Sunday, 15 January 2017

It's all about the planning

I've spent most of last week and this weekend fighting off a nasty vomiting and diarrhoea bug that's swept my class.  I haven't had a full set of kids all week.  I think my daily multivitamin has helped my immune system fight it off although I've spent days feeling nauseous but never actually sick.  OH was away for work all week so I've spent a lot of time planning.  Above is my work planning folder.  My termly meeting with the Head is next week so need to have it finished soon.

And since the seed companies are starting to send out their catalogues I'm planning my garden.  Sarah Raven has a 20% off code.  Well it would be rude not to 😉 I've used her seeds for the last few years.  Good quality and unused seeds keep well for use the following year.

And of course there's meal planning.  I'm back on the WeightWatchers plan.  It works for me when I stick to it.  Last year I lost 6kg.  I've put some of it back on 😞 but I'm starting afresh.  I treated myself to the WW magazine.  It came with a wee book of winter comfort food recipes.  Here's my first recipe! Turkey Chilli Con Carne.  It tastes amazing and there was plenty for 5 generous portions (the recipe said 4!) I had it with cauliflower.  Really good and only 6 SmartPoints!!!

We've booked our summer holiday so I have a target.  Bring it on! 🌊🌞

Thursday, 5 January 2017


I survived my first yoga class.  In fact it was my first ever exercise class!  I've never really been interested in taking classes, much preferring to do my own thing by myself.  So I was a little apprehensive going in.

As I opened the studio door the overpowering smell of incense hit me and I could hear loud chanting music.  I'll be honest, my heart sank a wee bit at the stereotype.  But luckily the teacher was friendly and welcoming as were the other 6 students (5 didn't turn up so New Year resolution fail on their part!) There was only one other total beginner like me but most of the others were just starting their 'yoga journey.' 

The hour passed really quickly.  I'm reasonably flexible and reasonably fit but it was challenging.  I have tight hip joints and couldn't sit in the lotus pose at all.  So that's this week's homework!!  But the main reason for going was to give me something away from the house that was just for me.  It was relaxing and I did switch off for those 60 minutes.  And I slept well too!

Then it was back to work this morning.  Don't know if the kids were more shell shocked than I was at the early start again!  I'm a bit stiff and sore today so I'm glad tomorrow's Friday.   It's a nice easy way to start back after the break.  Next week the hard work begins!

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

My 2017 plan

During this holiday I've spent a lot of time thinking and writing about 'stuff,' mainly about how I can get organised and make quality time for myself.  This is a hugely condensed summary of that thinking so you won't have to wade through my stream of conscious ramblings.  I do find writing/drawing helps me focus on the issues especially if I use the mind mapping technique.  So here goes.  This is how I'm going to make 2017 work for me.

This time last year my main focus was on getting a permanent teaching post.  I worked really hard towards that goal and secured a post in a local school teaching early years.  I knew it would be tough leaving the school I'd been in for a few years and starting over but I completely underestimated how challenging it would be.  My new colleagues are nice enough but not as friendly and supportive as the ones I'd left behind.  I have more children in this class and the parental support isn't great. These things I cannot change.  But it's a permanent post.  I have financial security.  So I'm going to focus on that positive and work smarter at managing the time I spend on work stuff.

This was a tough one.  It's true what they say about finding out who your real friends are when the shit hits the fan.  I hadn't realised over the period of my marriage that 'my' friends were actually joint friends we'd made over the years mostly connected with running and ultra running circles. I had a circle of close friends who I had supported through some really tough shit over the years. How many of them keep in touch now?  None.  I've tried to meet up with a few over the last couple of years and every single time they've stalled/cancelled/ghosted me.  What hurts is that I know they're still socialising etc with my ex.  So yeah, I'm keeping that circle really small! And I'll make more effort to see my real ones.

Stuff! Oh yeah, there's a lot of stuff in my wee house.  I keep telling myself if I could just get it organised then it'll be ok.  I've worked out that I have 2 areas of major clutter.  And by that I mean a whole room you can't actually walk round and several cupboards that are so full you need to wear a crash helmet when opening them.  One area is the boxes and furniture that hasn't been used/moved from moving house THREE years ago. The other is my teaching stuff from my old school.  My new classroom has little storage.  Solutions?

Sort/donate/toss the furniture and boxes from my old house.  If I haven't needed them in 3 years then I don't need them.  That's a simple one.

The other one is a bit trickier. First I'm planning to ask my headteacher if I can get rid of the washing machine, cooker and fridge from my classroom (it used to be the nursery).  Then I can use that space creatively to store my teaching materials. Of course the easiest answer is to stop buying school supplies with my own money (and I'm going to try!) but frankly what the school provides is very basic and most teachers buy stuff to give their kids better experiences for learning.  I hope I can get this one resolved soon.

I've also cleaned out my storecupboard.  I was ruthless with opened packets and out of date dried goods.  I'll happily eat things past their date but some of it was 3 and 4 years past it!!  It's not a great photo but everything is now in glass storage jars so I can see what I've got.  Like most people I'm trying live/eat more healthily and now I can see what's in there.

