First Time Tag

I feel like I haven’t written here for ages! And I guess it has been a while! I’ve been super busy starting to teach 5 days a week, and of course taking the last week off relaxing with family and friends for Christmas time. Oh and I’ve had a job interview, and got the job! So from July (when I’m qualified) I will have an actual real life, teaching job! Whaaaaaatttt!

I want to get better at doing blogs though, as I do enjoy doing them, and its a nice way to document my time studying and learning the ropes. But while I’m on holiday (and seeing  as though I am yet to do ANY work while I’ve been off), I’m going to do the ‘First Time Tag’ I’ve seen many YouTubers do. I used to be obsessed with doing those weird note thingies with all the questions you used to get on facebook, so I guess this is like that! Here we go!

What was your first car?

The car I have now! Which I have had for a whole 4 months now! 3 years after passing my test, I finally had the money (JUST) to afford to buy and run one! It’s a red/burgundy Fiat Punto, and I love it!

Who was the first person who you cared more about their well being than your own?

Probably when my little sister was born, so her! I have 2 little sisters, but the first one I was to young to feel that properly, and we are too close in age. But the 10 year age gap between me and my other sister means that I 100% care about her well being more than mine. And same for my little bro, but Lilly was the first.

When was your first public speaking success?

Can’t say I have done much public speaking! In fact I don’t think I have ever done! So I guess the first lesson I took, seeing as that was kind of public speaking I guess?

When was the first time you got stitches?

Never! And hopefully not for a long time!

When was the first time you stayed up all night and watched the sunrise?

Probably when I was about 16, and me and my friends had our first “house party” at a friends, and just never ended up sleeping!

What was the first thing you learned to cook?

Pasta or stew probably!

What was your first paying job?

WHSmith was the first proper job I had. Before that I had a few jobs working as a cleaner and at random days with a friends dad’s company working at school fete’s and things on the bouncy castles.

When was the first time you flew on an airplane?

When I was 17 or 18, I can’t remember. Me and some of the girls went to Costa del Sol on our first (and only to be fair) girly holiday.

What was the first concert you went to see?

I must have been 14 or 15 when a band called Elliot Minor came to play a gig in Clacton. Then weren’t exactly huge, but I had actually heard a few of their songs on Radio 1 and stuff, so it was an amazingly exciting buzz for all 14 year old’s of Clacton at the time. And I got to go see them, and it was the first live music thing I went too!

What was your first bike like?

Pink with mermaids on. Lush.

When was the first time you shot a gun?
Erm. Never?

When was the first time you moved houses?

Well my parents moved (with me) when I was about 1. I don’t remember it, but it was the first time I moved. Then I moved out properly (not including uni) this summer!

When was the first time you through a punch?

Again. Don’t think I have. And if I did, I know it would be laughable.

When was the first time you quit a job?
I guess I quit WHSmith when I went to uni.

What was the first professional sporting event you went to?
The London Paralympics 2012. Best. Day. Ever.

When was the first time you realized you are good at your job?
I guess when I got the job I have starting in July. The interview went beautifully, and the person who observed my interview lesson said it was outstanding, which is amazing!

When was your first regrettable hair style?

When my mum tried cutting me a fringe in when I was about 15. But it was a thin fringe, which didn’t look great if we’re honest.

What was your first business venture?

Errmmm…I don’t have one?

How old were you when you first left home?

I first left home for uni when I was 18. Moved out good and proper when I was 21.

When you the first time you cut class?

I didn’t (except when I was ill, but that doesn’t count, and was very rare anyway), until uni!

How old where you when you had your first kiss?

16. I think I was the oldest person ever to get their first kiss.

When was the first time you went fishing?
Again. Never. I feel like I need to do some more things with my life!

How old where you when you got your first computer?

My own laptop. I think I was 17, and it was more of a netbook if we’re being technical.

When was the first time you stood up for your self?

Probably not too long ago. I was always really shy, and wouldn’t say boo to a goose. But in the last 2, 2 and a half years, that has changed, and I am no longer scared to say what I think, or to say boo to a goose.

I didn’t like these questions much, and I’m sure there are better ‘First Time’ tags to do, but this was the one I found, so this was the one I did! I enjoyed it though, so maybe I will do more like this again in the future!

So long!

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Bullying

 I am just a (soon to be) teacher, in a tiny town on the coast of the UK.

But being a trainee teacher, and having worked in schools, I am in a very rich environment to work with anti-bullying campaigns all the time. And from what I have seen, children actually respond to this really well, and they are all keen not to bully. They are all encouraged to tell, and eagerly act on it, if they are being bullied.

But of course bullying still happens.

And I was always confused as to why, these children know its wrong, and even the worst children know that it isn’t something okay to do, and get actively involved in ways to make it stop. But it still happens.

I know why. Because adults do it all the f**king time. Especially in the media. In fact a disgusting amount in the media. We all judge people, but there is NO need to voice an opinion so disgustingly loud on a social network, to the extent you know someone is sitting at home crying about it.

