Journal, Mama

Mama vs Teacher


When I was preparing to leave to go on maternity leave just before Christmas, I had a lot of teaching colleagues make a lot of envious noises about how lucky I was to go for my ‘year off’. If I were doing any other job, I would have been incensed by the implication that having a baby – and maternity leave in general – is a doddle, a break, a holiday. ¬†However, as a teacher, I found it hard to get annoyed.

I am now 7 weeks into being a mum for the second time and even with the night feeds and the long cluster feeding evening sessions that seem to last forever, I can still say that I am less tired and more emotionally balanced than I was when I was teaching. Instead of being constantly aware of all the ways I am failing (as a teacher, this is something I was always feeling), I feel like a success. I have a thriving baby that is proof of my success – he is still alive! He is smiling! He is feeding! He is sleeping (sometimes)! I did that. And people are telling me all the time what a great job I’m doing, how well I am looking, how brilliant I am at being a mum. Compared to how I feel as a teacher, my confidence is through the roof. My oh my, the power of positive feedback! Fancy that!

It has left me to reflect on how I was feeling as I stepped out of the classroom: relieved for the ‘break’, disillusioned, lacking confidence in my ability to teach and unvalued. Despite having a fantastic team around me – my department are just superb – I constantly felt like I was falling short of expectations.


Now I am at home, spending large amounts of time sitting and thinking (breastfeeding is special but tedious too), I am feeling energised to get back into the classroom. I want to use the time I have to get on top of the new course content and exam specs. I want to take back some control by going back over the theories of teaching that were explored during my training (but then largely pushed out of mind in the whirr of the real-life teaching environment). I want to stop feeling like a failure and remember I have the ability to succeed.

I just have to get past Nicky Morgan’s speech which is still reverberating around my skull.


Back to School

Yesterday, I was back at school for teacher training and while this posts, I will be slap bang in the middle of a full day of teaching. As I went to bed last night, I was surprisingly calm (despite some last minute planning because it wouldn’t be me if I was *completely* prepared ahead of time) and was actually looking forward to seeing the kids again. I am sure by tonight this will have worn off. Tuesdays are my busiest day so I am quite glad to be getting it out of the way. It was a tough day of scary messages yesterday (Ofsted are looming and we HAVE to be ready!). I just want to get teaching now.


5 Reasons to be Happy

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  1. Today is my last day teaching for the summer.
  2. My Year 10 group wrote me some messages in their goodbye card and a couple of goodies.
  3. We are picking up our new car tonight. Beyond excited for this.
  4. Tomorrow, I will be seeing my lovely PGCE buddies who have played a major role in keeping me sane since September and I will be qualified as a teacher of English. No big deal.
  5. Saturday, we are going on holiday to Bognor Regis for the week so I will get to see my husband and daughter all the time for a whole week! Bliss!