100 book you must read, otherwise you’re just a bit dumb

selective focus photo of pile of assorted title books
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Read these books or else,

Visit these museums or life

Has been wasted, just squandered

And don’t forget musical theatre,

The ballets and classical music,

See it and hear it before you die

Or suffer the wrath of the masses

And know you’ll be seen after your death

As one of the plebs, the meaningless scum.

I often see those lists of 100 books you must read before you die and I start to panic that I have only read maybe 30 of them. I completely disregard the fact that I normally read about sixty books a year, and just focus on the fact that I’m obviously not reading ‘quality’ literature.

But really, who cares? I want my students to love reading and I think that putting pressure on people to read a set list of books that has probably been compiled by a Cambridge educated man, is wrong.

Books open the doors to new worlds and it doesn’t matter if you are reading War and Peace or one of the Shopaholic series; you are still entering somenody else’s life and learning from that experience. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read something that is considered to be chick-lit, and ended up educating myself.

And there are lists for all sorts of things that I think should be absolutely ignored. Most people don’t have the money to go to London and see 100 West End shows, so are these people less valuable to society than those who have been lucky enough to have access to these experiences?

Life is beautiful because it is so varied, and I really wish that people would be encouraged to appreciate their journeys. Make sure you do educate yourself, but don’t worry if you’d rather not read 1000 pages written by a long dead Russian guy.

Much Love

Rachel xx

avoiding the dangers of a wiki hole

stylish man playing cello on street
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The swirling vortex always lures me in,

Enticing me with facts I need not know;

Upsetting when I wished to learn crochet

And ended up with Grade Eight cello.

I am back into planning lessons again, and as much as I love it, I have a real problem with slipping into Wiki holes. They are scary because they rob you of hours and I am powerless over them.

Today I needed to find out a little bit about Jekyll and Hyde and lift a little quote from the internet so that the students could analyse it. Three hours later, I knew the story inside out and the advances in medicine at that time and every fact about the emergence of Gothic literature.

I’m sure I can’t be the only person who has this addiction? I struggle with TedEx talks too. I watch one talk on running and then I end up learning about string theory. It’s great to have all this information at our fingertips, but sometimes it’s overwhelming.

I sometimes watch Dawson’s Creek just so that I can remember that time just before the internet really blew up. They don’t carry mobile phones and they don’t take selfies and pictures of their food to put on Instagram. I find that comforting, like a warm hug from an old friend.

I’m hoping to get to bed before midnight, but not before I learn how to play the cello.

Much Love

Rachel xx

they’re a group of little world changers

woman in black long sleeve dress standing on brown concrete pathway
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So small in stature, staring up at me,

Hands raised high with raw enthusiastic joy.

I’ll never know where life will take their little souls

But still they’re full of such potential,

And me, I have the chance to shape that road

And help them change the world.

I am watching a lot of TeacherTube videos on YouTube at the moment. It’s amazing how engrossed you can become in a subject when you begin to study it. I am practically living and breathing education and it doesn’t bother me one bit.

However, the reason that I wanted to write this little post is because I was watching one of these videos made by a really amazing primary school teacher in the north of England. She was talking about her class and she described them as her ‘class of thirty little world changers’.

The phrase just jumped out at me because it summed up exactly why I wanted to teach in just a few words.

In theory, every child is born with that inbuilt ability to do something great. The things that they go through after that moment will then shape them and set in motion what they will achieve in life.

As a teacher, I am sure that it must feel like such a privilege to play such a huge part in that shaping. And I love that the teacher I was watching sees all of her students in that way. Every child can be saved, or turn a corner or be pushed on just that little bit further.

And wouldn’t it be amazing if a student you teach does go on to write the next Harry Potter series. Wouldn’t it be great if just one great lesson that I deliver is the thing that sticks in their mind and spurs them on to greatness.

I know that it’s not about us bathing in the glory of students’ achievements, but it’s pretty amazing to think that we have the power to shape the future.

Much Love

Rachel xx