Teachers are human beings too.

When you become a teacher you know that you are going to have to deal with the misconceptions that Teachers aren’t human beings. That we are some sort of emotionless robot. Well, that’s the way that the children see us. You know that you are going to have to deal with the misguided view that we get ‘all of those holidays and you don’t deserve them.’ You know that you are going to have to deal with the name calling by the children when you’ve given them a bad report or you’ve told them off. You also know you are going to have to deal with the parents. Parents who talk to you like rubbish even though you are human.

This week, I’ve had to deal with all of that as well as two parents’ evenings and my first lesson observation of the year. Please let me highlight that I am seeing the good in this week. I did receive a ‘good’ in my lesson observation with ‘outstanding’ for marking! I also got my first half a stone award at Slimming World.

But this week has taken a toll. I’m exhausted; physically, mentally and emotionally.

This week I had a parent be exceptionally rude to me at parents’ evening because I mentioned that her child was not performing to his ability. That he lacked motivation. I just had to take it. In that instance, I became nothing more than mud on the bottom of her shoe. I became less than a human.

In doctors, hospitals, banks, anywhere where they offer a public service there’s always a sign that reads ‘If you do not respect our staff, you will be evicted from the premises and the service will be refused.’ Teachers do not have this kind of protection. If a parent speaks to us like rubbish or abuses us, we have to take it. I think it is so wrong.

On top of this, I had two students tell me that another student had said ‘At least you’re not as fat as Mrs S. She’s a fat b…..’ I won’t repeat the word, but you get the picture. As a teacher, I understand that I shouldn’t let this bother me but in my tired, emotional and stressed state and as a human being, how could I not let this bother me? When I got home, I cried. Rationally, I didn’t care. But again let me reiterate, I am exhausted. So in my oversensitive and emotional state, it hurt.

I’ve always had an issue about my weight. I joined Slimming World to get my weight under control. In that moment, I wanted to scream that I am trying so hard to lose the weight. At the same time, I wanted to go home and eat my body weight in chocolate but I didn’t.

When did it become okay for other people to say such horrible and cruel things to another human being? I was always taught that if I had nothing nice to say that I should keep my mouth shut and not say anything at all.

I teach my students that kindness doesn’t cost anything and can be in fact the most rewarding thing. I teach them that being nasty to another person does not make you big or clever, it makes you a coward. I teach them that everything they say has a consequence and all of the words they say can affect people. It can make people feel deeply wounded for years to come or kind words can lift their spirits and make them soar. As a teacher, it is my responsibility to teach this and address this attitude of ‘It was only a joke.’ If it hurts somebody else then no, it is not a joke.

Equally, I had to teach my year 10 class that hitting somebody back was not okay. Violence is never okay. ‘Well I was taught that if somebody hits you first, you hit them back.’ That still does not make violence okay.

I am just holding on to the four positives this week.

  1. It is half term on Friday.
  2. I received a ‘good with outstanding for marking’ in my observation.
  3. It is date-night tomorrow.
  4. I got my first half a stone award at Slimming World and I am going to be one of the social term.

Here’s to hoping for a better week next week.

Kindness costs nothing.

Mrs S x

 

Journey of a lifetime

Yesterday at 7:15, I anxiously pulled on my boots and made my way to the car for a journey of a lifetime. I felt like a nervous child on their first day of school ever. Hundreds of questions kept twirling through my head like ‘What if they don’t like me?’, ‘What if I don’t like them?’, ‘What if they all stare at the piggy making its way through the door?’ and most importantly ‘What if I don’t like the consultant?’

You see I joined Slimming World yesterday and I couldn’t believe how anxious I was feeling. I am determined that I will lose the weight and make it to being a coveted target member but I needed a consultant that didn’t judge and definitely didn’t humiliate me. I also needed a non-judgmental group. I needed a group that would inspire me and keep me motivated.

As I walked (I say walked but I hid behind hubby) through the door, the consultant Abi was lovely. So smiley and happy and made us feel welcomed, along with some members from her group. We sat as part of the main group so I didn’t feel like I was being put on display because I was new. I didn’t feel like I was the new fish being stalked by the sharks while they assessed who was the best to eat.

Abi was inspiring as she took us through the new members talk and made it personal by talking about her own weight loss journey and I felt ready. I was geared up and ready to take on this journey of a lifetime.

I stepped on the scales and I was … mortified. I am a shorty standing at 5″2 and I was tipping the scales at 14stone and 1lb. I felt like a whale and I was determined then that I never wanted to see that weight again! I went to bed feeling deflated but strangely excited to wake up so that I could start eating right and start to shift some of my piggy weight.

I’ve been posting my Slimming World meals on my instagram (@swrainbowswithoutrain) today and it has wonderfully kept me on track. I’ve only had 1.5 syns so far and I already feel much better in myself knowing that I am making the right choices to help me lose the weight. I’ve had so much fruit and veg that I can feel my body cheering ‘THANK GOD FOR THAT WOMAN!’

The highlight of my day was definitely the butternut squash soup that was homemade from the Slimming world book ‘Best loved extra easy recipes’. It was delicious, it only took 21 minutes in the Morphy Richards soup maker and I got a whopping 5 large portions! It was, also, full of speed food and it was syn free.

Now all I need to do is work up the courage to talk the hound for a walk in the freezing cold and I will be making good progress towards my New Year goals. I just need to think about the results on the scales next week and that will get my bum out of the door.

