Blog post Look both ways before crossing.


Shibuya crossing ( you could find me here most Friday’s 12 years ago)

So a new year is just about to begin and I find myself sat here at my pc .However I have not started any work tonight and am fairly unlikely to as it is already 8.30. I am not really an evening person. I will probably write a to do list and get started properly tomorrow.


So I wanted this post to clear away the year that has gone and to set me up for the new year to come – hence the title.


Janus – God of transtitions and beginnings

I have had the most challenging year of my career . What could go wrong has gone wrong. I have doubted myself  more times than I care to remember and I have  been given some of  most devastating feedback  about the thing I spend my life thinking about and doing – teaching.

I can’t really put a finger on what went wrong this year , but I do know that I will not be having that happen again to me . Without going into personal details, I guess things started to crumble when I  lost the plot in a  maths lesson that was being observed by a LEA  person. She wasn’t even there to judge as such , but I just panicked and fled the room .

The class I had were a very difficult bunch of characters and I went in too soft with them ( they had a rough ride the year before with a ridiculous amount of teachers). Anyway my card was marked and I found it difficult to regain respect and control. Don’t get me wrong , they liked me – perhaps too much. So every lesson was me trying to give them all the attention I thought they all needed and of course failing miserably and not really getting a lot taught.

In contrast the year before had been great , the class was also a little challenging , but somehow I was getting good lesson observations and  holding everything together.

But the change was dramatic as I struggled to keep going  in a workplace that had its own problems.


I do not have an issue with maths , but every lesson that was observed was a maths lesson . Ofsted came and said I was satisfactory , but whenever  school staff came it all fell apart- not once but probably 3 or 4 times.

I am a literacy leader and it got to a point where I doubted my ability to even have a decent lesson there .

Luckily for me , people saw what was going on and tried their best to support me . I was offered another go at lesson obs and would always come out satisfactory  on a second try. I didn’t feel like my lessons were terrible , because my children had work in their books and seemed to be learning and enjoying what they were doing.

I was given some amazing support by one particular  person who turned my vision of maths teaching on its head . It was like a light went on . A light that was there anyway , but this person helped me to believe in myself and to find my own voice where it had been so often shouted down.

It was too late for the class that I had ( only in terms of numbers )- Sats came and went and the  results were unfortunately terrible ( some children were so close ),

but remember those children had  a previously not had a teacher for the whole year . 


 I looked at the data  and yes they had made progress – despite everything .( some of them amazing progress- I never once gave up on them ). Once I realised this I could begin to rebuild myself as a teacher.


So here I am ready to take on the challenge of a new year group and a new way of teaching.


I have spent the summer resting , but also learning .


I took an online course in maths teaching on the NCETM site, I have read a range of books about teaching practice and twitter has been an amazing source of support and inspiration. I am no quitter – when I fail I want to prove everyone wrong – so now I will work on teaching the way I probably always knew I should . I have been fed so many initiatives and ways of doing things I have just lost sight of what it means to teach and what it is to learn.I hope I have now redressed that balance.

I am excited about the year ahead although I know that almost immediately I am going to face challenges and battles.That is why I have spent most of the summer  doing nothing .

I am fully recharged and ready to go ….

This blog will act as a reflective journal ( with some  other stuff added in )……







2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Vicki
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 22:29:07

    What a frank and brave post – really proud of you 🙂

  2. ebd35
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 19:46:59

    Hope this year starts off better for you! and glad you’ve had a restful summer.

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