thunder, foggy)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

100 words for grown ups week 13

This week, Julia's prompt was "the unseasonal weather". I had a go and was fairly pleased with it, until I started reading this week's entries. My goodness there are some talented people out there.

 As an avid reader I am very impatient with books which don't grab my attention and pull me in- all too often I am disappointed with raved about reads (sorry, "One Day" just didn't do it for me!)

 The people who write each week on this challenge really are a talented group of people. Maybe this should be an "X factor" for writing; but without all the drama/tears !

Anyway,  I have written two entries; my first is more of a comfort write, the second is, hopefully, a little darker. (Am loving "Dark Matter" by Michelle Paver at the moment so wanted to try something different. )

Enough waffling; here they are. Look forward to feedback.

100WCGU wk 13

Thrusting her hands deep into her coat pockets, Kit quickened her pace. The trees had shed all but the last few of their leaves which clung stubbornly to wind stripped branches. The fallen leaves danced briefly in cascades of russets, golds, reds and yellows as she swept past. The unseasonal weather had tricked misinformed bulbs into life; now they bent in shame against the bitter wind. The eider ducks, barely a week ago fervently building nests, huddled together in an effort to keep warm.

 Kit strode on, determined to find answers to the questions gnawing inside.

Here is my second attempt:

Joe staggered into the desolate whiteness in search of fuel for his sorry excuse for a fire. The generators had long given up the fight and lay useless.

He pulled his coat closer and scanned the unfamiliar landscape. The unseasonal weather had initially been welcomed; but as the days dragged to weeks then months the Arctic temperatures impact on the Cornish Coast made their presence very much felt.

Some had made it across the frozen channel.

 Joe battled on,  desperation driving him forward.

A few feet behind him, moving silently on padded paws, the bear followed.

It too, was desperate.