What I’m talking about exactly is Katie Hopkins latest victim of Zoella. Firstly, Katie Hopkins, as we all know is a vile bully. But I was reading through some of her tweets today about Zoe, and I was horrified at what I was reading, and even more horrified that people where encouraging her with re-tweets and favorites.

If these 2 women were in the playground, and Katie was standing over Zoe saying what she was saying, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if she was kicked out of school, or beaten up on the spot. And I really don’t think the children of this modern day would be encouraging this type of behavior. At all. Because the types of things she was saying, the taunting, mimicking tweets she was tweeting were something I didn’t even think anyone would do these days. As it is so un-human, and with so little thought about anyone except herself.

I am a fan of Zoe. She’s funny, beautiful and smart. She is famous for doing what she wants to do, and she has done so well in a new-media, that it’s hard to think of why people can’t just feel proud and happy for her. I’ve never met her, and I never will. I haven’t even been watching her videos or reading her blog that long, but I feel all of that about her.

I reckon 99% of kids if I asked them would say that Katie is jealous, and any rational person can see that’s obviously whats going on, as that is why people bully. That is anti-bullying 101.

So it’s no wonder some kids still bully, if this is the type of behavior they are seeing from people who are older then them. Bullying will never be wiped out in schools until adults learn the lesson first. Like with a lot of things, kids need positive role models, and if the media (which is where they find the majority of their adult role models) isn’t providing them, then there is no hope for out future generations.

More Ladies of Science

I am not saying that you should be given extra credit if you happen to be a lady that gets into science. If you make a fantastic discovery, whatever your gender, you should be applauded and celebrated for the work you’ve done, NOT your gender.

I had a similar argument today with a LGBT campaigner, who wanted more LGBT issues raised in schools. I am completely for this, and I agree that when it is appropriate (for example during sex education, or in history if a specific person fought for rights of LGBT or faced adversity because of their sexuality, or in English if studying a text which may hint towards some themes of LGBT) it would seem odd to me to find it a taboo to NOT talk about it with students. It’s a perfectly natural, normal thing, so to ignore it completely would seem wrong. To me. However, students may be confused themselves as to their sexuality, or they may have heard some things from older family members or friends which are very homophobic, so they may not be of the same opinion, so I think it IS important to make it as normal to everyone else.

At the same time, and I have taken a HUGE tangent here, this guy was trying to say to me that we should just mention if a scientist is gay or whatever, just so that we accept them as normal people, and so that gay people in the class aren’t confused or embarrassed by their sexuality, as it is a normal thing which we talk about a lot (which was apparently was what he wished when he was a boy). My argument however, was that by making it a big thing in a topic where it isn’t perhaps that relevant WHAT sexuality the scientist may have been, is in fact what is causing the issue in the first place. In my eyes, by treating it this way, you are making your issue, the issue. I wouldn’t even mention if someone was straight, why would I just casually mention that they are gay, lesbian, bi or transgender? Surely that is isolating that community more by picking that out as a defining feature of this person?

Coming back to the women in science thing, I have the same (sort-of) argument. Of course, normally you can tell if someone is a women, even by their name, or a picture of them. But I wouldn’t ever mention it explicitly. If I was explaining a woman’s work to a class, I would be commending the work, NOT the sex of the lady. And equally, coming back to my previous argument, I would NOT base any achievements on sexuality. Or race to that matter. Sure these groups may have faced adversity over history more than your typical; white, heterosexual male. And they may have  had to get through more in their life. But their gender, sexuality or race isn’t what THEY are. It’s just a part of them. And they made this discovery, come up with this theory, solved this problem etc.

I am passionate about getting girls in science. Because I want the stereotype that people (mostly women) have, of a scientist, to be scrapped. Because. We are all people, and we can all do what ever the hell we want to do regardless of anything. And it’s true there are more males in science, but there shouldn’t be. I don’t think it’s because women aren’t capable, I just think they don’t know they can be involved in science (especially involved in science, and not be a dork). But they shouldn’t be celebrated because they are women in science. They should be celebrated as they have achieved in science.

Life Is A Roller-coaster

….Just gotta ride it!

I wish. More than anything in the world. The Ronan Keating hadn’t written and sung a hugely popular song with these lyrics.

Because they are what keep me going. I truly believe in this, and what I say to anyone who is having a bad time. If it wasn’t a song by a slightly cheesy Irish-man, I would have that saying tattooed onto me by now.

Because it’s true! Life IS a roller-coaster. There are going to be really really SH*T days, but there are going to be really good days too, and that my friends, is just life. And you will not enjoy the really good days unless you learn to accept the bad days. They happen to everyone, regardless of your general overall happiness I’m sure!

Don’t get me wrong. I have had some deep, dark days in my past where I’ve lost faith in my saying. But it was this, and another handful of songs and specific lyrics, that kept me going. Because even if it feels like the biggest dip of  a roller-coaster, one in some horror ride which drops into the deepest pits of hell, eventually, something will come along and soar you up again. Maybe not all the way to the top, maybe not very high at all, but all roller-coasters, including that of life, has many bumps. Some big, some small. But all should be embraced with the same positive outlook.

