Today’s nice thing - banana bread with drizzle topping. Yum!
Yesterday I was William the Conqueror and my awesome class of 8-year olds were my trusty Norman army. At the end of the day we battled against Harold Godwinson (another teacher) and his army of Anglo-Saxons. We acted out our war strategy (pretending to retreat and then turning around to fight) and then feasted on the authentic Viking bread we had made. It was a long, hectic yet glorious day.
I love my job and my class but I struggle with my current workload and the level of scapegoating and pressure teachers in Britain today have to put up with. I work 60+ hour weeks when I’m contracted for 35. I am exhausted. I work during my evenings, weekends and holidays. I spend a fortune on printer ink, resources, props and prizes for the sake of the children I spend my time teaching, assessing, thinking about and caring for.
The sad fact of the matter is that as my workload increases the tasks which really matter (such as planning and organising exciting learning opportunities) get pushed down my to-do list in favour of target setting, box ticking and paperwork for which I will have been asked for by a senior staff member. I know that they will have a say in my performance management and therefore my pay grade. I know that they will hassle me for it. The children won’t. In the long run the children come last and everything else has to come first. In addition to all these factors I am wracked with guilt and unease about the level of pressure and assessment my class face. They constantly strive to tick the next level descriptor and meet the next target. They are painfully aware of the criteria and standards against which they are constantly being measured. Because if the culture of today’s primary school system children and parents alike are judging and pushing themselves to meet national expectations which do not even remotely reflect the wondrous individuality of children. There’s no recognition that this little girl remembered to use kind words when she’s never heard them at home, or that this little boy wrote a complete sentence by himself for the first time (even though he’s 8 and to the others that’s no big deal.) I can smile and praise and console and say that it’s all arbitrary, that’s its children’s thoughts, actions, choices and effort that really count. But the system will not do the same. It is heartbreaking. It’s atrocious.
Today Sam competed in his first ever sprint triathlon. He was hoping for a time of 1:20:00 and to maybe finish in the top 50. He managed 1:15:46 and came 21 out of 269.
I am a proud wife 😍
Took ourselves to Giuseppe’s in Shrewsbury. It was magical - we were the only customers because Giuseppe and his wife are semi-retired and now just run the restaurant for fun. They’ve had it 51 years and know everything about Italian wine and home cooking. Everything about this place is an absolute pleasure to behold, service was slow but so personal, we were sent away with a handshake, a doggy bag and a sprig of citronella to ward off mosquitoes on the way home. I’d rather be eating here than at some chain restaurant any day… 💚❤️💛
Well it rained a LOT at Lake Vyrnwy today. Lucky we like singing and bicycling and playing pooh stocks in a torrential downpour! It is absolutely beautiful in any weather 💙
This week marks our 8 year anniversary!
For our 3 year celebrations we took a day trip to Lake Vyrnwy in Wales which is where Sam proposed to me some years later. On the left you can see us cycling around the lake that day (pre- marriage and not living together or doing any ‘real jobs’) and on the right we’re cycling round Llangollen a couple of days ago. Clearly we’ve become more sensible with time (hello helmets!) but in essence the pictures are the same because we still have the best times doing the simple things. Also Sam has obviously got better at selfies…
We’re heading back to Lake Vyrnwy today so watch this space for a barrage of photos!
At the weekend I went to the Shrewsbury Flower Show with my mum and Pete, bought Sam these candy-esque flowers as he is OBSESSED with our balcony garden 🌸
I also made sure to send Sam a photo of this coffee vendor because there are few things Sam loves to hate more than businesses that use inverted commas to advertise their products…
So for the last four months or so, I have taken part in the body positivity movement on Instagram, including posting photos of myself in my bikini and underwear/bra. Keep in mind that none of my photos have ever been sexually explicit or suggestive and that I have always been fully covered. As far…
This is just not acceptable. Until we change the generic, standard images of women’s figures with which we are bombarded daily (slim, smooth and totally unattainable if you’re not in the tiny % of people blessed with those bloody ‘perfect’ genes) we can never hope to raise the next generation of girls to be confident and appreciative of their own beauty, health and physique.