Thursday, 29 April 2010

There must be an angel...

or something looking out for me today. Remember last night where I posted this...I was feeling pretty low, to say the least. And after spending a restless night where I didn't get to sleep till after midnight, and kept waking up from 5:30 onwards, I wasn't feeling much better this morning. Then when I got lost on my way to the school and arrived with 15 minutes to spare, I was panicking even more. But, for some reason today, I had no reason to be stressed...because someone up there was looking out for me. Maybe they knew that I needed someone to be gentle with me today, or maybe I'm being silly and it was just pure luck or something that I'd done differently...but the class were great. Absolutely fantastic and I wasn't expecting them to be. It made my job so much easier and more enjoyable that I could have kissed practically every one of them!

But it wasn't just that that makes me think I had an extra little help today...half way through the morning, the school secretary passed me a message to let me know that someone had found my purse and had handed it into the nearby high school, mistakenly thinking that I worked there. The school knew I didn't, but managed to contact my old employer (the school that I also happened to attend when I was a child), who then contacted my mum, who rang the school I was at so they could pass the message on! Oh, yeah and the General Teaching Council for England somehow got involved too (their card was in my purse) though I'm not quite sure how. I'm just overwhelmed that so many perfect strangers went to so much trouble for helped to restore my soul a little more.

So to whoever or whatever was looking out for me today, I'd like to say a massive thank you! I don't often pray and I certainly wasn't doing last night (well, not consciously anyway) but I really feel that someone, somewhere knew that I needed help and was able to arrange it for me. I didn't really think that I believed in divine intervention up till now...but I may be changing my mind just a little :-)

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

To teach or not to teach...

that is the question! And one that I don't really have the answer to at the minute. All the way through college and university, teaching was the only career I ever had in mind. I did work experience in schools and loved it and I couldn't wait to be qualified and have a class of my own. Although I had some tough days once I started my postgrad course, I was still committed to a career in teaching and couldn't wait to make my dreams a reality once I graduated. And then things started to change...

I couldn't find a job. So I started supply work...there were some good days, but it wasn't really what I wanted to be doing and I was over the moon when I got a long term job after doing supply for nearly a year! Surely this was my moment, I'd have a class of my own and experience all that I'd gone into teaching for. But sadly, it didn't happen quite like that. I'm not sure why...I know that I struggled with behaviour management, I often found it hard to be positive and there were times when I felt that this was SO not for me. But on good days, it was the best job in the world...I came away feeling positive, uplifted and overawed by the children. Although it has to be said that those days weren't the most common occurrence! Then my contract ended and it was back on supply.

At first I didn't mind, I was grateful for the early finishes, the prospect of random days off and the fact that I could walk away from a horrendous class knowing that I'd never have to go back there again. But now, 4 terms down the line, I'm tired. Tired of doing supply knowing that the majority of classes will try it on to some extent. Tired of making the same mistakes over and over again...I actually feel that I'm becoming deskilled and that I'm less capable now than I was when I graduated nearly 3 years ago. Tired of getting up to wait for a morning call that might not come (and that I don't really want!). Tired of not enjoying my job most of the time. Tired of not getting that elusive long term teaching post, even if I'm not entirely sure that's what I want!

So now I've reached crisis point. Due to the stupid law in the UK, which I blogged about back in September last year, I have until the start of the new school year to get a job where I can finish my NQT induction; for me that will be a job that lasts for at least 2 terms. If I can't get that job by September, I can't do any more supply teaching. And I have absolutely no idea what I'd do then. Get a permanent teaching assistant's post? Do supply TA work? Get a job in a completely different sector? I haven't got a clue! Because despite all my indecision about teaching at the minute, it's the only thing I ever wanted to do. If I didn't teach, I don't know what I'd do. And if I get one of the long term posts I'm applying for? Well, the indecision would still be there. My dream scenario would be that I'd love my job and I'd be filled with renewed enthusiasm for teaching, but I'm not sure how realistic that is. I can't decide if I dislike my job because I feel terrible at it at the moment or because it's just not for me. If it's the former, then hopefully I'd develop my skills whilst working, and so feel better about both my ability to teach and the job itself. If it's the latter, then to put it bluntly, I'm screwed! But at least then I'd know, I suppose, and I'd be able to get a new job/retrain whilst I was still relatively young.

