I have seen this bombing about on Twitter in various forms and have been moved and inspired by many of them. I've seen lists and stories and letters....all different and unique. I think I am going to just write, and see what happens.
12 Great Things in 2012Well this is hard. It's taken ages, unfortunately my natural pessimist takes over and masks all the good stuff that has happened but I do now have 12! (In no particular order as Dermot would say...)
1. Moving in with my wonderful boyfriend.
This has to go top. Truth be told we didn't 'plan' to move in together so early into our relationship but circumstances were as such it was the best thing at the time and boy I do not regret it. He is everything I could ever want or wish for, patient to the last putting up with all my teacher nonsense, funny, clever....I could go on forever but I won't, it's embarassing *blushes*
2. Accepting I had a problem.....
....it took a while but I realised my behaviour was not 'normal' and my reactions to minor things at times quite extreme. I've been depressed, yes another teacher afflicted by the metaphorical 'Black Dog' but this was different and I didn't 'get' myself anymore.
So I went to the doctor and cried....a lot. I tried to explain and didn't feel like I was making any sense. I thought I was going mad....really. The doctor was sympathetic and actually listened. He diagnosed this as 'anxiety' - broad term I know but suggested a few courses of action. I now take a very small dose of medication for this and it really does make a difference, I don't know whether this is psychological or not but I definitely cry less and can order my brain so it doesn't get 'tangled up' so much. It's not a quick fix, I've had to try really hard sometimes but its a step in the right direction.
I have also got the possibility of CBT if I need it. At the moment I don't think so but let's see.
Linked to this
3.....and talking about it at work.
I had to tell school what was happening, frankly they were responsible after all. Head of Subject, full timetable, lots of cover...not great. Amazingly they were very proactive, took me off the cover list and made me 'emergency cover only' told me they were really pleased with my work and that I did not have to worry about it all as much as I do. Easier said than done and my workload is still a bit mad but progress....definitely.
4. Properly discovering Twitter
I had 'played at' Twitter for a while but got pretty serious about it as a CPD tool in 2012, and I love it! So many new colleagues and ideas which, for someone like me who is the only science teacher in my school is fab...I can talk to people who understand what I mean when I say cytokinesis (lol)
5. 500 followers!
Amazing....never thought people would ever be interested in what I had to say!
6. This Blog
See above - same reason
7. ASE Membership - and I won it!
I went to the SE Region Conference in Guildford (convenient as I live here) and won a year membership. Brilliant. It is starting to open doors and I am excited because....
8. Booking to go to the ASE Conference in January
....I'm going to this for 2 days and get to meet some of my Twitter colleagues....I cannot wait even though I am really scared about not recognising anyone!
9. Buying my own car!
I loved buying my car as it gave me a real sense of being a grown up. Up til now I've had rubbish cars or 'hand me downs' (long story) but now I have a car and it is MINE! :)
10. Literacy display
I've blogged about this so if you want to see the photos they are on a previous post. I did not think it would have much impact but it has inspired a couple of people to make their own versions. The idea that my display is being seen not only by my kids but by kids I have never met is kind of cool.
11. Having my first Christmas in our flat with a real tree.
Never had a real Christmas tree as a kid cus my Mum is allergic. So going out and buying a real tree and decorating it was great fun for me. I was basically jumping around the living room (but don't tell anyone!)
12. Fake Christmas Day
I'll explain....as friends we all have to go to family at Christmas, so we have a fake Christmas day after the real thing. It is always far better than my real Christmas. I love my family so much but without being rude they bore me. I wish my Christmas was more like the TV ads with hats and games and fun but it isn't.....so fake Christmas day is important to me....and there is far more alcohol!
13 Hopes for 2013Again....had to think carefully about this and what I want without sounding to repetitive and boring. I think a lot of teachers are hoping for similar things. Again in no particular order, just as they came out of my tangly brain :)
1. Get fit and slim
Note in that order. I am tired of feeling sluggish and sleepy and it would be nice to look in a mirror and like what I see. No targets, no timescale, just go to the gym 3 times a week at least. Simple (I hope!)
2. Care less about what others are doing
I am 30....this in itself I have got used to. What I am tired of are people assuming that I want a wedding, a house and babies like yesterday....and repeatedly telling me so. Life does not work like that. We'll get there eventually, and the next step is not up to me anyway....hint hint.....not lol!
3. Worry less about work and be a leader
A bit linked to above. I am constantly worrying about what other people think at work as well as getting everything done to the standard that I expect of myself. This combination of worry is tiring. Very tiring.
Actually as mentioned above, the senior leadership at my school are really pleased and leave me alone because they can. Not because they have forgotten I exist which is what I assumed. I have to get used to this idea and actually be a bit more assertive, lead something in school rather than being a follower all the time. Big ask but let's see what comes up. Might be some interesting blogs to come.
4. Enjoy vegetables more
They are not my most favourite things....that would be cheese. This explains the problem in a nutshell. I must eat more veg and not complain. This also applies to fruit....
5. Find a speaker/workshop for National Science and Engineering Week 2013
For some reason this is proving very difficult this year. Affordability being the main problem. Normally I have booked someone by now and am getting the logistics and kit sorted but this year I cannot find anyone suitable yet. If anyone (yes that means you) knows anyone or have suggestions for someone who would do a half day in a BESD school with about 25-30 KS3 boys with an Invention/STEM type theme then I am all ears.....
A must. I cannot wait. America or somewhere else, to be confirmed.
7. Balance better
Work life balance is always on the list for me, since I moved out of mainstream to special education it has definitely got a bit better. I can have hobbies and go to the gym and feel like I have something that resembles a weekend (i.e. Friday night and all of Saturday and some of Sunday) but there is always room for improvement. This does also link to number 3.
8. Appreciate what I can do - and have faith in myself
I am an outstanding teacher apparently. The mock-Ofsted said so. I need to start believing this and actually try to have some influence in improving teaching and learning in my own school but also for other special schools like mine. I need to stand up and be counted rather than be the 'hard worker in the background' who never gets the credit.
9. Go to at least 1 Teachmeet
These sound like a great idea and there must be some that are close. Sharing good practice is a must for all teachers and this is a great forum for it. Who knows one day I might agree to present at one....
10. Consider my career path
What do I want? Where do I want to go? How would I get there? At the moment I am not sure, working in such a specific area may limit my options but who knows what is out there?
11. Keep up with hobbies
I play in an orchestra and I intend to keep this up. I have already committed to the gym 3 times a week and I love a bit of photography having got a new 'bridge' camera for my birthday....I am going to keep up all these things because I love them and I deserve to.
12. See my besties more
I love my 2 best friends, also both science teachers, I just don't see them enough...we are all so busy all the time. I am really going to try to make sure we arrange stuff so we see each other more. It's important
and finally....13 Complete RSci or CSciTeach with ASE
Need to read about this more as I don't know which I am eligible for (will find out at the conference) but, linked to 10, this will help with my career in the future I have no doubt.
So there we go....a delve into the inner workings of my tangled mind.
Posting this really draws 2012 to a close, it's been a reasonable one but I have really high hopes for 2013....so Happy New Year everyone!!