2016: Looking Back

I’m not sure if anyone even looks at my blog anymore – I know I haven’t looked at it for a good few months! Life as a teacher has taken over and, to be honest, it’s left little time for anything else. I think the idea of being a regular-blogging teacher was too ambitious for me, especially in my NQT year. Lots of you manage it and hats off to you, but it’s proved too much for me!

Regardless, I knew I still had to do my end of year blog post – it’s turned into quite the tradition after three years. I love doing it – there’s something very therapeutic about reflecting on the year.

2016 has been a bad year for some but I know that I am extremely fortunate to have had the year I have. I am in relatively good health, I still have an amazingly supportive family and I have some amazing memories from this year. I got engaged – a massive personal milestone. I graduated from University with a First Class Honours degree, something which I worked so incredibly hard for. I gained my first teaching post in the only school I’ve ever truly wanted to work at. It’s in that school that I have met some amazing people, some who I count as great friends. They have pulled me through many things already and it is hard to believe I have only known them for a few months. I am so grateful to have them in my life. I’m not sure I’ve ever laughed as much as I have with them.

A term down of my NQT year and it has flown by, yet, it has easily been the hardest time of my life. Teaching makes you question so many things – about yourself, about the world, about people and it can be hard to look past all that and focus on the most important thing: the children. Many times it has clouded my judgement, made me doubt myself, questioned my ability to perform the job and wonder why things are the way they are. I have spent more hours at school or working than I have seeing my family. Arguably, my fault, but at the moment I cannot see a way to balance the load. I’m sure, in time, it will happen but for now I am doing everything I can to just stay afloat.

It’s a hard time to be a teacher. It feels like everyone is against you: that all that matters is the figures you type into your data tracker, that all politicians think you are useless, that the negative connotations surrounding teaching are all-consuming and that there is no joy left. As a relatively new teacher I have been told I am yet to have been worn down and that it will happen. Maybe so. I’m trying to keep a positive view and ultimately, I love going to work and teaching my children. In no way is it easy or straight-forward, but it is still the job I have loved doing most (and I’ve done a few) and I’ve never gained so much satisfaction from a job. I’m looking forward to seeing my children again and moving onto the next phase of the year.

My biggest lesson from this year has to come, surprisingly, from something outside of my career. The concept of trust and loyalty, reliability and honesty. It’s seriously opened my eyes, in the way that no matter how much you think you trust someone, how close you are to them, the memories and history that you share – sometimes none of this is enough. People can always let you down. Despite how heartbreaking the experience was, I thank them for it as it’s made me learn to always expect the unexpected. Sometimes, people just aren’t what you thought they were.ย Someday, they’ll look back and realise what they’ve done and maybe they’ll figure out that it wasn’t right.ย But they probably won’t. Either way, you survive, move on and grow from it.

Resolutions for 2017? I’m not really a resolution type person. Not in the “I will go to the gym more” or “I will eat less chocolate” way. My main focus is going to be on my mental health, something which I’ve pushed to the side lately. It’s all very well looking after your physical health and your body, but that won’t be any good if your mind isn’t healthy too. But then, it’s not really a New Year’s resolution. I actually want to keep it up past the second week of January…

I hope your year has been wonderful. As mentioned in the beginning, I want to reiterate that I have actually had a great 2016. There were bumps in the road but that is what makes life. I am in a career I’ve wanted for a long time, in an amazing school, working with incredible people and I have so much to look forward to ๐Ÿ™‚

As for my blog – who knows? This blog will always be special to me. It’s a great reminder of my journey. I’m not sure whether the name “from campus to classroom” is still relevant now I’m no longer a student but it’ll do for now. I am putting no pressure on myself to blog. I just like knowing it is still here for whenever I want to share the next important part of my life. Watch this space ๐Ÿ™‚

Lots of love and best wishes for 2017,

Kate ๐Ÿ™‚

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