Journal

Goodbye Worth, Hello ..?

As I write this, I am feeling a strange kind of gratitude to my word of 2019. Worth is a weighty word. One that scared me a little when I chose it because unlike my word of 2018, I knew it was the right one straight away. I did not journal or scrapbook this year or complete any of the monthly prompts from the course but despite this, I actually feel like this word has served me more than any I have chosen before; I have had this word at the forefront of my mind at different key moments throughout the year, helping me with significant decisions. Contemplating one’s worth is a vulnerable act so it is not something I have really talked about or written about. But it’s been on my mind a lot.

Continue reading “Goodbye Worth, Hello ..?”

Journal, Mama

Mama vs Teacher

mama.jpg

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.

However.

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.