Updated: Jul 19, 2020
It seems quite fitting to reflect on my career and home life, especially after a busy term of remotely teaching in these crazy times, in addition to doing shifts at work to care for key worker children.
I've been fairly quiet on the blog for this reason, although now we're moving into a week for half term I am going to try to get a few more posts out before it gets busy again, especially as it seems life is going to be changing for teachers in the UK again...
347 Buy my first home.
I'm pleased to say we've been in our first home since October 2014 and it was nearly 6 years ago we put the offer on it. We went to see the house which had only just come on the market straight after work, coincidently the same night of the year 11 prom that year. It was there Ben and I talked things over, told colleagues we'd seen a house and generally came to the conclusion that we loved it and didn't want to lose it (another couple was due to see it the next day). As soon as we got home we rang and left a message to put the offer in, getting a phone call the following morning to tell us it had been accepted - it was so exciting! While we have our moments with it - what property is perfect? We've had nearly 6 amazingly happy years there, we have a lovely garden which our cats love exploring and a space for our hobbies and friends to stay. It's a home I'm very fond of, my first with Ben.
348. Own a house (no mortgage) and make it exactly what I want it to be.
349. Plant a tree in my back garden and watch it grow with me
It was one of the very first things I did moving into our home. When I knew we were going to be moving in, I bought a young ornamental cherry tree as I absolutely love pink blossom. At the time I didn't realise we actually had a fruit bearing cherry tree and a fruit bearing apple tree out the back which also produce beautiful blossom. From left to right, me putting in our tree, 1 year growth and year 5 in our home (April 2020).
350. Rent or own a holiday home or caravan.
351. Own a tent and go camping in it.
I bought a tent during lockdown so we simply haven't had the opportunity to go camping yet, although we are going to give it a whirl in the garden over half term as long as the weather allows.
352. Have a £50 note
353. Buy a brand new car.
354. Have 3 months of bills in savings.
355. Clear my debts.
356. Have my name on a park bench or tree
357. Work in the service industry for a short while (waitressing/retail assistant).
This is a very happy me after my last shift at the pub. Honestly, while I was working in the service industry I didn't mind. My first job was as a sales assistant for Fine Fragrances for a department store, it was slow work as I did a Sunday shift but gave me my first taste of customer service and how mental the public can actually be. I experienced our security guards catching a shoplifter and helped them with that, I worked with snooty customers who looked down at me, I worked with a man who came in and used the same crappy joke every week without fail. There were also a whole bunch of idiotic moments and lovely moments, I cried, I laughed and I learnt a lot, including what it's like to work a Boxing Day sale (busy and not as horrible as I pictured).
Once I went to university I left my sales job and instead did Seasonal work for a local pub as a Kitchen Porter initially (washing up and cleaning the kitchen). After I graduated the pub gave me more hours, I worked front of house as a waitress, KPing when I was needed and housekeeping at the weekend, cleaning the accommodation. Again, I realised I love working with people, I am a social and naturally polite person so generally I got on well with waitressing although I simply didn't challenge me and the hours just weren't regular enough - I was still needing to rely on benefits the weeks they didn't give me enough hours.
358. Work in an office.
This was my least favourite role. The days dragged and while I'm tech savvy, I simply didn't enjoy the mundanity of being sat at the same desk staring at a screen. I particularly didn't enjoy people interrupting me while I was trying to focus. I'm quite pleased this was only a month's works experience although I was paid well for it and I learnt that it certainly wasn't the career path for me.
359. Have a job I like going to and I’m proud of.
I am now Miss Garrard, the Science teacher and I simply couldn't be prouder. Teachers sometimes get a severe lack of respect, which is frustrating but honestly, all that thanklessness goes away when I am stood in front of a group of learners. I love both of the two rooms I've called home, AR03 in my first school and lovely S5 where I am currently.
What I've also found is that while parents and experts sometimes think we're lazy and undeserving of any respect the children we teach always manage to say thank you. I love being a secondary teacher who sees them grow literally from child to young adult, helps them through those crummy teenage years, jokes around, is sometimes the biggest idiot in the room (I've fallen off my chair more than once in front of a group) and simply loves Science - even if I am still secretly a bit scared of Bunsen Burners.
Teaching challenges me mentally, emotionally and physically. I love planning, I love being creative and I simply love talking my head off. I don't enjoy telling students off but I'm getting better at guiding them to make the right choice and having high expectations for learning. I look forward to most days (after the horrible getting out of bed part) and I love my team.
360. Mentor a trainee teacher at work.
361. Get a TLR teaching and learning responsibility at work.
362. Earn a more senior teaching position (middle leader/second in department/head of house etc.)
363. Enjoy my retirement in comfort and happiness.