Less Grumbling, more making it work.


Tomorrow is February.  Tomorrow I get to start again.  I've decided this.

January was a complete mess.  The Boy was ill, the Man was ill, I was ill (although not as badly as them) and nothing got done properly except moaning and whining and feeling alternately angry and miserable.  I rocked at that.

One of my few highlights was #bett2017‍ and even that was weird this year. (I must finish that post.  See.  Not finished something.  That's January all over.)

I started #writing365 and didn't do anything much after the first two weeks.  So, do I write off the rest of the year or do I say "Hey, I'm going to run my year February to February"?  From the title of this post, I think you can see which I'm going to choose.

This is a somewhat dodgy metaphor for where I am in teaching at the moment.  There's a lot going on I don't agree with, but a lot that I do.  However, I've had an important realisation.  I've been teaching 18 years, and I've survived a lot of initiatives.  I've even seen off the Literacy Hour so I'll outlive the bits I don't like now as well, and in between time I will just have to make it work.

If I don't, I run the risk of being "That Teacher."  The one who is older than the others, always has *that* cup or *that* chair, disagrees with everything because that's not how it was done in her day, or when Mr So-and-so was head, or whatever.  I am not that person.  I am, admittedly, not the young, freshfaced NQT who thought whole class painting was a good idea, but am I ready to be the grumbling old cynic?  I say no, and I say this is an active choice that I actively have to make and I actively have to act on. 

Cousin Helen (the amazingly saccharine sweet invalid aunt of Katy in "What Katy Did") said "Everything in the world has two handles. Didn't you know that? One is a smooth handle. If you take hold of it, the thing comes up lightly and easily, but if you seize the rough handle, it hurts your hand and the thing is hard to lift. Some people always manage to get hold of the wrong handle."

I have to actively look for the smooth handle.  I also have to do it in a way that doesn't seem like I am being sarcastic or taking the proverbial, as I was accused of this week when I overtly agreed with SLT something because I have to make this work (and yes, a little part of my teacher soul withered and died at my selling out, but I told it to wait, for "this too shall pass")

So.  February.  28 days of smiles.  28 days of writing.  28 days of looking for smooth handles and actively making the right choice.  

Yeah.  I've got this. Tomorrow.... (One more day to be a grump!)

Author Profile

Sarah Cook

Sarah Cook

I'm a y2 teacher, Computing coordinator and I've been teaching for 16yrs!

75 stories


Sarah  Bell Sarah Bell @slbell 9 months ago
I'm with you on this Feb-Feb year of being positive. I too signed my #teacherpledges in the New Year, then a member of my already depleted department was off sick the first two days of term and two days this week. I wrote a staffrm post about recognising the good when you have it as it's a b*gger when you lose it.
On the plus side, I have gone back to yoga, I have made more of an attempt to go out (great films and a couple of gigs), but I haven't stopped the late-night working (hard not to with staff off and during prelim time) and I haven't learned to cook the two new dishes I'd pledged (I do already cook a lot).
Colleagues have been soooo supportive but can't change the situation. I'm very aware that I have a black cloud above me because I'm being worn ragged.
February focus is getting my mojo back! Good luck fellow-Sarah!
Sarah Cook Sarah Cook @madyline 9 months ago
We shall mojo-search together! My *one* be-nice-to-me thing today is finish the next part of my knitting. As my day is starting with an 8am meeting in the Heads Office, I shall focus on the simplicity that makes knotting string (as my other half refers to it!) so useful, comfortable and relaxing!
{{ modalTitle }} {{{ modalData }}} {{ modalTitle }} {{{ modalData }}} Join the conversation
Sign in or sign up to post comments, follow colleagues, recommend stories and build your own professional profile.
Staffrm is the professional network for educators passionate about their work.
Please Sign In {{ modalData }} Sign In