I just need a sign from somewhere! I was looking at my postgrad observation reports last night and they were good...they must prove I can teach, mustn't they? So why do I feel so useless now? Surely nearly 3 years experience should make me a better teacher! But anyway... I'm going to stop typing now before I feel any worse. Tomorrow's a new day (and I'm teaching) so I suppose now's the time to breathe, regroup and get into an upbeat frame of mind for a busy day in the classroom! Positive and in-control vibes (as I'm aiming to be firmer than firm from now on!) would be most appreciated!!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

And now in a change to our scheduled programming...

I'm posting something that isn't the "What's-in-my-Wardrobe Wednesday" installment that I promised! I was honestly going to post it this evening, but due to a change in my plans I won't really have time to, so I'm going to have to go for something shorter instead.

And that something shorter is this:

Yeah, it's another award!! While I wasn't tagged per se, Nicole over at You Had Me At Hello has very kindly shared this with all her followers, and I think that's such a lovely idea that I'm going to do the feel free to take the award if you like it!! :-) There's only one condition...if you do, you've got to post a list of 10 things that make you happy! Whilst I have a sneaky suspicion that I've posted at least one happy list in the past, it's not going to stop me from posting another one now lol! I'm feeling in a really cheery mood at the mo, especially as spring is now well and truly in the air don't be surprised if my list has a few spring themed items on!!

And so, without further's my list:
  1. Sunny spring weather...I defy anyone not to feel even a tiny bit cheerier when the sky's blue, the sun's shining and there's a definite hint of warmth in the air!
  2. Spring flowers...daffodils, apple and cherry blossom, magnolias...they're all so beautiful!
  3. Pretty spring clothes...ruffles, florals, pastels and brights...I've recently took lots of my spring/summer clothes out of storage and I can't wait to start wearing them again!
  4. Spending time with my friends and them!!
  5. The fact there'll be a new addition to our family by this time tomorrow...we're getting a new kitten!! :-) Expect pictures very soon!!
  6. Starbucks grande skinny vanilla caffeine fix of choice :-)
  7. Good food and good conversation...if I have those 2 ingredients in any situation I'm pretty much all set!!
  8.'s my favourite form of exercise, especially in the good weather we're having at the minute.
  9. Fashion and gossip magazines...although I suspect my purse isn't quite as happy with the amount I spend on them!!
  10.'s one of the few crafty/creative things I appear to be halfway decent at, and now we have a new recipe book I reckon I'll soon be expanding my repertoire to include other things beside gingerbread!!

And that's me done!! I really hope some of you take part in this tag'd be wonderful to read your lists!! :-)

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Highs and Lows of Last Week

So it's that time of the week know, the one where I share the highs and lows of the past 7 days. It seems that this is pretty much all I've been doing lately...hope you're not getting too bored!! I'm hoping to inject a bit more variety into my posts over the next few days, but for now, you're just going to have to be content with this! ;-) :


  • Another week off: Last week was the second week of my Easter holidays, and it was great to be able to get up late and wear what I wanted for the second week in a row, even if I didn't do anything very exciting with my time (find out what I was spending the majority of my time doing in my Lows!)
  • Spending time with one of my favourite guys: Now, that doesn't mean any exciting dating/relationship news...I'm talking about H, my friends' 15 month old son!! Basically, H's mum and dad (my friends Nix and M) were meant to be watching another of our friends in a play on Friday night and H's nana (Nix's mum) was meant to be babysitting. But due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland, she, along with Nix's stepdad, brothers and sisters,was stuck in the Canary Islands!! So Nix sent out a distress call...and along came Auntie Julie to the rescue! I was feeling very apprehensive at first, as I'd never spent any time alone with H before, and this wasn't helped by the fact that he started crying when he saw his mum and dad driving away! But I needn't have worried, as he soon settled down and was an absolute gem for the rest of the evening. He smiled, chattered away, shared lots of his toys and drank an 8oz bottle without any fuss!! I just hope I'm as lucky when it comes to my future children!!
  • An evening at the theatre:...especially when the play I'm watching features one of my friends! On Saturday night it was my turn to go and see the play that I mentioned in my previous paragraph...and it was amazing!! Gripping, emotional, darkly funny, with more than one twist thrown in for good measure...if ever "Knife Edge" appears in a theatre near you, my advice would definitely be to check it out, even if your production doesn't have my wonderful actor of a friend Nick in it!
  • Kick Ass (The film and the shot)..."There's a Kick Ass shot?", I hear you ask... Well yes there is, but more about that later!! First of all, I'll talk about the film. I heard great things about it, and when Amy and I saw it on Thursday, neither of us were disappointed! I loved the humour, the music, pretty much everything about it to be honest...even if lots of the content was pretty disturbing if you stopped to think about it for too long! And I've got a new heroine in Hit Girl...oh, to have even half the attitude that she does!! ;-) And now onto the shot...after the play on Saturday, Nick, I, and a couple of other friends headed into town and our first stop was Baa Bar. As it's famous for its shots it would have been rude not to have any (!), so as soon as we arrived we headed straight to the bar and consulted the menu. And that's when I saw it...there was a Kick Ass shot (which consisted of tequila, blue curacao and something red...I think it was strawberry?!) and like the film, it was pretty damn good! My only complaint is that it wasn't the proper Kick Ass colours (green and yellow lol!) but a girl can't have everything I suppose!!


