It’s 7.30am and I’m on a train up to Manchester to visit my mother. It was my birthday last week and it’s her birthday on Monday, so we usually go out for a meal in between the two. It’s cold, frosty, still dark and I’m shattered. I caught a glance of my reflection in the window and I look like crap – I’ve got a really dull complextion, enormous bags under my eyes and my hair has decided to style itself into something that the 80’s rock legends would be jealous of.
It’s been a challenging and stressful week and at times it has dragged. While there are only two weeks until the Christmas holidays, I have yet to feel any sort of excitement as I still have a mountain of work to finish off. Luckily, for once, my coursework folders are finished a little early, so that removes the pressure that I experienced a year ago. The kids have had enough, we’ve had enough and there is a sense of plodding from everyone to just get through the next few weeks.
I’ve barely touched the blog, and I’m hugely down on my regular stats, comments and general interaction with all the people who make me smile each week. I’m going to get involved in the Twitter #ArchiveDay blog share and try and catch up with some of my favourite ladies in the #SitsBlogging hour…
My absence (hence the amount of reblogs and my lack of replies to your comments) recently has been due to the fact that my school has been undergoing a massive inspection. It isn’t the dreaded OFSTED, but may has well have been – my school is an outstanding Academy and therefore we also have routine inspections from the company that sponsors it. To say that I am exhausted is an understatement.
I don’t believe in ‘show’ lessons – I don’t plan anything that I wouldn’t normally deliver on a daily basis – but the added stress of triple checking paperwork to ensure that it is correct has resulted in about ten hours sleep in the last few days. I had everything in place and organised into specific folders, I printed off plans, seating plans, important information about individual students and overviews of the content of the lesson. I went into work earlier each day, making sure that everything was set up to the highest possible standard. The anticipation of everything gave me an enormous loss of appetite.
I wasn’t observed.
It’s always a double – edged sword in situations like this – I’m pleased that I wasn’t seen as the process is quite nerve-racking, but at the same time I was a little disappointed as I had some awesome lessons over the last few days and I spent hours printing off paperwork that I didn’t need to. However, I’ve watched some of my colleagues go through the process with various inspectors and I was pleased for them when the general feedback has been really good. In my last observation I was given an ‘Outstanding,’ so I was concerned that there would be a high level of expectation from an inspector entering my classroom and so I have been extremely tense for the last few days, so the plan for this evening is simply to relax and do absolutely nothing. I’ve been doing quite well on the diet that I started at the beginning of the year, but tonight I am going to indulge in some hot, buttered toast and a chocolate bar the size of my face.
Normal blogging will resume at the weekend, when I’ve got through tomorrow’s lessons and choir and caught up on some sleep and I’ll get on with replying to the fantastic comments that you’ve been leaving recently. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out the blogs that I am advertising at the minute on my sidebar – simply click on the buttons for links to their sites. I promise it will be worth your time.
You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @Suzie81blog – I’d love to see you there!