It’s been hard to look back over the whole of 2013 because the last quarter was dominated by two life-changing events: my mom died, and my husband was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. It hasn’t been easy to remember as far back as last January, when everything was ‘normal’, so I’ve given up on the idea of 13 things, and just decided to pick out the things that stand out in my mind.
This time last year I was looking forward to an exciting new experience – spending a week observing/volunteering in a school for deaf children. That week quickly turned into paid work as they were delighted to find a supply teacher who could sign, and I had fallen in love with the school – staff and pupils alike.
During the year I also had opportunities to do more of the work I love. I have been working 1:1 on maths and English skills with pupils who find learning difficult and I have really enjoyed seeing them blossom into confident, motivated individuals. I was also lucky enough to be invited for the 2nd year running to teach French at a local university. The chance to teach ‘my’ subject to a group of adults who really want to learn and who are prepared to put the effort in to practise in between lessons has been fantastic.
In 2013 I learnt the following:
- As a teacher I talk too much. This became apparent for obvious reasons at the school for deaf children. I have learnt to talk less and to let the children do more.
- I have some really supportive friends and they weren’t always the ones I expected them to be. I couldn’t have made it through the last few months without them.
- I had some really selfish friends who were happy with a friendship as long as it was me supporting them, but who were nowhere to be found when I needed help myself.
- I am more resilient than I thought. Even though the last few months have been tough, I haven’t fallen apart. I’ve managed to keep working and to support people around me who have needed help to survive their own tragedies.
My proudest achievement from 2013 has been helping a disaffected child discover such a passion for English that he now reads for pleasure and no longer disrupts his English lessons leading to zero detentions for a whole term and a happier school experience.
My biggest wishes for 2014 are to find some inner peace after losing my mom and to find a way for my husband and I to cope with his Aspergers. I’m still finding it difficult to look too far into the future, so my only plan for 2014 so far is to buy a hat. If you’ve read Ros Wilson’s article in Teach Primary you will understand why….if you haven’t I’ll explain in a blog post some time in the future when I have had chance to try it out.
I wish everyone the very best for 2014 and hope that it is your best year ever, both professionally and personally.