preparing for the shit storm

I have now got to the point where I quite literally feel like I’m going to vomit before I go into work on Tuesday. I hate that I care so much

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the cherry on the top

I had a bit of a tough week at work this week, and I couldn’t wait for it to be over. So, I was slogging my way through my final lesson on Friday

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riding that rollercoaster

I left work today on one of the low parts of this rollercoaster of a job. There are some days when I feel like I’m the best freakin’ teacher

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slog, slog, slog away

person using typewriter
Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

Slowly crawl,

Slog your way

To higher numbers,

Triple digits,

Then four or five,

But do it for

Reasons that are right.

I just got a little notification from WordPress to say ‘Congratulations! You have reached 1,000 flollowers!’ And I had to stop and smile because it’s been a bit of a labour of love to reach that significant marker.

When I started this blog, I had high hopes of making a fortune from it, but as I wrote, I found I didn’t want to create content that was all about the best ways to save money or ween your baby. I wanted to write poetry, and about my life in the hope that at least a few people might feel the same things as me.

And for that reason, three years down the line, I have earnt zilch from this project. And I have put hours and hours of work into writing thousands of posts.

But the joy I have had in making those posts, sending them out into the world and receiving loving comments back is worth much more than thousands in advertising. And I hope that the 1,000 followers I have accrued are lovely people who value what I write.

Thank you to all of you (especially those of you who are not bots), and here’s to another three years of writing while laughing, smiling and crying.

Much Love

Rachel xx

don’t be angry, they’re still half baked

bread food fresh hands
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Those little squishy brains like loaves

Crammed so tightly inside skulls,

Easy bake ovens baking them away.

But always remind yourself

That the teenage brain is half baked

It still has a way to go

Before it gets its golden crust

That tasty crunch that makes such sense

And airy insides free of angst.

One of the most interesting things I learnt during teacher training was that the teenage brain is not fully formed and this means that they genuinely struggle to understand other people’s emotions. They do things without thinking and then have no clue as to why others are upset. They are the centre of their own universes and we are just inconveniences that get in the way.

I had to grit my teeth and remind myself of this scientific fact today – otherwise I would have thrown something and screamed.

Last night I stayed at work until seven, speaking to parents and giving glowing reports. Today, those same students did nothing in lesson and because I dared to ask one of them to stay behind for five minutes to finish the work, she left my room and stuck her middle finger up at me as she left.

I was fuming, and I still am fuming – hence the reason I’m writing all about this. Thank god I got the memo that teenagers don’t give a damn about anyone’s feelings, because if I hadn’t, I may not have been responsible for my actions today.

Much Love

Rachel xx

so they do actually trust me

anonymous female friends embracing on spacious meadow
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It’s a funny little thing,

To know that you’re loved,

That they trust your word

And the advice that you give,

It hums in your bones

And puts warmth in your belly,

Knowing they like you,

That they care what you say.

I have a real issue with thinking that people don’t like me, so when I get proof that they do, it can sometimes come as a bit of a shock.

As a teacher, you are putting yourself up for being mocked, and being picked on by teenagers can be miserable. Teenagers are mean.

I have a slightly tricky Year 9 group and there are a couple of girls that are always sniggering in my class. I have spent the whole half term worrying that they hate me.

But yesterday, just before the end of lunch two of them rushed into my room and stood wuietly in front of me, quite obviously deliberating whether or not to confide in me.

“Tell her!” one hissed at the other.

“I don’t think I should,” whispered the girl.

I shifted my weight as I waited for her to word vomit whatever it was just before the bell.

I managed to get out of her that shee was having a friendship issue and she was wanting my advice on what to do. Her plan was to ‘get revenge’, which I told her may not be the best idea. I told her to enjoy her half term and have a break from social media and all the bitching that can go on between fourteen year old girls.

She nodded and off they ran, as the bell began to sound.

I was left standing in my doorway, wandering how I had gotten it so wrong again. I’m obviously doing something right and that was a nice feeling.

