Reflections on Nurture 13/14
1. Still fully staffed. The department is beginning to set the foundations for growth over the next few years. Students enjoy coming to English more and standards in terms of students’ subject knowledge have definitely improved. 1b. I still don’t delegate enough and this has now become a PM target for me this year. However, my inability to delegate has not tainted the love I have for my job. I do love what I do in terms of the classroom and I am incredibly lucky to work with some amazing students.
2. I haven’t nurtured myself. I rarely read, don’t go the gym, haven’t really got time to cook and definitely don’t see those I love enough. I don’t take enough time off from work with work never being too far from my mind.
3. I went to Italy with two fantastic friends – Rob and Jordan. It was such a pleasure to see all of our ex-students and we had an absolute ball. I think it is fair to say Jordan and I left feeling quite sad about what we had left behind.
4. I think I did see Wicked again this year (can’t really remember) and have bought the Billy Elliott DVD. Still waiting for the chance to go and see The Book of Mormon.
5. No I haven’t saved. I am richer but nowhere near where I would like to be.
6. I am fortunate to be both happy and healthy. This week has made me realise just how happy and content I am with life at the moment. It is the best feeling.
2014 was a difficult year. I was picking up a struggling department and it was the year of sorting. I gave it everything and when year 11 left, physically collapsed from the exhaustion of it all. I had the worst summer (which has since been resolved) and work is still quite tough – we are not out of the woods yet. I’ve barely seen my family and my friends have forgotten who I am. People have left my life because they cannot compete with my work. A little of myself was lost.
Yet, I went back to Italy with the boys and visited Berlin. Every time I travel, I feel like a happier version of myself – relaxed, contented and at peace. Going round Padua, soaking at the many happy memories was sheer bliss and then learning somewhere new in Berlin was brilliant. Pub Friday has provided many laughs over the past few terms and has been an outlet for the working week before a more relaxing weekend. I have gained new friends and I have laughed more with them. I have also gained three amazing recruits at work and the team is such a cohesive one, going to work is a pleasure. Our students continue to astound me. A teacher who left at Christmas said, quite rightly: ‘That what we are doing is so difficult, but it has real meaning’ and I truly believe this. Our students need us and value us and I love them.
So what would I like 2015 to hold? Professional
1) Foundations are set in stone by September. Schemes, policies, plans etc are all solid and everyone in the team has had some input in one way or the other. Results are better and curriculum 2015 is written. The team continues to gain strength and we move closer to good.
2) I continue to champion imperfection. Those who are happy to admit their imperfections are authentic, more willing to learn and are happier because they are at one with themselves. I am imperfect. I make mistakes. I learn from them. I will make a million more and I will do so happily. I don’t need to blame others for my imperfections and I certainly don’t need excuses. I will not criticise others until I have walked a mile in their shoes and if I do criticise I will have the integrity to be honest with them about it in order to seek solutions or better outcomes. After all, we are all learning.
3) I will develop the strategic thinking. I am not sure when – there certainly is no time during the week to afford myself the head space but I will try to find a time when this becomes possible.
1) I put myself first.
2) I see my family more than 3 times a year. They are a three hour train journey away – it is not good enough to see them so little.
3) I see my friends more. I have them over for dinner. I go out to dinner. I say no to them less than I do now. I make more of an effort.
4) I need to open up more. When one person tells you something about yourself, you can choose whether to listen or not. However, over the past few weeks 3-4 people have told me I am quite a closed person. Many people know Freya, the head of faculty but not many people know Freya the person. I need to work on letting people in and trusting them more.
5) I tell people how I really feel. Too often I don’t do this because I wish to protect others’ feelings but this means that my own feelings are affected.
6) I will lose weight. A dress size or two. A stone or two. This means dieting and exercising which equals misery but I do need to lose some.
7) I do something creative for myself – art classes, learning the clarinet or getting back into the Italian.
8) I travel more. Vienna is already booked.
9) I read more.
10) I save.