Summer: Time to Chillax

I’m writing this post from my parents’  holiday apartment in Tenby, Pembrokeshire. I’m here for a few days with my two best friends – also teachers – for some chill time. The weather may be a bit pants but having a change of scene, especially away from the South East, and by the sea, is just what I needed after an exhausting end of term at school. I am, however, missing my husband a bit but I’ll see him tomorrow evening, which I’m looking forward to.

I’ve got a busy weekend planned: I’m (bizarrely) taking part in a plus size beauty pageant on Saturday in Brighton – don’t ask! On Sunday we’re dog sitting which means we’ll be walking a lot- can’t wait as it’s a good substitute for not having a dog of our own full time.

Next week however I have nothing planned, apart from a trip to the doctors to discuss potentially reducing my meds. The long term plan is to wean myself off my meds before we try for a baby. My GP has said that the process will take at least 6 months; I don’t want to rush it so I’m aiming for it to take even longer than that just to reduce the risk of relapse as much as I can.

And then we’re off on a cruise with my parents to Iceland; I’ve done cruises for over a decade but this is a totally new destination so I’m even more excited than normal. 

After the cruise I’ll start getting back into work mode; I’m going on a 2-night Sutton Trust residential for Biosciences teachers at Cambridge and then it’ll be GCSE results day which I’ll go into school for. Then I’ll have one more week which I’ll use for preparing for the new term.

What are your plans for the summer break?

Challenge

As part of an ongoing research project at work, I asked several children about the word “challenge”. These are the responses I got and I wanted to share them with you all.

The Aftermath of the Education Act 2011

As well as being a teacher, I am Conservative town councillor and, because of my political allegiance, I do get a fair amount of stick at work because of the Education Act of 2011. I love a good political discussion so I don’t mind this. I even bought a copy of the Act signed by Gove in an auction at a Tory party dinner and posted the picture on Facebook much to the dismay of some of my colleagues.

 I think that our education system needed serious reform but, in hindsight, the changes could have been implemented more slowly. But, of course, with Government potentially changing every five years, I know that this is just not possible if MPs want to actually achieve anything.

My fear now is that, following the turmoil the Tory party are now in, they will lose the next General Election and a Labour government will change everything again. This is potentially up to 4 years away but I’m already worried!

I think revamping all the Schemes of Work has, overall, been an exciting task – they needed a refresh and the current Year 7s seem to have enjoyed their Science lessons more than in previous years. We are now finalising the first term of the new GCSE for the new Year 9; we are teaching it over 3 years to fit it all in. The new AS Biology spec was not much different, apart from the coursework being replaced by core practicals; the lack of an issue report has made the year less stressful overall for the staff and students!

But everyone at work is stressed to some degree… Some people thrive on it, others feel it like a weight pulling them down. School leaders need to try their best to make sure no one goes under in these pressured times.