  • Job applications...After last week, I'm sick of the sight of them! As I had a lot that needed to be submitted by either this Friday (23rd) or next Monday (26th), I decided that I'd try and plough through as many as possible so that I didn't have too much to do once I got back to work. And whilst I'm relieved that I managed to complete 4 of them, I can't say that it was an enjoyable task! Gone are the days where applying for a job just meant filling in an application form that took up a couple of sides of A4. Now my forms can be anywhere between 5 and 15(!) pages, and that's before I even have to contend with the personal statement! 2-3 sides of A4 where I explain what a fabulous teacher I am, and why the school should be rushing to snap me up! And even though it might save me time in the short term, I've discovered to my peril that there's no point just writing a generic statement and using it for every doesn't get you anywhere!! :-( So I'm writing pretty much a new statement for every job, and hating most of it...although I must admit there's a delicious irony in saying how enthusiastic and motivated you are, when in reality you can't think of anything worse than writing yet another new statement!! Although the tedium is all worth it when I finally finish...or when I get that elusive interview :-) Fingers crossed for more coming my way soon!!
  • A terrible driving lesson...Now when your driving instructor gets a new car, you might expect your first lesson in it to be a little less than perfect, right? Wrong...mine was absolutely fine. So, when it came to my second, I wasn't unduly bothered, so (according to Sod's Law) it makes perfect sense for it to have been truly awful!! I stalled so many times I lost count...including once on a roundabout, and several times when I hadn't even realised I'd stalled at all...until I came to move, that was!! I had terrible difficulty finding the gears, and kept putting the car into the wrong one, resulting in a horrible burning smell coming from the clutch!! I forgot when my handbrake was on and when it was off...need I continue?! According to my instructor, everybody has those days every once in a while, but it still didn't do much for my confidence, especially as I'm meant to be booking my practical test very soon (eeeeek!)

And there's another edition of my highs and lows. Stay tuned for a new "What's in my Wardrobe Wednesday" post tomorrow...I've got lots of ideas, so expect it to become a regular feature once again!!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Highs and Lows of Last Week

I know this isn't the serious post I promised a few days ago...but this is definitely more of the moment than my other planned posts, so they're just going to have to hold their horses for a little while! So here, very quickly (as I've got a date with Flashforward at 10!) are my highs and lows of last week:


