New Year Reflections
I often get asked how I do it, go to all these conferences and events, create and share resources and be a full time teacher teaching approximately 20 lessons a week. I often pass it off with I’m just organised and used to being busy. Though, this is the case for example during my PGCE year in order to be able to afford it I worked full time on evenings and weekends 30+ hours as the assistant manager of a pool hall. However, recently I have taken a step back and have looked closely at both my motives for commitment to education and being a teacher but also how do I really manage to balance it all and have a work life balance.
I’m primarily a list writer and @wunderlist is my go to app for this it keeps me extremely organised. I take time to plan my days and try to be realistic about the time each activity takes. Often I try to complete things a long time before the deadline, so if it takes longer I can reorganise more time the next day. I have set routines for setting marking and collecting homework; I find these light weight and easy to carry on trains for marking if needed instead wasting the travel time.
It’s more than that though, I don’t create the resources I share for the site. I create them when planning for my students, I may tweak the design from my slides to the worksheets for sharing on my site though. I think it is important that the resources have come from being used with the classroom. I originally created the site on a Weebly account as I was getting fed up of my hard drives dying. I saw many other people sharing their resources online of which I was using and thought it was time to maybe give it a go and give something back. So I got up the courage and made Miss B's Resources.
School still comes first though as well as health and a social life. I love the value and awareness the #teacher5aday campaign has placed on well being in to many schools and teachers, providing teachers with a way of sharing their own relaxation methods with each other. I make sure to keep my commitment to musical ensembles as well as going to the gym (2 months in) and seeing friends and family. I took a month off blogging recently to make sure I had time for friends and family. I’m learning to not give myself unrealistic deadlines just to please others but put myself through the ringer.
My motives though for being so committed to education boil down to the fact, I care. My maths education was a series of highs and lows. I was the average achiever who always wanted to be the best but never was. I often feel like a fraud among the many amazingly talented and gifted teachers I meet at conferences and events. Within my GCSE years I unfortunately had many supply teachers and I got switched off. I was going to become a professional musician with playing the trombone in orchestras and such, however something changed my mind.
A level maths and one inspiring teacher who pushed me and drove me to achieving; allowing me to see the beauty and logic behind the algebra and maths. The satisfaction and pride you gain from solving a 3 page long problem. Thus I learnt that grit and determination do pay off.
To attend this college though I got into it with my musical ability to aid the school orchestra, I had to leave the house at 7am in the morning and get on 2 buses and walk a trek to arrive at the college for rehearsal every morning 8:30 until 9am and again rehearsals in the evening and trek home. This taught me a lot about if you want something enough you will work for it and make it happen. I went on to doing a mathematics degree from here.
I was set to go to the city and work in finance, then something clicked. I wanted to make a difference, I don’t want another child to fall through the net as such. Bringing my experience of education to the forefront, I wanted to be that A level teacher. The teacher who doesn’t judge a student on prior attainment and allows them to flourish and enjoy the beauty of mathematics. Provide and support as many students and teachers as possible, giving all students a fighting chance at the life they dream of. Every child matters and not just every grade.
So I thank everyone for the oppertunities I have been given, and the lovely people I have worked with particularily over this past year. With the site reaching over 500,000 (half a million) people within that year. I'm excited at the start of 2016 and wondering what adventures this year will bring and how many more amazing teachers and people within the education system I will get to meet.
Happy new year.