Much Love

Rachel xx

seeing them in a different light

an empty classroom
Photo by Camille Lemiale on Pexels.com

I see them in their uniforms

All the same, some quiet

And some in angry huffs

Stomping off when we say no.

But some days we can see

Them in another way

A stronger version

A bit more personality

And now we see each other as

A proper human being.

We had a two day Retreat and Pilgrimage with my school on Thursday and Friday. On the Thursday I was in school and we did lots of activities that made us think about ourselves and our faiths and our school community. And on Friday, we went to the cathedral in a nearby city.

I was lucky enough to have two days off timetable to spend with the kids as I am a Year 7 tutor. I see these kids every day in their school uniforms and I thought that I knew them well. It’s only been six weeks, but I could figure out who was naughty and who was quiet and who was clever.

However, seeing them all outside of the classroom was really eye opening and it was so nice to see more of the quieter ones. There was one girl who has always been so shy and all of a sudden I saw her as this really cool team leader. She could do street dance and she led her team to winning an engineering challenge.

Then I sat on the bus next to another quiet one for an hour. I thought it would be really awkward, but we ended up chatting away for the whole journey.

I am exhausted, but I’m so glad I had that experience with my tutor group. I’ve got such a soft spot for even the ones that I thought were a nightmare. I can’t wait to see them grow over the next five years, and to watch them turn into fabulous human beings.

Much Love

Rachel xx

old people and the words we don’t know

grayscale photo of a man in a fur coat riding a bicycle
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

You’re dripping, miss

Those trousers make your bunda look good

Slay, slag

You’re the coolest kid in the ‘hood.

There is nothing to make you feel old quite like the language you hear teenagers using. It is like a whole new language that doesn’t make sense to anyone over twenty. So when you are nearing forty you have no hope.

I remember when a kid told me I was dripping and I thought I’d spilt something down my top. Apparently it means that I was dressed really nicely – so why couldn’t they just say that.

I try my best to keep up with everything my students say, but I think that I finally have to accept that it has just about run away from me. No matter how hard I work, I’m always going to be wondering what the hell they are talking about.

Much Love

Rachel xx

what is poetry?

Is it it a story that’s just really short,

Or a picture painted with words?

Is it writing for lazy people

Or for those that like to use long words?

Is it just for people who like Shakespeare

Or can anyone hold poetry dear?

I absolutely love to teach poetry and I get so upset when I tell students that we are doing a poetry unit and they all just roll their eyes at me. But I can understand that reaction because we are conditioned to think poetry is just for people who quote Shakespeare and don’t own a TV.

And I think that the way to get people to at least be open to poetry is to frame it right. Most people like pop songs or some form of visual arts, and poetry can be likened to either one of these. I just need to find the right words to pull them in.

I saw the quote above when I was scrolling through Twitter and it just made me chuckle. It’s spot on and I would be interested if a teacher framed it in that way.

Unfortunately, I have the feeling that most of my students would look at me blankly if I were to tell them this was what poetry is. I can already hear them asking me ‘but Miss, who is the man on fire?’

Much Love

Rachel xx

the monsters within

a couple wearing diy cardboard box mask while holding each other s hands
Photo by Daisy Anderson on Pexels.com

We had a bloody long day at school today because it was the dreaded Open Evening, where Year 6 students and their parents can come and look around the school and see if they would like to be members of our school community.

I say ‘dreaded’ because it’s a 13 hour day, and you are ‘on’ the whole time. However, I do actually really enjoy speaking to the younger ones and asking them about what books they enjoy reading.

We did a Gothic room in our department and I was responsible for getting the kids to draw their own Gothic monsters. And some of them were interesting, to say the least.

I asked everyone to give their monster a name and we had everything from Richard to Mrs Jelly Legs.

I find it so sad that the creativity seems to just get sucked out of kids as they reach their teenage years. My Year 9s couldn’t even come up with one thing that scares them and yet three years earlier, they could have come up with a three headed monster called Richard.

Don’t grow up, kids. I love you just the way you are.

Much Love

Rachel xx