a little bit of multitasking

I’m something of an octopus

With arms from left and right and front and back,

Stirring coffee, typing mail and reading books,

And then there’s washing, dishes, hoovering.

I somehow get it done, incredibly,

I wish they’d see me on

The other side of

The screen.

One thing that has happened while we have been in lockdown, is that I have become the queen of multitasking. I used to go to school and do my lessons and planning, I would drive home and then collapse on the sofa.

Now, I somehow manage to squeeze the vacuuming in between two lessons, I get a run done when I have a free period, I do the dishes at lunch and I’m even crocheting as I do my lessons!

I wonder if my students would be impressed with me if they saw everything that was going on on the other side of the screen. Probably not. But I’m pretty impressed with myself….

Much Love

Rachel xx

take hold of it and bank it

money pink coins pig
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There is an old account, a dusty vault

Where truths and lies all sit in wait

For us to push in plastic cards and hit

Buttons in the hope the something good

Will come of our request.

But good stuff must be banked if we

Are to see returns on our investments

Made at times when tides are running high,

Because the tides will certainly run low

And then we’ll need to cast our eyes

On the words that seemed so little at the time.

When I was having therapy, I realised that a lot of the time, I cling onto bad comments that are made about me, and completely disregard the good ones. I know I’m not the only one that does this, but I did it in a really big way.

There was one particular session where the therapist complimented me and then, just two minutes later, asked me what she had said about me. I literally had no idea and it really upset me because it showed me just how terrible I am to myself.

Since then, I have always said that if something nice is said about me, I will ‘bank it.’ I will put it into an account that can be drawn on at tough times. I will undoubtedly had deposited bad comments too, but I must remember to put the good ones in.

Today, I was stressing a bit about how badly I thought that I was doing with the online lessons. And then I was having a chat to one of the teachers and she said ‘I’ve just realised that you haven’t even met these students that you’re teaching at the moment. That’s incredible, what you’re doing.’

It was such an off the cuff comment and it would normally be lost on me. But these days, I’ll bank it. Somebody said I’m incredible and I’m allowed to keep hold of it.

I think that we’re all wobbling all over the place at the moment, so if you haven’t heard it recently…. you are pretty incredible too.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the great realisation….that there’s so much positivity in the world

I did my first tutor time session with my new Year 7 group today. For anyone not in the UK, tutor time is when students are registered and it gives them the opportunity to talk to a teacher about any problems and do an activity that normally has something to do with what is going on in the world. It only lasts about twenty minutes but it’s every day and it gives you a chance to build a solid relationship with that group of students.

Year 7 students are all eleven and twelve year olds and they are in their first year at secondary school, so they’re still pretty young. However, I think that with the internet and constant streaming of news and media, they are all clued up on a lot of the things that are going on in the world.

Today, I decided to play them this poem and then let them talk about themselves and it was so nice to enjoy a little slice of positivity in my morning. I began the session by playing the poem and then sharing that good things can come out of these awful situations. I told them that as a result of lockdown I’d decided to get a cat and it’s the most wonderful thing ever.

They shared back to me for almost quarter of an hour and I was blown away by how much good we can see in any situation if we put our minds to it. I heard about great staycations that they’d had; camping trips and canal boat holidays. I also heard about family time and new pets. Once I’d got them started it was almost impossible to stop them.

I just thought I’d share this because I know that I sometimes start to dwell on the bad, but those twenty minutes with the kids this morning, they buoyed me up for the rest of the day. If a bunch of pre-teens can do it then I’m sure us ‘groan ups’ can do it too.

Have a lovely Friday!

Rachel xx

who’s feeling the most lost today?

two person riding boat on body of water
Photo by Jayant Kulkarni on Pexels.com

I took a little track, between the trees,

Away from where the road was rolled

And soon it petered out to nothing more

Than some trampled bramble brush.

Exciting first and then it faded soon

And that was when the darkness fell

And ennui became a normal quicker than

I ever thought that it could be.

I’ll find a way back to that road

And then I’ll feel so light I’d fly

Forever and a day…

I’m quite surprised how suddenly I feel a bit lost as we go into another national lockdown. Back in March I was working in retail so the lockdown made no difference to my life, but this time I’m working from home.

It’s actually quite pleasant so I’m not complaining, but I feel like I’ve been knocked off course and it feels a little bit frightening. I was in my row boat, heading towards shore and now an obstacle that I didn’t see coming has knocked me in a different direction. I’m safe, but I’m not going the way that I should be going.

Does anyone else feel like this? It’s so strong I get a physical dizziness. My mind knows that I should be at school and after one day, I’m not. It just goes to show how much I need routine in my life.

I hope that this lockdown isn’t too terrible for anyone else. I think we just need to reach out to people so that we can find some stability while things are a bit shaky. What I have found is that these strange circumstances do bring out some of the nicest parts of human nature. And that has got to be something to rejoice.

Much Love

Rachel xx

and sometimes it’s nicest just to float

leaf floating on body of water
Photo by Cole Keister on Pexels.com

Floating on a gust of wind that came

From nowhere and from somewhere we expected too

As we held a finger up to trace the way it came.

