Just waiting by the door for Sam to come home. Wine and a surprise roast chicken await! With blackberry crumble and the Garden State soundtrack (ah the memories!) Hurry up Sam!
Tonight I bought a new nutella treat for Sam. I’m not sure why he’s eating it in quite such a camp way but he definitely seemed to enjoy it…
Sam had to work late tonight so I called in for an hour or two after watching Cardinal Burns at The Lowry. Gutted Sam couldn’t come too but made up for it a bit with late night take away and a bit of company (ok I just sat and watched Grey’s Anatomy at one of the other work stations but at least I was there!) It meant he got a lift home when he finished at midnight instead of traipsing back solo in the dark.
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… 💚❤️💛