Who I am and why I’m here: Redefining my blog

A recent conversation with my husband about finding enjoyment whilst getting through my NQT year left me with a question: what is it that I miss most from my pre-teaching life? The answer: writing. The solution? Get on with my blog this year. So, I have joined Blogging 101 on here, to encourage me throughout the year, whilst providing a variety of writing assignments that will, hopefully, make me a better writer at the same time. My first assignment: to write and publish a ‘who I am and why I’m here’ post.

It is 2015. I am a newly qualified primary school teacher in a large school in the North West of England; I am a wife; I am a homeowner; I am a Christian. Life has its challenges, as it does for everyone, but it also has its blessings, which I am grateful for. Outside of writing, I enjoy cooking, reading and singing. I do not enjoy marking, or housework. I also dislike inequality and injustice. I am still interested in academics and research, but I’m also interested in the day-to-day intricacies of teaching in a modern British school. I’m becoming interested in how my dislike for inequality and injustice fit into those intricacies.

 

Originally, this was a blog set up as part of a module in my final year at university. It was a way of engaging with educational topics, whilst also allowing space to continue any internal dialogue or debate from lectures and tutorials. At the time, I was a final year trainee teacher with more of an interest in academics and research. Now is the time to reflect on what I’ve achieved so far, and where I’m going now. Since I started my blog, I have been genuinely surprised and encouraged each time someone has left me a comment, or even just visited my site. It is hard to choose a particular highlight, but finding that a very personal post about bullying has had 127 views is encouraging. What I would like to achieve this year, is more views from a wider audience. I would like to reach other professionals, student teachers, and academics. I would like to become part of an online community of educationalists; to learn more; to read more; to know more. I would like to encourage just one fellow NQT, or to spark an interest in one person somewhere in the world.

I am writing publicly for two reasons: I hope my ramblings will entertain, amuse or inform someone; and by writing publicly I am making myself accountable to others, to get better and to keep at it. If I do keep this up for the rest of this year, my hope is that I will have more friends with similar interests to mine; that I will have a better understanding of social justice and education; that I will be a better writer, and a better teacher.

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New Year’s Resolution

It is that time of year; that moment when people across the world resolve to do things differently in the new year. It got me thinking: does anyone actually hold to these resolutions? If not, why not? Are our aspirations for the year ahead just too hard to achieve in reality? Or do we just give up once we go back to work and things get us down? I’m not sure I believe in ‘Blue Monday’ (see previous link), and I have certainly never achieved a new year’s resolution. This year, though, I am determined. I am determined to intertwine my intricate life of faith and failure with my all-consuming life as a teacher; I am determined to be purposeful in my resolution, by making my resolution about who I am now… and who I want to be throughout 2015.

 

“Fear less, trust more; take less, give more; whine less, thank more; talk less, say more; hate less, love more.”

 

I purposefully resolve to do the above, to be the above, in 2015. I recognise now that there will be times when I fail. I am certain that I will whine at least once even within the first week back. But this is where I must remember that this year is the year I interlace my faith in God with my job: where my faith saves the day once more. Why? Because God is in the business of endless forgiveness and umpteen second chances; He works in me to make good changes, to make me more like Him; He gives to me, and loves me endlessly.

 

Of course, this might be a little controversial. I am a teacher in a state-funded primary school. I am also a Bible believing, Jesus loving Christian. But I am convinced that this can work – my all-consuming life as a teacher, and my all-consuming faith. And that is the first hurdle, to give God room to make my faith all-consuming.

 

This week, I will look at each part of my resolution, in an attempt to show how each makes me a better teacher, and a better me.