The Prodigal Returns!

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I’m back!….have you missed me?… don’t answer that! What a few months I have had, it goes a bit like this….

After 10 years in the same school, after lots of uming and arring I decided to hand in my notice to persue new adventures, can’t let the grass grow and all that, it was a big emotional wrench, because I loved my teaching job, and had established myself well in the school but what didn’t help was on the day I handed my notice in, I returned home to find out that my landlord had given me notice on my home which I had been living in for 13 years, I had brought my children up in that house, been through a lot of ups and downs there, so losing my job and home in one day was a little bit too much. I was more gutted about the house because that was out of my control and I lived in such a beautiful place. So I spent my summer holidays sorting and packing up my worldly goods, which after so many years it took some sorting, making decisions like, do we take the boys primary school exercises books or not, I let them make that decision!

After fours trailer loads to the tip later we moved. but within all of this I didn’t have a job, because I left without another job to go to, luckily within two days of leaving my last job I was offered a position at a special school, something new for me, but also something I am very excited about I managed to get on to a holding pool to train as a paramedic, something I have always wanted to do, but have never gone for because it was never the right time, but now it is, so two jobs at once, not bad.

I feel very proud of myself because I am a routine, comfort zone kinda girl, so leaving a teaching job with no job, with just blind faith was a big step for me.

This weekend has been the first weekend I have had to chill for long time, I used to also teach at weekends, but part of my change I also gave all that up too, that I had been doing for 18 years, it is strange having a two day weekend, but I could get used to it.

As you can see I haven’t had a lot of time to think about blogging but I am hoping to get back into the flow of things again.

Ok, back to the photo challenge, this was taken at night, so I thought I might get way with it! It also describes for me how this last two months have been, a bit swirly! X

Over the horizon!

I have got out of the habit of blogging or taking pictures, you can mainly blame the dog for that, cos the time I was sitting and faffing on the computer is now taken up with walking or training the pooch! I also haven’t been tweeting or blipping, (sounds like some sort of disease) and I do miss it, so I’m going to try and get back on track with it all, even if it is a short post, I feel it is still important to have a record of things to look back on, cos I do enjoy looking back over photos and events that have happened. Maybe at the moment my life is not that advent full, which is not a bad thing, so maybe I haven’t got that much to share.

I am doing something exciting at the moment at school, I applied for an awards for all grant and got money to set up a community radio based at my school. It has taken a year to sort out but we are finally getting closer to our first broadcast on the big wide web. So soon I will be able to share a link with you all to have a listen to my Devonian tones! Now that’s scary! It is a get opportunity for the children and I hope in time will add to and benefit their learning. It is quite rare for primary children to experience this down this end of the world, normally secondary schools, and the possibilities for its use are endless. Also I am in the process of turning our school hall into a theatre space, adding curtains, lights, microphones, and being able to broadcast on the radio from the hall too. So that will benefit us especially with only six working weeks to our Christmas performance (sorry to mention the c word but we have started that in our school already).

So that’s work, well plus the normal day to day life of being a teacher, which a lot of you out there I know know what I mean by that. At theatre school I run on a Saturday we are thinking of doing the production Charlie and the chocolate factory which I love. I have also started up a twinkle toes dancing group for littles which seems to be going alright, lots of skipping, jumping, wafting and pretending.

My knees are really playing up, not surprised with all the dancing, PE and walking the pony, not getting any younger, I’m afraid to go the doctors because I know they will say I will have to have another operation and I really haven’t got time for that. So I think I will shut up and put up with that for a minute.

Ok that’s a general update now back to the photo challenge!

All the below pictures are the horizons that I see around me.

The first photo is of Dartmoor where I often go for long walks.
The second is the view of the horizon from my caravan in Looe, Cornwall.
The third of the horizon from my boat.
And the last, this is the horizon I see very day out of my front door!

When I’m on my walks every day I see the sun set and in the morning i watch it rise, that always blows my mind that when the sun sets we shall never see that day again, it’s gone, it’s history already, but the sun will always rise again on a new day, a new beginning and a new hope!

I am a very lucky girl to live in such a beautiful place, aren’t I x

weekly photo challenge

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Reflection!

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I was just having a look through photos of a trip I took our year 6 children on last week, it was a great day in a beautiful place. Full of laughter, chatting, taking photos, filming and editing. It got me thinking of a few things, this picture I took kinda looks like they are looking forward to their future. What is going to be in store for them I wonder?

They are going to be leaving soon the comfort and safety of primary school and moving towards their future. I always find this time of the year particularly hard for many reasons. First because of my own turbulent experience of school but mainly now because I have nurtured, taught, wiped their noses, found their jumpers, sorted arguments, hugged, been cross with, played games with, ran with, sat with, cried with and looked after these children like as if they are my own from the age of 3. They started in nursery with me on their very first day, and I have seen them through their journey up through school, I have taught them in every year. That’s the joy of my job, I am not tied to one year group I teach the whole school throughout my week. And this years year six are the first I have taught from day one and soon they will be flying away hopefully taking a part of me with them. The fun we have had, the bad days we have had, the dancing, singing, playing, learning, discovering and performances. There is always one teacher you remember from primary school because they have influenced your life in a positive way isn’t there and I always wanted to be that one to them.

