I am all better- physically and mentally!

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Honey and Lemon. That is the answer for everything. I have been drinking fresh lemon and good quality honey every hour for the past few days and it has worked- I am better! And not only am I better physically, I am also better mentally. I love my job again. 

As soon as i got better, it was just so much easier to do my job. Teaching is definitely not the job where you can be ill and still function slightly. When you aren’t a 100% you take it out on the children. You have less patience, you have a short temper and the sound of children’s voices grate on you. But From Wednesday, I actually enjoyed myself and was back thinking how great my job is and how lucky I am to have found it. So here are a few tips to avoid the NQT/ PGCE/ Autumn term 1 disease:

1. Hand gel: Have hand gel every where and use it constantly. I know it’s not as effectvive as washing throughly with soap and water, but there is literally no time to go to sinks to wash your hands and the kids touch you constantly with their snot/ dirt/ muddy covered hands and next minute you put your hands to your mouth or rub your nose and….

2. Sleep: Easier said than done, but I honestly think sleep is better than any amount of paracetamol, it can literally repair and rebuild your body. It is hard to fit in sleep as a trainee/ NQT but if you can aim to get at least 7hrs most nights and try and have at least one 8hr sleep a week you will give your body time to build up it’s immune system.

3. Honey and Lemon: Literally the best cure ever. Honey is great for the throat and the lemon gives you the vitamin C boost. And it’s cheap. A jar of honey for £1 and lemons for 50p, will last you all week. I put a table spoon on honey and half a squeezed lemon into my flask every morning and drink it first thing when I get into work.

4. Berrocca: Great little fizzy tablets that give you energy and a humongous dose of vitamin C, again great to have at break or a glass at lunch time. Even if you don’t feel ill, it’s best to start with them straight away- prevention, better than cure, and all that.

5. Healthy meals: You will find that you crave pizzas, chocolate and junk food in the first term, but this does nothing for your health and building up your immune system. Soups are good for lunch times. My favourite is tomato and basil, cheap, healthy and quick to heat up in the staff room.

6. Relax!: I know it’s a case of ‘but how?!’ but i really think stress is a big part in falling ill and if you can try and eliminate a tiny bit of it, it will help with your general well being. Have 30minutes me time a night, wheter that is watching the soaps, have a bath, doing a yoga class or reading your Kindle before bed- everyone should have that little bit of time where you just switch off. No phone, no internet, no iPad. Just total you time.

I hope everyone is settling in nicely into their first few weeks. For those on the PGCE, enjoy this time- this is actually the fun/ stress free bit.

And remember, only 4 weeks until half term! xxx

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Well, the honeymoon period didn’t last long….

So, it’s the start of my second full week, and the honeymoon period is certainly over. The biggest reason? I have caught the NQT disease. I am sick. My throat is red raw, so hoarse, it’s almost impossible to be heard over 30 screaming voices. I am coughing up a lung every 20minutes and my tissue collection is just gross.

I’m actually annoyed with myself. I thought I would have least lasted a term before I got ill, but no, it started after 4 days in the first week. And it’s awful. It means I just haven’t been able to enjoy myself, do as much as I want to and generally just feel like myself. i am stood at the front of the classroom croaking away, wanting to be anywhere, but in front of my class- which is a shame. 

The thing is you are SO stressed and under SO much pressure in the first few week’s as an NQT that your body literally has zero immune system. Even if, like me, you don’t feel stressed or that you’re under pressure, subconsciously, your body knows that you are feeling the pressure and let’s you know. I think it’s also the fact that you get so little sleep. I am up around 6ish every day, which is NOT natural for me, then even if I do get an early night I am tossing and turning thinking about all the little (and big) things that I haven’t done.

Today driving home, I even thought ‘what have I done?!’ I started to think that I can’t do this, this ‘isn’t me’, I’m not enjoying it and how can I continue with this when I’m feeling so utter crap after 9 days?! 

I am holding on to the fact that it does get easier. I am an NQT, I am new to this school and there are so many policies to grasp (and it so helps having another NQT there too). I know I cannot really judge my emotions sat in a onesie, sipping honey and lemon, while sneezing and coughing simultaneously and worrying about all the planning, IEPs, resources, marking that I haven’t done.

So for now, I’m going to concentrate on getting better, think of how much I love my school, how I felt during the first week and how great it actually is to be an actual grown up, with a job, a career and a wage. 

Silver lining, and all that jazz…

A typical day in the life of an NQT.

6.05am: Alarm goes off- snooze until 6.20am.

7.00am: Showered, back packed and set off for work, promising myself that i will go to bed earlier tonight.

7.20am: Arrive in work. Only me and the care taker in. Cup of tea. Computer on. Resources making begins.

8.00am: TA arrives. Bit of a chat about the day’s plans and mention what needs doing. (Really want to leave a ‘to do list’ but feel bad as TA has been there for 10yrs and is 20yrs old than myself). Move onto marking books.

8.50am: Go for a quick wee. Last opportunity until lunch at midday.

9.00am: Bell goes, children arrive. Always one that is still crying and doesn’t want mum to leave. Children still can’t find coat hanger. Children still can’t remember their carpet places.

9.15am: Numeracy lesson starts. 10mins over schedule. Believe me, this matters.

10:15am: Assembly. No, not a rest for teachers. Reading time. Listen to readers 1:1.

