Saturday, 30 June 2012

Where can I find the off switch please?

  Below is a Blog post that I wrote at half term...and been so busy over the last three weeks I've only just got around to uploading it...I rest my case.

After 30 years of full time teaching this is my final half term. I will be going freelance in September but this is my final school holiday where I will be returning as a full time teacher. I decided that it would be a restful half term& I would recharge batteries....all the usual clich├ęs. Penthouse apartment booked on the East coast (if you are going to do it – you might as well do it in style is my motto), books, camera .....oh and laptop, iPhone, novel for year 7 next half term, books I’ve been meaning to read....oh that’s right where is the off button I seem to have mislaid it.
So far this week I have done really well but it’s Wednesday and I’m starting to twitch! I had several conversations on Twitter about posters on resilience for our staff training next week, favourited several tweets to look at websites properly at the weekend, I’ve read a novel for my yr 7 special needs English group, I’ve taken and edited several images to turn into ‘quotes posters’, I’ve e mailed about articles, I’ve started reading ‘Dancing about architecture’(P Beadle) and Bounce(M Syed),  I’ve bought resources that will be useful for Mantle work, I’ve saved the newspapers from the Jubilee coverage because  I will be able to use them next term....
I’m regretting not sorting out Internet access as I want to update my blog so I’m typing an article to upload later...and breathe! My Husband is out walking (in the rain – it is the East coast in June after all!) and I’m thinking about how to switch off! If you are a teacher I think you adopt a different mentality.
Squirrel – you hoard and save. One pink fishing net, shells, several union Jack flags, a hat which is a tiger’s head,  the Times newspapers from the last few days – because you can and will use them in the classroom.
Hamster – there is this treadmill, you get off but the temptation to get back on is too great – just one more go, just one more article, just one more tweet, just one more e mail......
Bear – you spend the first couple of days of any holiday hibernating, slobbing out in tracksuit bottoms sloppy socks and wondering how you manage to get up at 6am normally.
The work ethic is too engrained and even when not working I’m thinking about what I should be doing and when I can fit it in. I promised myself a week off so why can’t I do it? Maybe I don’t really want to and the ‘yes’ factor of finding that one off article or the ‘lure’ that you need for you next lesson is too great.
During term time I sometimes feel overwhelmed and there is never a time when I can say I have got to the bottom of my ‘to do’ list. The app ‘do it tomorrow’ is great – it even makes a ‘whooshing’ sound when I cross something off and if I don’t cross it automatically transfers it to ‘tomorrow’. The good thing is when an item has been on my list for a couple of weeks, I’ve not done it and nothing drastic has happened as a result...I just cross it off anyway! Reminds me of a deputy I worked with who had two cardboard boxes under his desk, all correspondence went into the first and only got transferred into the one that was his ‘To Do’ box if someone asked him for it.
Is there such an animal as a sloth? If you are a committed teacher can you ever stop? I would be happy with a pause button but don’t hold out much hope.

Monday, 25 June 2012

The Olympic Torch Barnsley 2012

We were fortunate today to go and witness the Olympic Torch pass through Barnsley. What a historic occasion! A wonderful atmosphere and thanks to Ed Staton for organising this.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

New App

Loving my new APP which uses the preset that was used on the famous Obama Hope Poster, have just been playing with this but think I will make some to use in the classroom

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Olympic Torch

Look what we got to see in school today! Thanks to Graham for bringing this in for us following his run with the Olympic torch yesterday. We are going to see the torch pass through Barnsley on Monday too!
Thanks to Mr Horbury & his PE group too.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

'Tread softly...'

A personal post today as this is always a difficult time of year for me. Sometimes things happen that change you for ever. My eldest son would have been 25 on Tuesday but died when he was only 8 weeks old. I often say to people who have lost someone 'You never get over it, you just learn how to live with it', most of the time that's true but sometimes it's just hard to live with! I am blessed I have a wonderful younger son who knows he had a much loved brother, he would often confuse people when he was younger by putting on his coat and saying he was 'going to heaven to see Matthew', if only we could. The quote is one that stays with me 'Tread softly, for you tread on my dreams' because I remember reading about someone in a similar situation who said he didn't believe in gravestones but if he did that's what he would put. I often wonder what Matthew would have been like, what his character would have been - how much potential every one person has. He changed my life, made me stronger in lots of ways, happy birthday sweetheart! x

Friday, 8 June 2012

YOYO Questions

I've been working with various groups of students on developing their questioning skills. I've tried the 'Pose, Pause, Pounce Bounce' technique with my yr 10's and 11s - this works really well. I do however, have a special needs English group and was looking for a way to simplify this.I'm looking at the idea of YOYO questions - You, other, you other, in the hope that we can start to bounce ideas around the room. If I ask you a question, you will answer me and then choose another student to see if they agree with you. You can respond and then choose another pupil to say who they agree with and why. That pupil will then answer the next question and the YOYO process will start again.
If you look at the games/tricks techniques used with a yoyo (sign of my age!) around the world etc - I'm sure that these can be developed into classroom questioning strategies.
What do you think? Any ideas you want to share?