Category Archives: Education

Class of 2016

Hey guys! 

I’ve disappeared recently because everything is changing and that makes life very busy. I know it’s a fact of life, but I sometimes feel overwhelmed by lots of change at once. Also, I always feel slightly strange when Year 11s leave. It’s harder when they are an amazing group. I’ve been incredibly lucky, but again I’ve had an inspiration group. 

I feel genuinely honoured to work with young people. They are so unique and we need them; they are our future. 

Yet, the majority of us have demanding jobs with different pressures. I definitely have had times this year where I’ve felt tired/emotional/drained/overwhelmed/delighted all at once. It’s hard to ‘roll with it’ sometimes. 

I gave my Year 10s random images in a lesson and asked them to rank them. There was no criteria, I just wanted them to be able to justify their choices. The images were: a book, flowers, a clock digging a grave, numerous hands holding iPhones and a sign saying thank you. What fascinated me was the many hands with phones came out as most important. Yet, the discussion we had about the thank you sign was most poignant. 

Thank you’s seem to be ‘dying out’. In a world where everything changes on a daily basis, this appears to be left behind. The students seem to blame people’s attitudes. Some valued it as ‘less important’ than friendship. Some believed I was very ‘old school’ for believing in pleases and thank you’s. Hence why, when I received little thank you gifts, it hit home that actually, deep down, we all have moments of reciprocity. 

I was so touched this year to receive the following gifts. My boys clearly know me well! A giant cookie, a big box of chocolates, cards and a book I’ve never read with a personalised inscription. (All of which brought tears to my eyes.) I’ve had countless thank you emails and messages from my students. It makes everything worthwhile. Knowing you’ve made a difference, no matter how big or small. 

It all matters. A thank you can touch your heart in the deepest way. 


Prom was equally special. I don’t remember a time when I laughed so much. Again, the students were a credit to me. I just beamed the whole evening with pride. More thank you’s were given here too. (Maybe it’s not quite dying out just yet?!) 


So now I’ve got to focus on the next lot of students I need to help get through the next 12 months of school. Hopefully, I can help them as well. 

As I reflect now, feeling emotional whilst doing so, my lovely class of 2016 will have a special place in my heart, like the class of 2015 before it. (You can read about them Here) After all, if it didn’t matter, why would I even be doing this? 

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Big love xx

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Class of 2015 – Goodbye To A Group That Changed My Life. 

I’ll apologise now because this isn’t the type of post I would usually write. It’s not about books or bakes! I’ve been thinking and working on this post for a few a days now, yet I can’t seem to formulate it. I know what I think and feel, but it’s like I’ve lost the ability to spill the words out over the page. In fact, I feel like I’m constantly tripping over the words I’m desperately trying to find or use. I’ll do my best. Hold onto your hats, this one is emotional! 

I started teaching back in 2012, being thrown right in at the deep end and training on the job. My first class were a top set year 9; very bright and able, eager to do well, desperate to achieve their potential and then some. I was terrified. What if they were smarter than me? What if they asked me something I couldn’t answer? Or worse, what if they didn’t like me? 

I remember my first ever lesson. I was teaching Gothic Literature and exploring the Victorian period. Three years later, they are the top set GCSE group. I remember our last lesson, analysing and comparing the language used by Sherlock Holmes and Watson. We worked our socks off to turn D grades into A*s, to make U grades into C grades. Every child in that class should pass at C or above. Without a doubt they deserve it. Something was happening before my very eyes. They were maturing, growing and glowing in their intelligence. I feel so lucky to have seen them progress over the three years. 

But it’s more than this. They made the teacher I am today. My feedback from observations and marking was always outstanding. I am not big headed or arrogant enough to think I’m the best at this job or the most amazing teacher. Of course I’m not! There are people out there who are more intelligent, more inspirational and more experienced than me. But, I owe this group a lot. They kept me on my toes, they constantly questioned and analysed, they demanded their books were marked every week so they could improve their skills. And yet, I can honestly say they made me a better person as well as a better teacher. 

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t always rainbows and sunshine. They were challenging in their own way. Laziness was their biggest problem. The ‘I’m smart so can pull it off in the real exam miss’ line was well quoted, whilst I was stressing about this weeks book trawl or mock exam results. 

At the end of the day, I do this job because I want to make a difference. I want to give children the best possible start in life. It’s a big scary world out there! (Not the most ambitious vocabulary used by an English teacher!) They need to be prepared for it. Surely that’s why we all become teachers? We want to inspire, to change lives, to give them the skills for real life. 

So, whilst I’m very excited about moving to a new school with new challenges, I will always remember that group. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget them. It’s like your first house or your first love. Whatever happened, you never forget it. I like to think I made a difference – just a small difference to some of their lives. By the amount of tears and thank yous on the last day, I have a small feeling that I did something right. 

  

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