Why Paris matters, and our opinions don’t.

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Last Friday morning in Paris, 129 people woke up to a new day for the last time. 129 people spoke to friends and family who would never hear their voices again. 132 men and women got dressed, ate breakfast and set off for work not knowing that before the day was up their lives would be brutally cut short by a devastatingly cruel and senseless act of terrorism. As the first news reports began to come through people all over the world sat glued to TV screens and mobile phones, unable to tear their eyes away from the horrific events unfolding before them. For a few hours, perhaps, we looked on in stunned silence as yet another act of hatred stole innocent lives from us. And then, in the aftermath, as though the world bravely took a collective breath, people began to act. And hope. Continue reading

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My Hardest Year: What I learned and how I survived.

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Have you ever had the feeling that time is flexible?  
You know what I mean – the time between hitting the snooze button and the next alarm in the morning is practically nonexistent, whereas ten minutes on a treadmill seems like hours. If you’re a teacher, a free hour feels about five minutes, and a lesson with a challenging class can last approximately forever.

Sometimes, though, this notion of the flexibility of time is challenged when a time in your life seems to simultaneously have taken a matter of moments and an absolute age. Usually this happens when you have had to go through a challenging experience. You know the kind of thing I mean – something significant like studying for exams in your final year at university, awaiting the birth of a child or training for a marathon. My second year in teaching is a perfect example of this, no doubt because it was actually the hardest year of my life so far.  Continue reading

Dear New Teacher…3 things you need to know!

new teachers trainees advice tips

Dear New Teacher,

As we approach the start of the school year, I’ll bet you are experiencing quite a range of different emotions. You’ll be excited, I hope, and so you should be. Don’t let anyone dampen that and avoid spending time with cynics or more ‘experienced’ teachers that have forgotten why they signed up to it all in the first place.
You will probably also be feeling quite apprehensive – maybe even scared – about the prospect of being a ‘real’ teacher for the first time. Don’t worry! That’s very normal. I’ll soon be going into my third year as a qualified teacher and I still feel that mix of nerves and excitement as September approaches.

I have both good and bad news for you.

Continue reading