Guest Blog

Often My Sundays Get a Big Fat Red!

Posted by a shy guest blogger on August 25th 2017

My parents were teachers. My brother was a teacher. My grandfather was a teacher (and also an inspector but we will gloss over that one). It was almost inevitable I would be a teacher but I rebelled aged 18 and decided I wanted to be a scientist and did environmental biology at university and dabbled in that sector for a while. It may be a cliche but I got the 'calling'. I see so many teachers knock this idea and tell you "IT IS JUST A JOB not a calling" but I guess for me I was pulled in despite trying to fight my family connections to the profession.

When I started my training I thought the biggest challenge I would face would be classroom management. How will I get these kids to listen to ME!? I worried I wouldn't know how to deliver lessons. Worried about the assignments and the lesson observations. Worried I wouldn't be good enough and would fail the children. I remember vividly a lesson whilst on placement where I was delivering a pond-dipping lesson. I had an 'out of body' experience and suddenly was floating above viewing the lesson and I got that 'I don't know what the potato I am doing moment' and just froze like a rabbit in headlights. Mouth dried up. I eyed the pond and contemplated slipping in 'accidentally' to suspend the lesson. Luckily my marvellous mentor saw the signs and stepped in. It was a learning curve. But a good one.

Fast forward 13 years and my passion and desire to teach has not diminished. In fact I am even more passionate about my job than ever but I suffered a life changing moment. When my baby was only 6 months old my soul mate died. When most couples should be enjoying those precious early moments, I was burying my husband. I was dealing with grief, being a single mother and and holding down (possibly?) one of the most stressful jobs in the world. I debated quitting. But what would I do when all I want to do is be a teacher? Two things happened. Firstly I made the decision to sacrifice luxuries and nice cars and go part time. Secondly I decided to make home life my priority. Yes I adored teaching and was drawn into it through passion, family and desire; but it now was also just a job. These two things became a weight off my shoulders.

I started to work out ways I could manage both. Work smarter. Planning lessons that needed zero marking on meeting days. Making sure on staff meeting night I requested my PPA fell that afternoon so I could leave on a Wednesday and not take work home as was my last working day of the week. But I often found it hard to track how I was doing and still would be feeling low and unable to keep on top of it.

Cue Mr Butcher posing random musings about an idea that was blossoming - would I take part in a trial group? I jumped at it! Who wouldn't want an app that tracks and monitors their well-being. And here I am now; weeks down the line and loving every second of using it. I worried at the start posting pics of green weeks – I didn't want to make people getting red scores feel miserable and think I was bragging. But I do as it’s a reminder to people that it is still possible to get green outcomes and be a good teacher. I don't get it all the time. I have had several stinker weeks of red and orange and often my Sundays get a big fat red. But seeing the overview means if I get red or orange one day, it makes me strive to get green the next.

So thank you Matt, Austin and Martyn for creating this platform.

All my love Xxx

red sundays