10.40am: Fruit and milk time. Constant reminder for children to say ‘yes please’ and ‘thank you.’

11.00am: Literacy. You discover that once again, the lesson can not go as planned because only three children can write on the line. Or use a pencil. 

12.00pm: Dinner time. Phew! Time to sort out the afternoon lessons.

12.40pm: Rush to the staff room- but constantly thinking of what needs to be done this afternoon. Gulp food down, not really tasting it. Go for a wee.

1:00pm: Afternoon registration. Most children have a ‘story’ about how ‘she said, I said, He said….’ 5 min registration takes 15mins. Children forget their carpet places.

1.15pm: Art. Children paint a landscape of the park. The grass is red and the sky is brown. They ask for a ‘paint stick’. Try to stay away from children as realise you have put on your £50 Topshop fashion trousers. 

2.00pm: Afternoon break. All children want to wash hands/ go to the toilet. No chance of a cuppa because break is over by the time you have supervised groups of children washing hands. Topshop trousers have now been customised with neon orange paint.

2.15pm: Children back in. History time. Children forget carpet places. 10 mins to get them all in their correct places again.

3.00pm: Stop lesson. Coats and bags are collected. A jumper, two cardigans and a lunch bag have been lost. 

3.10pm: 5 quick minutes of story time. 

3.15pm: Bell goes, children are sent home. A burden is lifted off shoulders. I can do my job now. Planning!

3.15pm: Computer set up to do all planning. Another teacher comes in. Talk, talk, gossip time.

4.00pm: No work done, but think an hour will do it. Set to work planning.

4.15pm: Cleaner comes in. Talk, talk, gossip time.

4.25pm: Give up planning. Will do at home. Again. Resource making.

5.00pm: No where near finished what needed to be done, but promised myself I would leave by 5pm.

5.30pm: Turn off computer and begin to pack up. Set off for home.

6.00pm: Arrive home shattered. Cook a quick meal.

6.45pm: Dinner eaten. Quick chat to partner, but not really a conversation as now slightly comatose. Planning starts.

7.30pm: Put Corrie on in the back ground. Still doing planning. 

8.45pm: Decide that not actually getting thing done that’s productive as eyes are closing.

9.10pm: Shut off laptop, put planning away. Watch the most dumbing programme on the telly, just to ‘switch off’ from work.

9.50pm: Have a cuppa with other half and a quick 10min chat.

10.00pm: Set alarm clock for 6.05am. Get into bed. Think about all the stuff that still needs to be done.

10.30pm: Finally fall asleep.

 

The children arrived today….

So today was the children’s first day back. Two were crying hysterically and I had to struggle with the electronic register in front of two parents, hysterical crying and 28 eager faces looking up at me.

Despite the rough start- I actually enjoyed my first day. I am being a bit harsh on myself as I don’t think it went as well as I hoped it would. All the activities I had planned were too long for the children. The ‘making your own tray label’ was scheduled for 30mins, when most of the children had completed them after 5. One child even uttered the word this is boring’ and I was mortified. I suppose it’s good because it shows that I really, really do care about the children’s learning. I’m even going to send homework this Friday, just because I want my children to achieve, and if I’m really honest, I want the parents to think I am a good teacher.

But overall today wasn’t that bad. Yes, I was in school for 7.20am (I know) and I left at 5.10 (again. I know), but the thing is, time just disappears. Literally. I didn’t get anything done after school, as I was going through medium term planning ideas- and although there is lots of paper work to go through for the planning, I realised before that after it has all been handed in, there isn’t really any major daily paper work.

So yes, to sum it up- the meeting of the children was fine, almost an anti climax as you’ve built yourself up since getting the job, dreading the first day- and now it’s done. I already have my favourites, I already know who are going to be a problem and who are really below average. Most children had forgotten how to speak over the summer holidays.

And my favourite quote for today was from a little girl at 11am. ‘I like you Miss, but I’m ready to go home now.’

So am I love, so am I.

First day as an NQT…. I’m drowning!

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So today was my second INSET day and I am drowning already! OMG. There is just SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

much to do. So much. The children are in tomorrow and it’s 9pm at night and displays still haven’t been backed, my planning for tomorrow hasn’t been done and I don’t even know how to pronounce my children’s names! 

Luckily, I’m not stressed. I don’t know how that works- drowning, but not stressed?! The thing is, it’s not down to lack of organisation, it’s just lack of time, I have been going into school at 7.30am, then next minute, it’s 5.15pm and I have a to do list, longer than I came in with. I’ve come to the conclusion that my to do list will never be completed and that’s ok, because I realise this. However, it doesn’t stop me feeling as though my head is about to explode.

You spend so long perfecting Medium term plans for numeracy, only to realise that you have to do the same thing for Literacy, music, pe, history, geography etc! Aw, when will it end?!

I also did THE most stupidest thing ever this evening. Tired, hungry and exhausted at 5.15pm, I decided to go home, have dinner then continue with work at home- only to realise I’ve LEFT MY USB IN SCHOOL!!! Actually want to hit myself! So alarm has been set for 5.45am tomorrow morning and I’ll be getting into school for 7am tomorrow. I can tell just by my ramblings on this post that I am severely sleep deprived! I don’t think i signed up for this, but not that i’m complaining. I would take a job that eats minutes and hours over any 9-5 where the clock ticks in slow motion.

Now, how many days until half term, again?