I still go to the gym 3 times a week with OH (ok he drags me reluctantly!) but I've also signed up for a beginner's course in yoga.  That starts tonight and I'm really looking forward to it.  I'm hoping it will help me to relax and switch off from work.

So there you have it.  My sort of plan for this year.  I'm going to declutter my house.  I'm going to work smarter at school and focus on the positive.  I'm going to plan to eat and exercise better.  I'm making more time for myself to switch off from work.  It's not rocket science but I really must put some extra effort into it this year.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

The 3 Rs


Happy new year!  Did you have a lovely Christmas?  I did.  For the first time since I returned to teaching I wasn't ill over the holidays 🙌 However, I have been very lazy and have taken time to just chill.  I was mentally and physically exhausted and really needed to re charge my batteries and just spend some time to relax, reflect and recuperate.

I did some knitting.  I finished a pair of socks.  I added more squares to my sock blanket. It now has 120 squares stitched together 😊

I ate lots of leftovers.  Not a scrap of food was wasted.  We had various stir fry combinations of turkey/veggies/stuffing/pigs in blankets.  I made a few batches of soup with leftover veggies and the turkey carcass.

Or sometimes I had just the veggies on their own with a spoonful of Cranberry Chutney.

I made a batch to give as presents

I also made some caramel

This was definitely the laziest preserve I've ever made.  Fill clean jars with condensed milk, cover with hot water  and leave in slowcooker overnight on low.  Instant caramel sauce to serve with ice cream, bananas or just straight from the jar. Lovely!

ETA Recipe in the comments as I couldn't get it to copy and paste properly!!

To counteract all the eating we did lots of walking in the cold freezing rain!! Here's the view from the Ochils over Stirling.  That's the Wallace Monument below us in the distance.

I still have one more day left before school returns.  I'm done relaxing and recuperating.  Now I need to plan and act on my reflecting.  I'll share that tomorrow.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Taking a break

Life is very hectic at the moment.  My paying job is sucking up all my time and energy, leaving me little time and energy for anything else.  All around me people are preparing for Christmas and I haven't done anything apart from putting up my tree.  Even that hasn't kick started any festive feelings.  I'm feeling very bah humbuggy!

So I've decided to focus on the last 8 teaching days of school (we finish on the 21st) and then think about everything else.  I'll be taking a break from blogging until the new year (it's just one more thing on my to do list atm) and decide how best to continue.  I love writing and don't want to stop.  I write other stuff and maybe need to find a way of combining it all.  Maybe a blog revamp is needed? This week, 2 of my blogging friends have decided to stop and while I understand and respect their reasons I think blogland is the poorer for their absence.  Thank you Sue and Sarah for all your inspiration xxx

I will be back 😊 Until then I wish you all a peaceful holiday however you celebrate it 🎅🎉💖

Friday, 25 November 2016

A good week

I don't mean a good week in being frugal and scoring yellow stickered items, although you can see I did well last night 😀

I mean I had a good week at work!  For the first time since I started this job it felt like everything was starting to come together and other people are noticing.

A visiting specialist colleague who supports a wee girl in my class with major communication difficulties, spent some time in my classroom to observe her with her peers.  I didn't have advance notice so I didn't prepare anything special! It was a Literacy lesson with various activities going on, some children working on their own, some in groups and some working with me.  At the end she commented that there was a lovely atmosphere in the room with all children busy and engaged in their learning.

I had another parents' evening where all the parents reported back to me that their children were happy and enjoying what we did each day.

I only taught for 3 days with the remaining 2 days being Staff Development.  Yesterday we had a visiting speaker to talk about Reflective Reading.  She was very inspiring and gave us lots of practical stuff about teaching reading in 'new' ways.  I was already doing some of the ideas she was suggesting so it was great to know I'm doing the 'right' thing in current thinking about reading.  Especially as it's now a whole school change in the way we approach it.  At my job interview I was asked about how I taught reading so the headteacher obviously knows what I do already.

Today at our morning meeting about our behaviour policy I made a suggestion that is going to be implemented starting on Monday!

And this afternoon we went to a course on Mentoring and at the end 2 of my younger colleagues said they wanted me to be their mentor  💜

All these have added up to a good week professionally.  I really really needed one!

Now I need to start planning and thinking about Christmas!! 🎄🎅🎁

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Still here

I'm still plodding away here, full of the latest round of winter bugs generously shared by my grotty kids!! On Friday I had one with projectile vomiting! I do hope I don't get that one! Now that the weather has turned colder my wee chickens are enjoying a daily morning serving of porridge.  They're so funny and end up with it all over their beaks and head!

Work is very demanding and time consuming.  I've had lots of meetings with colleagues for planning/tracking and had several parents' meetings.  And I have another one next week.  There's not much time left for anything else.  But on a lighter note, OH and I have worked out when we can retire. Only 5 and 1/2 years to go for us both 💑

My lovely new laptop has decided to store my uploaded photos somewhere I can't find them again!  I've been doing loads of meal prep which really saves me so much time every night I come home.  If I find the photos I'll post them!!

I found this photo on my wanderings.  Totally sums up my 3 boys!