I tried in vain, to predict that surly wind,

To know what would be coming on

The future weather fronts to change

The course of where we blow tonight.

But sometimes we will need to stop

And let it push and pull as we

Let our bodies sag and sigh;

It can be fun, to let it go,

Control we thought we had to have

All our waking days.

I went back into school today because we were told that the schools will be open this term. We are now waiting for Boris to come on the news and tell us that things might be different as of tomorrow.

We all feel like we have lost control as I couldn’t even tell you what my work will look like in the morning, never mind what it might look like in a week or a month.

But as I sat in my classroom, unsure what to do, I just took a deep breath and decided to just see where we all land. I’m a student and I’m not responsible for what happens so there is no point in worrying. I have no control, so why even worry about hanging on for dear life?

I can still put my all into the work that I’m given and all of the tasks that I am given. But the headteacher is the person who is paid to deal with the big decisions.

And you know what? I actually felt quite happy. All that stress suddenly got turned on its head and that fear about the unknown became excitement about the adventure. There is danger and we are all worried, but I can have some fun and enjoy the variation of teaching online and uploading work.

If I can get through this then my NQT year is going to be a breeze.

Much Love

Rachel xx

last chance saloon

old building facade with creative letters behind mount in mist
Photo by Julia Sakelli on Pexels.com

There’s nothing for another hundred miles or so

And we will cling to social life

With such ferocious hope and faith,

A wish that it will swing again

Into view, to fill our lives with Christmas joy,

But we cannot be sure of this,

We make the most of what we have

As doors will close one final time.

I went out to Nandos with Noah and my dad tonight, and unsurprisingly, there were lots of other people who had the same idea. Of course, we are going into lockdown tonight so this was the last chance for a lot of us to eat out for at least a month.

I just find it funny that humans can go for months without visiting a restaurant and then when we are told we can’t go out anymore we suddenly can’t imagine life without it.

I feel like we are the same with so many things. It’s probably why we all stocked up on enough toilet paper to last five years last time around. We have some sort of scarcity issue; a real fear that we will run out of everything, including fun and connection.

I think we are all a bit frightened that this might be the last time for a while that we get to share time with loved ones. It could be the last time before Christmas which is scary.

I hope that you are not panicking too much as we go into this new uncertain time. None of us know how this is going to pan out, but we will get our lives back. One day, this will all be over.

Much Love

Rachel xx

how are you coping…..really?

cute children cuddling in armchair at home
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

I felt those familiar pangs last night,

As the news filtered through

And the words rattled round

On a Twitter fed carousel

Built just to torture

The sensitive ones,

Like you and me.

I sat watching the TV last night and I felt that blind panic that I remember feeling at the end of March. There is something about an unscheduled press conference or announcement that makes me feel as though the end of the world is nigh.

I watch these things and I feel like I’m watching some weird apocalyptic movie, but it’s real ,and it’s terrifying. There was a time that I had no idea what that conference room inside No.10 looked like, and now I feel like I know it better than my own living room.

I did pick myself up after all of those scary announcements in March, but now that it’s happening again I wonder whether we’re all going to be so strong this time around? Maybe we will fare better? Maybe I’m just panicking about nothing?

I really just wanted to say that, although I know I’m not dying, I had that breathless feeling of panic last night and I was thinking of all the others out there who are worrying.

I understand and I just wanted to ask how you really are? We’ll all be OK but just say hi if you felt that shard of fear in your heart last night. I’m really sending out my love and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we can have some sort of Christmas that is normal in just the smallest way.

Much Love

Rachel xx

car crash tv

My toes curled hopelessly inside my socks

Like little caterpillars hiding from the sun.

I want to look but then I also really don’t

So put my clammy hands up to my face,

Peeking through the slats my fingers make

To see the dreadful mess smeared across the screen.

I know I really shouldn’t feel for him

But I feel familiar pangs of sympathy

As words rain down and answers can’t be made,

At least not answers we can trust.

I don’t know why we do it when it hurts so much

But soon it feels like sweetness of a drug.

Soooooo, the TV has been interesting over here in the UK. The government (bless them) are digging themselves a serious hole and it came to a bit of a head yesterday when Dominic Cummings, the top government aide, had to come onto live TV and make a statement and answer questions from the press.

It’s been a bit embarrassing for our government but this was a bit of a new low and I had to say that I was cringing the whole way through. To start with I was questioning why I was watching it, but soon I realised that I was getting some kind of weird kick out of it.

I have experienced this feeling before and I’m sure that most other people have too. I don’t really understand it because I feel horrible about myself for enjoying it. However, I guess that it’s something that has been experienced forever because otherwise the Romans would never have enjoyed going to the Colosseum to watch the gladiators get the shit kicked out of themselves.

I think that I need to switch off a bit when this starts to happen. While I’m not a fan of Dominic Cummings I do feel like yesterday was uncomfortable watching and the scenes outside his house were crazy.

I just take a little comfort in knowing that other people have the same feelings and it’s really just a symptom of being human rather than me being a nasty piece of work.

Much Love

Rachel xx