Bullying

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Bullying

Bullying

Anti-bullying week is coming up in November, and it is something which we dedicate a large amount of time and effort to in schools, not just during that week but all year round. I was thinking this evening how strange it is that we are so tough on bullying among children, yet we have so many schools, businesses and offices in which bullying is endemic and even accepted. My first experience of teaching was a stressful and extremely difficult one, due to the nature of the head teacher.  She would routinely humiliate staff and she piled on the pressure to

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Shoestring September

I only have time to write briefly, on the short train journey to work, but I wanted to pledge my promise to seriously curb my spending this month, sticking to only absolute needs and pre-organised events.  I should clarify further by saying that my focus is on cutting out the additional material objects and focusing more on experiences.  So £40 for a train journey to meet my friend for a weekend camping trip is allowed.  £11 on random food on the way home from work, when I already have food in the cupboard, is not. I will write more this

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Don’t stay on the park bench for too long

Don’t stay on the park bench for too long

Like many people, I have read and listened to Eckhart Tolle’s teachings for the past few years, finding them of great benefit to my own life. Yesterday, I listened to a recent radio interview with him on YouTube.  He talked a lot about his early life and experiences, and his responses seemed more personal than before.  I could hear that, while he says he is basically surrendered to the ‘isness’ of each moment, there are still difficulties for him–his sudden fame, busy schedule and lack of time and opportunity to hold one-to-one sessions with individuals.  He also said that he

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A quick catch-up

A quick catch-up

Happy Saturday, friends!  And to those of you in the States, I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ve been a bit quiet the past couple of days because there has been so much going on at work.  We had parents’ evening on Thursday from 2:30pm until 8pm so, as you can imagine, I fell into bed pretty much as soon as I arrived home!  The school term never really slows down–what with Christmas productions, assessments and all sorts of festive parties and afternoon fayres, there is always something to keep us teachers busy.  I do enjoy this season though,

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I have wanted to be with you for so long

I have wanted to be with you for so long

I have wanted to be with you for so long. The dream of you diluting my days into perfunctory conversations and people and chores I could do without. But these autumn weeks have been strange. Changing my focus onto more pressing things, less wishing I were far away. The boy stood up today and recited his first poem. Someone I barely know hand-delivered a card with the sweetest words scrawled in blue. The sick girl fell asleep on my arm. And the woman I love above all else squeezed me tight and said Thank God you’re here, Thank God you’re

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What to do when you’re dumbfounded

What to do when you’re dumbfounded

Sometimes in life, somebody says or does something that is so ridiculous and factually untrue that it is hard not to dissolve into hysterical laughter, stretch your arms out in a manner that says nothing but a slow and pronounced “WTF?” or become so frenzied and angry that you want to swipe them upside the head and pelt them with your heaviest belongings. Whilst one or two of those options may occasionally be appropriate, none of them seems like a real answer to me.  It is really hard to keep cool and collected enough to deal with the issue when

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Five tips for the workplace

Five tips for the workplace

Just a few things I have learnt over the past few years in teaching; though they apply to any workplace. Be flexible.  If you can adapt and roll with last-minute changes, meetings or projects without complaint, you will be regarded very highly indeed.  Sure, a last-minute shift in the proceedings might be annoying or inconvenient, but if there is nothing you can do about it, complaining will only stunt your progress.  Just get on with it, and show that you can adapt to whatever comes your way.  After all, isn’t that life?   This might seem like a contradiction, after

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Observations

Observations

Most of the time, I feel unencumbered by the clashings and conspiracies of colleagues; both feet several inches outside of the circle in which everything seems to happen. In the art of noticing, I am, at times, spectacularly inept. Though I can sit for hours, sketching and perfecting the same mouth. Here at the beach, the moon brings the sea suddenly to my toes, a surprise gift, and disappears, laughing, behind a cloud. Beyond the groynes, a little dog has chased the red kite too far, but she has not yet been lost long enough to panic.

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Thursday round-up

Thursday round-up

So, the weather is getting colder, the evenings are growing darker and we’re hurtling towards the weekend which, for those of us who work a regular five-day week, may be a bit of a relief! My week has been good, but busier than usual.  Between formal lesson observations, rehearsals for our Year 5 production of Romeo and Juliet (which takes place next Wednesday… cue a nervous squeal of excitement), ordinary class teaching and the first online module of my middle leadership course, I’ve been white-knuckling it through the past few days a little bit.  But I feel as though I

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Anyone can be a leader

Anyone can be a leader

Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a post about Donald Trump (there are enough of those in my Facebook news feed right now…) but the current climate has made me consider the role of leadership and the qualities that make a good leader.  I have also been influenced to make this post because of my own professional development and first forays into leadership within a school. I am a teacher and, whilst I didn’t begin my career having particular aspirations to lead–meaning that I wasn’t especially focused on ‘climbing the ladder’ and becoming an assistant head or even eventually

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