Jill and Nancy did it – that’s enough persuasion for me to chuck one out.
My Summer Holidays are truncated to five weeks, as often they are for me, because I teach in an area that celebrates many religious holidays. We have days off for Guru Nanak’s Birthday, Eid, Holi, Christmas and Easter, so we need to make up the time at the end of the year. Waaah.
As such, I have one less week to cram in my 10 things.
1) Turkey – I am going to Turkey for a fortnight with a good friend of mine, where I hope to lounge, tan, eat, drink and discuss the philosophy of education and teaching and childhood. She has her own house out in the mountains, with a pool, and I am hoping to be able to switch off my brain (a bit).
2) Jeremy Corbyn – I believe that Jeremy Corbyn will be and should be the next leader of the Labour Party and once he is elected, and has surrounded himself with a strong team, Labour can take the fight to the Tories to make it clear that we will not tolerate the harrowing inequalities that are becoming wider and deeper in our country. He speaks to my values and I think he is the leader we need. I am going to spend some time attending his rallies and supporting his campaign (with my friend Rubina, and her daughter – one of my former pupils – Sumayyah).
3) Life Organisation – I am quite slovenly and my room is a tip. I need to get out of the mindset of a slack sixth former and take a bit of pride in my environment. New wardrobe, get some of my clothes in bin bags and off to the charity shop, and then immediately replace them with new ones from Asos and UNIQLO.
4) Write reflectively – I know I ought to not write, as it will help me to switch off, but I am going to do loads. I have a few pieces to write for a couple of different publications, and I want to do a few more for this here Bloggington.
5) Think of a Thesis – When I get back to school in September, I shall be completing my Masters at the IoE. All I have left to do is write a 20,000 word thesis/research project. My Masters is in the Sociology of Education, and I have a wide range of possibilities. I have been fascinated by the contentious practice of teacher favouritism and it is under-researched but could be a bit risky as a classroom practitioner. I have so many options and I want to think through them carefully. I am fortunate to have met Eve Bearne recently, who has offered to meet with me to flesh out my ideas, which I am really looking forward to.
6) Louise’s Wedding – One of my teacher mates is having a big wedding when I get back from Turkey. It should be filled with merrymaking, and we are camping out in a field, which ought to be fabulously messy.
7) Children’s Fiction – I have a few different weird stories in the pipeline, and I have been spending a lot of time recently reading some great children’s books. This is helping me to understand what sort of books I want to write. In short, they are weird, stupid, filled with wordplay and have the underlying message that we shouldn’t sacrifice our uniqueness or dilute our identity for the benefit of others.
8) Jazz up the classroom with Lily – From next year, I am sharing a Year 4 class with a trainee teacher, Lily. I am really looking forward to it, and can’t wait to crack on with setting up a brilliant classroom culture. Eventually, this class will become Lily’s own class and I will move out of classroom teaching for the rest of the year. I am looking forward to some good collaborative work and to giving a new teacher a great start (except in making displays, I am really not so good at that).
9) New Projects for Next Year – I have a new role next year as the Assistant Director of the Teaching School. This is phenomenally exciting. I want to set up some new projects that focus on building up political understanding and oratorical skills for primary children in schools across Newham – i want the kids to be visiting parliament, dissecting speeches and writing their own. I want them meeting parliamentarians! Other projects relate to embedding research and I want to set up a Children’s Literature Reading Group for staff with my colleague Ellie. So much new stuff.
10) Eat more greens.