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