  • Being off work: I loved everything about being off work last week. The fact I could get up around the time that I'd usually be starting work for the day, being able to stay up late on school nights without depriving myself of sleep, being able to fit appointments in at my convenience, having days where I didn't have to do anything or be anywhere...the list could go on and on! And possibly the best bit was being secure in the knowledge that I still had another week off after that one!!
  • Passing my theory test: Yes, I did it!! After a couple of days of answering mock multiple choice questions, revising my Highway Code and practising on hazard perception clips, it was time to do my test. I honestly wasn't sure how I'd do, as some of my practice tests had gone better than others but thankfully I passed, and with quite a bit of room to spare too :-) After the test, I had a coffee and cupcake to celebrate (so rock and roll!) and now I'm faced with my next big step: booking my practical test! Eeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkk!!
  • Spending time with old friends and making new ones: Even by my standards, I saw a lot of my friends last week and I had a ball! I always love spending time with them and things were made even better last week, as there was a new introduction into the group; my friend E's new lodger MI. She's staying with E for 3 months, while she's got an internship at E's company and she's absolutely lovely!! She feels like a friend already and I can tell that we're all going to really miss her when she goes back home to Germany at the end of her stay!
  • The lovely spring weather: Last week, and particularly last weekend was a lot more springlike with quite a lot of sunshine and warmer temperatures than over the Easter weekend. Fingers crossed spring is here to stay now!!
  • Good things come to those who wait: Amy and I finally got to go on our Town Hall tour last Sunday and it was fab!! I was able to take loads of photos of parts of the town hall that the public don't often get to see and hopefully I'll be posting some of them soon.
  • Lots of compliments: I had my hair done last Friday and decided to get my hair blow dried straight instead of going for my usual curly look. I thought I might receive 1 or 2 compliments but was completely overwhelmed by the number I did get, with practically everyone who I saw (and knew) that day commenting positively on it! That doesn't mean I'll be keeping it straight on a permanent basis; it's far too high maintenance a look for me, but I think I'll definitely be revisiting it on occasion! :-)

And now normally it would be onto the lows, but I've been racking my brains and I can't actually think of any, so I guess I'm just going to have to leave it there!! Hope you all had fab weekends and till next time...

PS: Oh, and if you've not done already, why don't you check out my guest post over at The Road Less Travelled? Let me know what you think!!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Easter Weekend Round Up Part 2: Easter Sunday and Easter Monday

So, just a couple of days late, here's the second part of my Easter Weekend round up (you'll find Part 1 here):

Easter Sunday:

My Easter Sunday was mostly spent:
  • being lazy: I'd say this was definitely the most chilled out day of my Easter weekend overall!
  • seeing my Grandad: we received a phone call earlyish in the morning to say that my Grandad had been in hospital overnight. He had gone in with dizziness and a very sore throat/difficulty swallowing, but he had had a comfortable night overall and he was discharged around lunch time. My mum, Amy and I went to pick him up and my mum and I also visited him at home later to drop a prescription off for him and to check everything was ok!
  • eating easter egg (although not too much!)
  • taking advantage of the better than predicted weather to have a leisurely walk
  • watching TV/DVDs with Amy: we watched (most of) "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", then stopped to tune into the first episode of the new series of Doctor Who. It was ok, but I struggled to get used to the new Doctor, though admittedly I wasn't giving the episode my full attention!
  • surfing the web: Facebook, Blogger, Youtube, checking my get the idea!

Easter Monday

In the UK, the day after Easter Sunday is also a bank holiday, meaning that lots of people (including me!) get a 4 day Easter weekend. My Monday was mostly spent:

  • trying to get rid of some trojans which had infected my netbook: I was cursing myself for running a fake security scan, especially as one of its pop up windows included a spelling mistake! So ironic that this was the one time where I decided not to be prejudiced by my feelings towards grammatical and spelling errors! I tried running an AVG scan which detected the trojans, but it couldn't resolve the problem. I then tried doing a system restore which also failed, so the only way out I could see was to do a factory reset, making sure I backed up all my important documents first. Luckily, this worked, and normal service has since been resumed (so far, so good!)
  • sharing Easter lunch with some of my closest friends: good food and company were the main features of my whole weekend, and Monday was no exception. I went over to my friends' N, M and S's house where M had cooked us, plus our other friends E and Ste a 3 course lunch. There was leek and potato soup plus crusty bread to start, roast beef with all the trimmings for mains and massive portions of either cheesecake or chocolate gateau (I chose the gateau) for dessert. All of the food was amazing (thanks M!), and after I 'd finished I was so full it felt like I wouldn't eat for a week! When we weren't eating, we were chatting, laughing and watching each other playing on the Wii (word to the wise...don't buy the Dancing on Ice game, it's awful!) short it was a wonderful afternoon.
  • meeting up with friends in the pub for a chilled evening of chatting and drinking: this was mainly so we could be introduced to my friend E's new lodger, who'll be staying with her for roughly 3 months (she's German and taking part in an exchange programme with E's employers), but it was also a good opportunity to catch up with lots of other friends, a couple of whom I'd not seen for quite a while (well, a week or two!)
  • playing truant from rehearsal (well, kind of!): I normally LOVE going to rehearsal, but must admit I didn't see the point in going to one on a bank holiday, especially as I knew some of my other friends would be in the pub! But at the same time, I have made a commitment to my drama group and would have felt really guilty if I'd just not turned up. So I decided to compromise. I got there for 7:30 sharp, but told the director I could only stay for an hour instead of the usual 2! And it was one of the longest hours of my life; partly because I just kept thinking about the drink and the company I had left behind and also partly because it was the first dance/movement rehearsal. These are always hard work and quite boring, in the early stages at least, so I was heartily relieved when 8:30 came around and I could make my exit!