So I have done all I can, it will be soon time to let them go, we have a few things left to do though like SATS next term. So for all you parents out there, there are teachers that really care, we do look after your blossoms the best we can, when you wave them off at the gate in the morning, then pick them up again later they have had a full and interesting day, even though you ask ‘how was your day, what have you done today at school’ all you get in answer, ‘not much’.

Stepping Out…

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Have you ever seen the film ‘Stepping Out’? Well if you have I’m living that reality! If you haven’t it needs a bit of explanation.

Fifteen years ago I was at the stage of my life where I had not stepped into a dance studio for years, I had produced two sprogglets, gone through personal illness, first child had a rough start to life, and just given birth to number two. I was missing my dancing, which I had been doing since the age of three, and went to professional ballet school, here my childhood dance teacher said ‘why don’t you get back into it and start-up a tap class’. Well that was an idea, and I managed to get a teaching slot at the local leisure centre.

So I turned up to the very first lesson with my tape recorder, tap shoes in hand and was very nervous! There were about thirty adults there, all shapes and sizes, some looking very professional in their spandex and leg warmers others looking more nervous than me. I managed to get through the lesson, considering I was in this huge echoing sports hall that had a curtain across the middle, dividing it into two and on the other side of the curtain they were holding a netball game. My poor little tape recorder struggled to keep up over the noise. Also some of the participants or as I call them ‘victims’ came to a tap dance lesson without the vital equipment, tap shoes. (That’s like going to swimming without your costume!) I’m guessing it’s not quite as satisfying doing tap in silence in a pair of trainers.

Many events have happened in and around the tap lessons over the years, these are some of the ones that stick in my mind the most. Not long after I had started the lessons, my little blossom number two was about fourteen months and had learnt to walk at a young age. On the afternoon before tap I was sitting in the lounge and heard a sudden scream from the kitchen. He had managed to take his small stool, put it up against the worktop and pull a freshly made pot of tea over himself. As you can imagine it was panic stations, under shower, call the ambulance, go to hospital, dress his burns and sent home. I don’t know why and how I did it but I still managed to teach tap in the evening.

We have been in four halls over the years, after the sports hall we moved into the town hall but we had to move from the town hall because they said we were leaving scratch marks on the wooden floor. They did suggest that we not wear our tap shoes or bring boards to tap on, helpful. I didn’t take them up of their offer, but I did ring the papers and get our picture taken with ‘sad faces’ outside the councillors’ shop that complained about us. We were front page with our story of ‘where do we go’ because we have been thrown out. Luckily from this we got offers from several halls, so we moved to our next home which was the ambulance hall.

We have performed at several events over the years, such as, the local secondary school at their annual dance festival. The first year was, as we call it the ‘blue dresses ‘year. We had these horrendous blue dresses that made they made us all look like fat grapes. We danced to The Entertainer and ladies had only been learning tap for a term, so the variety in steps was limited to a shuffle here, a tap spring there and lots of swaying. It was pretty dire, but we did it and the ladies felt a sense of achievement that they had had the guts to do it. For some of the ladies it had been a childhood dream to tap dance on a stage and they were overwhelmed with excitement. I was very proud of them.

Another very proud event that not only am I proud of my tappers for doing, but I was pretty chuffed with myself, was after a couple of years with them now having done a couple of performances at the dance festival, I wanted to give us a real challenge and learn the ‘Riverdance’. Now if any of you have seen it on the telly then you know how fast and complicated it is. So I spent a few days, in-between being a mum, having a part-time job and coming to the realisation that I was in an unhappy marriage (but that’s another story) watching the video of Riverdance, sussing out that I could double press on the remote control and watch it in slow motion, I worked out the intricate steps ready to teach. I got the music slowed down for practise and off I went into class to break the news of my idea. Well a few were a bit apprehensive, but most were keen to give it a go. We practiced and practiced, week after week, I tell you what you don’t need to go to a gym when you are doing the Riverdance every week ,the weight dropped off me, we all became super fit. Then came the moment of truth, the performance, after all that practice, for four minutes of fame. Baring in mind the dance festival was all teenage children performing contemporary dance, we were the only adults and it was not contemporary, to say I was nervous was an understatement. On we went we tapped our socks off, no one made a mistake, we finish, and we got a standing ovation.

The class has is not only a tap lesson, but a ‘bit of a do’ as well. We have a Christmas meal every year, we have been on theatre trips, have summer BBQ’s, end of term and birthday ‘drinks and nibbles’, so any excuse really. There have been people who have come and gone, some leaving more of an impression than others, some thinking they could take over and some thinking they knew it all. But there have been the ones that have stuck with it through thick and thin. Through illness, divorce, children growing up, moving halls, moving houses, menopause, exams and putting up with me. I have realised that this simple hour and a half tap lesson has led to all the things I hold so dear and brought me to this point in my life now. If I hadn’t started the tap lessons I would not have been asked to play in and choreograph the stage production of ‘Stepping Out’, which in doing this lead to me meeting my love of my life, which lead to us starting our own production company, which lead to me working in schools, which lead to my current job. Not bad for a couple of shuffle hop step ball changes.