A Summer Off Work?

Summer holidays for teachers are of course nothing new and are often desperately needed. With something like 40% of our profession leaving within 5 years, it’s become a bit of a sacred battery charger before launching into the new term in September. With the new curriculum and grading system, this is perhaps more important than ever. 

My summer is going to be pretty busy this year! I’ve set myself some pretty high targets and goals as well as trying to relax. 

I’ve got two Larp events, a holiday to France, various upcycling projects, tarot reading, car boot sales, driving lessons…all sorts. 

I’ve also got planning to do at work and after the teach meet and various things I’ve been reading up on, some things I want to do to the classroom. 

My main aim is the savings. I want to make £1k by September, £2k by Christmas. Having seen houses for sale that I would love to live in and all the plans I have for all the projects running through my head. 

So less a summer off work, more a summer of working harder to achieve my personal goals rather than the kids’ goals. 

Teach Meets (Or How I Learned It’s Worth Giving Up My Saturdays) 

My first ‘teach meet’ was last Saturday at Appleton Academy. It was focused on writing and more importantly improving children’s writing. It was chaired by a massively impressive English department and spoken at by two American professors as well as various English teachers. 

I at first felt way out of my depth. I’ve not previously been an active tweeter or blogger on education and to be honest had gotten beyond stale in the classroom, despite my love of the subject. Then twitter started going mad with pictures and quotes from the various inspirational speakers and the yummy grub we were served and I was hooked. 

It turns out the education profession is filled with geeks like me and there was an air of acceptance I’ve never really experienced before. 

The ideas were great, the resources plentiful – I felt like I wanted to jump up and start sharing too. That’s when the ‘out of my depth’ feeling turned into the uncomfortable realisation that I couldn’t contribute anything from my 8 years of teaching that would match up or better what was put in front of me. 

So I left resolved to ensure that I will be talking and presenting at the next one. God knows what I will present, but I have time to experiment and come up with something that works. 

So that’s what I learned from my first teach meet – experimentation. At a time of massively prescriptive curricula and a real tangible fear of not meeting targets, I hope that this experimentation can be the freeing experience that it should be. 

It’s a weird feeling to have after so long of the tick box Ofsted lesson and the all that jazz…

Conservatives shonsmervatives…

I’ve waited for the anger and the bitterness on my newsfeed to die down somewhat before committing this into a readable form. The way I’ve watched friends turn on each other has left me feeling rather hollow at times, but I have always trusted that people are more than an X on paper and that they will remember why they loved each other in the first place and return to being the friends they once were. 

It’s true that the saying goes you should avoid the discussion of religion and politics but that awfully PC attitude is surely outdated enough that we can ignore that now. 

Truth is, it doesn’t matter who sits in the chairs in a hall in London. We need to stop putting such emphasis on some guy in a suit and his cronies and start thinking about how we forge our own future in this land of ours. 

We can scream ourselves silly about education and immigration, we can huff and puff about health and road tax, we can brick ourselves up mentally from the housing issues and limp on forever about disability. Of course we can. 

Thing is, that’s what serves those who proclaim to serve us. The officials and the middle class media love it when we piss and moan without ever doing anything. It provides them with endless columns of fluff and ensures that no action can ever be quoted by the oppositional parties. 

What if we stopped, just for a second. What if we planned an actionable, mutually beneficial ‘to do list’ of the things that would allow us to take back our society from the people that claim to know what is best for us and decided this for ourselves? 

It wouldn’t really require anything more of us than to stop believing everything we hear and to start doing something for ourselves. 

What follows is a list of things that is by no means exhaustive and is stuff that most of us will do at least some of every day. 

  1. Walk more. 
  2. Buy from farm shops. 
  3. Share costs and buy in bulk. 
  4. Share and exchange skills. 
  5. Get to know your neighbours. 
  6. Educate your children. 
  7. Educate yourselves. 
  8. Donate and recycle. 
  9. Cheap is good, free is better. 
  10. Save water. 
  11. Save money. 
  12. Learn self defence. 
  13. Appreciate more – own less. 
  14. Cook and bake more. 
  15. Be creative somehow. 
  16. Grow plants and flowers. 
  17. Feed the birds and save the bees.
  18. Know your rights. 
  19. Know your responsibilities. 
  20. Look for the positive. 
  21. Protest. 
  22. Ask for help. 
  23. Petition. 
  24. Write letters. 
  25. Make up your own mind. 
  26. Love people and animals. 
  27. Be clear. 
  28. Be calm. 
  29. Avoid stereotypes.
  30. Respect stuff. 

By doing these things, we create a society that doesn’t rely on its government but instead has a government that relies on them. We voted them in. They are ours to direct. It is not and should never be the other way round. 

They cannot make policies that will damage the people. They should not discount groups within society. We are the difference.

Stop moaning. Stop venting anger at the people you love. Start writing letters, start emailing, start organising, start protesting and petitioning. Start forming the society they could only ever dream of. Start calling the shots. 

Rise up. Together. 

Who I am.

My first blog post and I thought I should explain who I am and why I’m worth reading. I also thought it might be good to explain what I will be writing about.

So here goes.

I’m Lilly. I’m 31, almost 32. I’m a geek, gamer, avid reader, movie buff, larper and crafter. I read tarot, listen to all kinds of music, fight monsters with foam weapons and make a mean spaghetti bolognese. I’m a whole lotta lilly at size 18.

I’m a teacher, tutor and education authority malcontent. I’m a maverick grammarian. I write a lot. All the time in fact, from lesson plans to poetry. Though I’m generally writing too much and too fast to be overly bothered with punctuation in the first instance.

I am an unconventional yet strident feminist.

I live with Ross, a 28 year old writer whom I love very much. Our demons play nicely together and we are connected in the most unusually close of ways.

I’m obsessed with the 1950s, Pinterest and upcycling clothes and furniture. I run stuff swaps, mainly only buy from charity shops and support my friends’ businesses as much as possible.

I have a bucket list. It’s a very long one. I’m tight fisted with my money a lot of the time, usually until I find a new obsession.

The main two at the moment are to learn to drive and buy a house, so expect a lot about those over the coming months.

What will I write about?

Simple.

Everything.

From money to dreams via crafting and pictures of cats, I want to be bold/arrogant enough to share my thoughts with the world. Maybe I can help someone, who knows.

This is your reset for the emo timer. I’m severely depressed and currently undergoing various tests to diagnose health problems. So some days this blog will be my tear stained ‘dear diary’ outlet. My apologies in advance.

Well that was easy…good.

Until next time.

LillyBee

IMG_3277