And that's the rest of my weekend in a nutshell! Hope you had a great one, however you spent it! And what's up next for me? Well, I'm very excited to say that I'm going to be doing my very first guest post over at Kirsty's blog, The Road Less Travelled sometime in the next couple of days! And as for my blog, I already have my next post'll be a bit more serious in tone than the majority of my other posts, but it centres around a topic that I'm really passionate about, so I'm really looking forward to sharing it with you all! Till next time...

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Easter Weekend Round Up 1: Good Friday and Easter Saturday

Just because I think my weekend round up would be too long if I tried to squeeze all 4 days into one post, and also because I can't think of anything else to blog about today, here's part 1 of my Easter weekend (in a handy bulleted list!)

Good Friday

My Friday was mainly spent:
  • Having a lazy start to the day: lounging around in pjs, eating yummy hot cross buns for breakfast and having a leisurely shower before getting dressed and ready to face the world!
  • Being veggie for the day: although I'm not particularly religious, my family and I keep the tradition of not eating meat on Good Friday, which meant my Mum's home made fish mornay with chips for lunch and a jacket potato with cheese and beans for tea.
  • Helping my friend N with his lines for a play he's appearing in in a couple of weeks. It really makes me want to act again!
  • Dodging the rain and laughing at dodgy covers of songs with my friend E as we did a bit of much needed shopping (well, she did whilst I browsed and tried on hats lol!)
  • Helping E sort out her wardrobe with the help of a couple of other friends; if Aerosmith had been playing, it would have been practically the perfect reenactment of this scene from Sex and the City (minus the ridiculous poses and champagne!)
  • Spending a chilled evening at my friends J and B's new flat with a group of other friends; drinking wine, eating pretzels, mini Cadbury creme eggs and home made choc chip cookies, chatting and high kicking (well, attempting to anyway!)

Easter Saturday

On Saturday I was:

  • Stressing far too much about what to wear: despite the fact I've got a HUGE wardrobe, I just couldn't find anything I wanted to wear yesterday morning. And my stress was made worse by the fact that I knew I had to get a second outfit sorted for the evening (but more about that later!)
  • Eating a delicious meal with my closest family and feeling far too full afterwards: I had a chicken melt (chicken breast topped with bacon and cheese), the best chips I've ever tasted, BBQ sauce and salad and it was amazing (and huge!) Somehow, I still found room for dessert though : vanilla ice cream with strawberry sauce and wafer curls. It goes without saying that the company was great too, and I also had fun testing out my new camera phone by taking lots of pictures!
  • Buying a second confirmation card for my friend M: I had originally bought one on Thursday but then got home to discover that it was no longer in my possession! I still had the receipt but no card! So I had to make a dash to the nearest card shop to get one yesterday instead; not that I minded too much as it meant I could attempt to walk off my lunch!
  • Sorting out part of my wardrobe: having been inspired by E, I decided to finish the job of clearing out my wardrobe and managed to fill another carrier bag with things I'll never wear again!
  • Sitting (and standing!) through a very long Easter Vigil: Whilst I'm not Catholic, it was my friend M's confirmation last night, so I, along with a few other friends, went along to show my support. I'm glad I was there for his big night, but I don't think I'll be converting to Catholicism any time soon! (No offence intended to any Catholics out there!)
  • Eating late night takeaway, drinking a mug of tea and being taken back to my college days (2001 to be precise) by watching a programme which was showing all the number ones of the 21st century so far. It took me right back to being 17 seems like only yesterday so it's rather scary to realise it was 9 years ago!

And there's Part 1! Stay tuned for Part 2 appearing in a couple of days! And one last thing...have a very happy Easter, and make sure you eat lots of chocolate (I know I will be!)