2013:



A *much* better year.

Work

Positive

  • My tutor group did (on the whole) very well in their exams, and were all suitably fab at their leavers ball. Over the five years I had them I grew rather fond of a great many of them, so I was proud of their achievements, but a little sad to see them go.
  • Received some positive feedback for once from both my form (hooray for good kids with good sense) and the senior leader observing.
  • New form group seem to be pleasant creatures, more-or-less, in contrast to my previous bunch.
  • For the first time in six years, I applied for new jobs. I made a teaching portfolio from scratch, applied for four jobs and made it to interview at two. Although the experiences were quite difficult at times, they were good experiences, as the more often I get rejected, the more confident I grow (!), and I have a better idea of what schools are right for me.
  • I am now technically Head of Photography – I say technically, because it’s basically the same shit that i’ve been doing for years, with a sprinkling of senior leadership dialogue. No more pay attached of course.
  • Successfully made it through the pay threshold. Finally.
  • Started on the Wellbeing Project, helping me further identify what I do and do not want.
  • Managed to properly negotiate some protection for staff alongside the other union rep.
  • One of my exam groups I had sole responsibility of did very well, despite the large group size.
Negative

  • Members of the form who had been shitty towards me for five years continued to be so, all the way up to the goddamned end.
  • Continued lack of support from management with regards tutor group.
  • It is very frustrating to receive feedback that employers think I would be well-able to do the job offered, but they have decided to go with someone with more experience.
  • Looking back, I am glad I did not get offered the jobs I interviewed for, as both of them were not the best fit for me. But of course, not finding something new is not-the-best.
  • Continued lack of career growth in my current school.
  • Post-grad art teaching course cancelled due to lack of applicants.
  • Didn’t get all the concessions I feel were needed with union stuff.
  • Ever increasing admin and data demands leading to decreasing time free to actually teach and think about teaching.
  • Obsessive focus on what Ofsted are looking for rather than what will help kids succeed and feel valued leading to increased pressure and stress. Ugh.
Personal

Positive

  • It took a long time, probably a whole year, but at last I felt fully recovered from the post-Coppell fall-out. I learnt much about myself, and my choice of partners in the process, and the time passed helped me realise that for a good chunk of 2012, I was really very unwell mentally. This year, I got to the point where I felt very happy both in my own skin, and happy being on my own.
  • I started (and continue with) pottery class, which is something creative I do that is not linked directly to work, and helps me feel better about life.
  • The Wellbeing Project at work has helped me look at situations differently, both at work and personally. I’ve done lots of questioning as to what I want and have given thought to how I can achieve things, but there is still plenty to ponder. I hope to get less caught up in work-related shit, especially around exam time, as that is a huge source of stress to me.
  • I finally put my Expedit shelving unit up – that which had lain in pieces for over eight months. Progress!
  • I visited Cornwall for the first time since I was a teen, and had an excellent time in Falmouth, where I got to spend time flopping about on a beach – wearing a bikini top no less – and dancing to jungle in a formal dress at (the beautiful and inspiring) Betty’s lovely nuptials. The Eden Project made me get my rage on at its hideous cost and twee, shallow approach, but spending time near the sea was a much appreciated change.
  • I spent three amazing weeks in beautiful Colorado. I’ve never been anywhere quite so gorgeous, and the time exploring, hiking and generally living as a local was wonderful. Seeing glaciers, rivers, torrential rain, thunderstorms, deserts and sand dunes in one holiday was so, so brilliant. I went most places solo, drove an automatic car for the first time and talked to people I met, rather than withdrawing as I once might have.
  • Whilst in Colorado I saw hummingbirds. They blew my mind – I giggled like a very excited, very oversized toddler the first time I saw one, and they continued to hold my attention throughout my time there.
  • I got to see My Beloved Texan for the first time in nearly ten years; it was great to catch up and hear about all the changes and similarities that had happened in our lives, and it was reassuring to see that we could pick up where we left off ten years earlier. The sign of a good friend indeed – situations might change, but fundamentally the good qualities remain.
  • I got to spend seven glorious days in the company of the quite remarkable Petrichor, the most interesting, most wonderful man I have had the privilege of spending time with. He fascinated me. In those seven days I got to experience so many new things in terms of companionship and intimacy; I wasn’t looking to meet someone, nor did I think i’d be so enamoured of a person so very different, but I found that he fulfilled me in ways that no other partner managed to do. I felt he understood me, particularly appreciating my qualities where past partners had barely scratched the surface, and I greatly appreciated his complexity and individualism. Our time together was a glimpse of brilliance that could actually be, which meant so much to me as I know good connections are such rare happenings.
  • Spent a lot of weekends doing something, whether that was seeing art or meeting up with friends. This is a change from the past, where I might spend very many weekends doing fuck all and feeling sorry for myself. I went to the Ceramics Biennale at the old Spode factory in Stoke which was ace.
Negative

  • The illness and eventual death of Leia Ewok Village’s Mum. I am so, so glad I visited the two of them before her Mum died, but being relatively far from her made things difficult. I felt I didn’t offer enough support.
  • Spent a lot of money on my car, be it servicing or fixing problems (windscreen, alternator etc); I hope that this means I won’t have to spend much in the coming year…
  • Getting to spend such a short amount of time with Petrichor. I miss the furry bugger. Ug.

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