Love,

Mrs S xx

Twas the night before school…

Twas the night before school and all through the house, the cries of the teacher could be heard by even the mouse. I looked from my covers at my husband with despair and asked him again if I really must go back there. To which he replies ‘I’m sorry sweetheart, but you must. You’re the teacher and you’re needed, you must really get up!’

In all seriousness, I have to go back to school tomorrow. It is a teacher training day but I already feel tired knowing exactly how busy this next half term is going to be. The dark days don’t help either. Correct me if I’m wrong but I feel like all teachers feel the same. Parents are jumping for joy that their children are going back to school in a couple of days but the teachers are sighing and dreading what is to come.

I feel awful that I haven’t touched a single piece of marking or planning at all during this holiday which isn’t the norm for me! But I needed the time to be with my family and to spend the holiday with my new husband. We are always so busy that we often forget that seeing each other is a necessity and I do really need to find a good work-life balance.

I think Slimming world will help me to do that. I’m always so tired and it doesn’t help that I’m eating rubbish and barely exercising! I’m severely overweight and the doctor told me the last time I went that I am bordering on obese! An incredibly scary thought. Bring on Wednesday when I will be walking through the doors of my Slimming world group to join a, hopefully, very welcoming bunch of people who won’t judged. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love my job but it is one of those jobs where you simultaneously love it and hate it. The marking = hate. Seeing a child get something that they didn’t understand before = love.  The darker days really don’t help. I tend to go to work in the dark and leave work in the dark.

I hate the stigma attached with teaching. The idea that we get all of these holidays and barely do anything but we do so much work behind the scenes. People don’t see the marking, planning, preparation and behaviour management. The nights that I come home at 6, make dinner, do some more marking, then go to bed: having barely said a word to my partner.

Some people will go ‘Well, you signed up for this job and you knew what was coming.’ You’re right I did which is why I deserve my holidays because I work so damn hard during the term-times. I reap so much reward and satisfaction from teaching that in the long run it seems so worth while.

I know deep down that I love going to school because I often have a child come to me in an excited blur to tell me about their holiday. Or when a child writes a fabulous description or poem and I’m the one they want to tell. There’s so much joy to garner from a child understanding something that before I was simply staring into a blank face.

I just need to keep telling myself that I can do this, even on those days where I feel like I have been hit by a freight train going at 100mph.

My next post will be on Thursday after I have joined Slimming world. EEEEEKKKK, very exciting but nerve-wracking!

See you on the other side,

Mrs S x

Hello 2017!

Every year hundreds of people say ‘New year, new me‘ as soon as the clock strikes midnight. It’s like a Cinderella story where the strike of midnight makes everything just melt away. I tend to roll my eyes at those type of people because a new year cannot make that much of a difference.

This year I’ve started to see things a little differently. Now don’t roll your eyes or exit this blog post just yet. Just bare with me.

At 12:01am on the 1st January 2016, I was going by a different name to what I am now. I was engaged to be married to my best friend on the 10th December 2016 and I just couldn’t wait. We had been planning the wedding for 3 years and 3 years ago, it seemed so far away. But boy, did it come round fast. The day came and went in a whirlwind of laughter, tears, excitement, love and nerves. Then my name changed. People were already calling me Mrs Smith. In my head, I was still a Miss.

I know what some of you are probably thinking ‘A change in last name doesn’t make you a new person.’ After all as Shakespeare said: ‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.’

Notice how I said earlier, a little. My new last name definitely doesn’t make me a new person but I am now a wife (which still sounds weird and I can’t get used to it!). I am one half of an incredibly strong unit. I am one half of a bond that has survived a lot of things that were sent to break us. I have gained a new label on top of teacher, daughter, sister, friend. A label that, actually, I am proud of because it shows how far my partner and myself have grown not only as individuals but also as a family.

In essence, I have gained another element to my being. A NEW part of me. One that I want to continue to build along side my husband and to nurture and keep the spark alive.

So this year, I have decide that I am going to make some New Year’s resolutions. You might think this is a little off topic or has nothing to do with what I was just talking about but I want to lead a healthier life so I can have a long and successful one with my husband and for our future family.

  1. We are joining a Slimming World group on Wednesday at 7:30pm. I am determined to lose weight for our dream honeymoon to Mexico in August. My goal weight is 10 stone, so I have 4 stone to lose. I’m hoping that I can get off at least 2 and a half/3 stone for the honeymoon, if not more.
  2. I am going to begin to exercise, building in simple, meaningful tasks first like walking the dog. Starting small and then working my way up to running.
  3. I definitely need to organise myself more which is why I’ve brought myself a calendar so I can see when all of my appointments are and particularly when we can schedule in date night (I haven’t put this to my partner yet, so watch this space!)
  4. I enjoy writing so I have made a resolution that I will write on this blog at least once a week. I think this is perfectly do-able. I want a hobby and I want it to be something that I enjoy doing. It will also, hopefully, keep me on track on Slimming World.

 

As you can see, I’m not trying to completely re-invent myself. This is why I only said I was seeing a little differently earlier. I just want to lead a much healthier life style. I hope you stick with me as I go through all the twists and turns of my Slimming World journey and the first year of married life. I’ve heard it can be a little bumpy but you can’t get a rainbow without a little rain.

Mrs S x