Useless Things I Learned in School

One of the benefits of the British Education System is that students are offered lots of opportunities to be introduced to new subjects and ideas and as a teacher I believe that a well-rounded education and a love of learning is important. However, not everything that we learn will have a useful impact on our adult lives, and these will differ depending on our strengths, interests and career choices. Sixteen years after I left school, here are some of the things that I learned and have not used since. Continue reading

Successes and Mistakes: Blogging in 2013

I am glad that what has essentially been a rather difficult year has come to an end and (like most others, I am sure) I’m in a reflective mood. I had prepared several posts that reviewed the various events of the last twelve months, but I decided to combine them.

At times, I can be extremely lazy.

A year ago this blog didn’t exist. I created it in April after spending years writing random thoughts in various notebooks, which I never finished – Paperchase was making a fortune from me and my bedroom cupboard was stacked with beautiful books that all contained one or two pages of (often repeated) scribblings. The Bloke, my partner of four years, directed me to WordPress and thus Suzie81 was born. I chose the name quickly and without much thought – my name and the year I was born – I didn’t have any expectations, other than perhaps a few nerves about it being discovered by people that I know, I had no plan, theme or any idea of what I wanted to write about – the important thing was the process of writing itself.

In the last eight months my little blog, and my life, has grown beyond all expectations. As I write, I have gained over 3,000 followers and my posts have received over 70,000 views. Compared to some, this is tiny, but I have been absolutely gobsmacked by the response that I have received. I’ve been spoilt with nominations for numerous awards, I was Freshly Pressed in November and for the first time in years I have a project that I never seem to get bored of – I love every minute of it and can easily spend hours at a time reading posts and writing my own. I have found something that I genuinely want to do. I’ve met some amazing people, formed small relationships with them and I have started to get to know a little about their interesting lives. Continue reading

Three Months Holiday a Year: The Common Misconceptions of Teaching

Yesterday I had a conversation with a friend-of-a-friend. This is how it went:

Them: So, what do you do?

Me: I’m a music teacher.

Them: Oh, so you’re on half-term at the minute?

Me: Yes, I’ve been on half-term over the last week.

Them: It must be great having three months off a year…

Suffice to say, the conversation didn’t last very long.

I’ve been a qualified music teacher since July 2007 and have been employed in secondary schools on a permanent basis ever since. This is not the first time I have had the ‘three months a year’ comment directed towards me, usually by people (friends included) that have no experience or understanding of the profession. I used to be furious at this, now I usually just roll my eyes and change the subject of the conversation, but for some reason the comment really irritated me yesterday. Continue reading