Saturday, 31 January 2015


I'm a newbie to blogging. I decided to start because this year, for me, is the year to try new things and writing is something I've thought I might like to do. I also like to feel like I'm a part of something bigger than me so I'm excited that there's a bunch of us joined up to #28daysofwriting. I created my first blog ultimately to keep my friends, family and colleagues in the loop as I spend the year travelling, teaching in different settings and catching up with a precious daughter who now lives on the other side of the world. I also found that when I committed to the blog what I would write was in my thoughts for days prior. I mulled over it, I refined it in my mind and I had it written before I committed to paper. It's a process that left disturbed my sleep but I liked it. I'm a reflective person, I like to work out why stuff happens and blogging seems to fit that mould.

This week I started at a new school. I've moved from a high tech, open spaced specialist maths/science school for senior students to a country 7-12 secondary school. I've moved from Leading Teacher (Head of Maths & Staff Professional Learning) to classroom teacher and member of the maths team. I've done this by choice and the differences in each environment are as I expected. However some things remain the same. The passion of teachers and school leaders to provide the best learning environment they can for their students is the same, the kindness and goodness of a school community to welcome a new teacher is the same. It's a fortunate thing to be a teacher.

Tomorrow I teach a 'bottom' group of year 9's for a 94 minute period and another group for 47 minute. When I finish this post I'll be planning those lesson. I've already had them once and this is the first year that they are streamed. The first thing they said to me as they walked in the door was "are we in the dumb group?". I was not ready for their bluntness because it's been five years since I taught year 9's and a long while since I've taught the bottom group of a streamed cohort. But the lessons I've learned over my time tell me I need to find out where they are at. I feel confused that I don't know this yet but understand that it'll take time to gather the data and talk to the right people. I feel a little anxious that I'll let them down, that in the process of sorting out what they need I'll lose some of them because they aren't getting what they need. But I also know that I can play some maths games, take some time out to chat to them and find out about them and generally keep mixing things up so I keep them guessing about what comes next. With a bit of luck they will come on the ride with me.