“You’ve got to take the good with the bad, the happy with the sad”

I think this was a lyric from a very early S Club 7 album. But it sticks into my head as it too sums up life. You have to take the bad days with the good. As they will happen, and if you let them get to you, then life is not worth living. There are going to be days, when getting up is the worst, and where you’re going to be sad. But at the same time, there will be days when you’re happy, and you spring out of bed. For whatever reason. For example, I always feel happy if I know I’m going shopping. For literally anything, I can cheer myself up by shopping for tampons. At the same time, I can feel un-naturally depressed at the slightest of things; it’s raining, I look in the mirror at the wrong angle.

For me, the whole of winter is like that. I should imagine I would be diagnosed with SAD. I try exceptionally hard during the winter months to keep these happy things as frequent as possible, even though that generally means getting chubby and being poor!

But I always keep in mind that life is a roller-coaster.

And if that doesn’t work, I remember some Katy Perry lyrics;

“Maybe a reason why, all the doors are closed

So you can open one that leads you to a perfect road”

And if that doesn’t work either, I remember the most inspiring, tear-jerking (I’ve listened to this at least 1 million times in my life) song of them all:

Steps to Conquer Motivation Loss

I am loving teaching. I am now teaching full lessons at least 4 times a week when I’m only in school 3 days. I know this doesn’t sound a lot, but it’s only been a month and a half since I started so this feels like a huge achievement for me! (I only also decided teaching was for sure the career for me in June, so everything has moved very quickly!) As well as planning, delivering and evaluating lessons, I have also been kept busy with numerous assignments and tasks to be handed in, tonnes of paperwork to sort through, and bags and bags of folders to keep organised.

And of course, I have my new flat to maintain, shopping to do, dinners to cook.

And most importantly (for the sake of my sanity), a social life to keep up with, and a family to love.

So I have a lot to be doing. And I know this, and I love having a pile of things to do. Especially when they’re all (well, apart from the cleaning parts) things I love to do. But I’m still finding it very hard to motivate myself to start any of these tasks. Which obviously frustrates me, as I want to be the best teacher I can possibly be, but  finding the motivation to move from my bed is proving difficult.

Ive always struggled with this. Once I’m actually doing something, and I’m engrossed into it, I love it. Especially things like sorting out my folders, I should be all over that! But even that I’m behind in.

It’s all very frustrating.

The motivation is there. I think it’s the energy that’s not.

Im coming up with plans to conquer this. I already drink a whole loads water during the day (at least 2litres), but the second I get home, this intake stops. I’m going to try and rectify this as my first plan of action.

Second plan of action; overhaul my workspace. My desk in my spare room at the moment is tiny, and I don’t have a proper chair to sit on at the desk. This weekend (now I’ve been payed), I’m going to turn my spare room into a proper workspace. I’m going to buy a good desk, good chair, some good lighting. Possibly a bookshelf, and something pretty to make me want to spend time in that room. F**k, maybe I’ll buy a house plant. This will mean this is my workspace, with no distractions from TV or the fridge (which are my current problems) . I’ve also read it’s better to keep workspace and relax space apart as far as possible to make both areas work more effectively.

Third plan; sleep more. Kinda obvious, but I am shocking at getting a decent amount of sleep. Mainly because I need more sleep then anyone on the planet to feel alive, and I’m super restless so even when I do sleep it’s not that good! I’ve always really struggled with relaxation in any sense, so good sleep is always a barrier. But a better routine, and earlier nights may help?

Fourth plan; eat better. Smoothie machine is on my Christmas list, and I own more herbal teas possibly then anyone else. So I’m taking steps, I just need to stick to eating healthier, which I’m not bad at, just not exactly great. I’m not going to go crazy, be super strict or cut anything out. Just try and be more balanced and try and eat more of a variety of pulses, veg, fruit, seeds, nuts etc. A healthy body is a healthy mind.

Final plan. JOIN THE GYM. This is going to suck. I’m very unfit. I’ve never been a member of a gym in my life, and have not exercised properly in maybe 3 years? But I think this will be the one that helps, after the initial few weeks of going to the gym, coming home and collapsing in a mess. If my stamina is better, I’m going to be healthier all round,including my mind and work ethic.

Thats the plan….

STEM girlies

STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

For a long time, girls have been almost discouraged from taking careers in science related fields. It has always been seen as quiet manly, and a lot of the women you DO see day to day and TV and things are not the types of women who would inspire a whole lot of young girls.

But times are changing. There are a lot of initiatives to get girls into these fields. I like to think of myself as more of an inspire-r than a do-er, so if I can be the reason one of my girls gets into a STEM subject I’ll be happy! Even if a boy got into a field I’d be happy saying that!

So, just from the top of my head I am going to make a list of my fav high profile women in science. Of course, there are lots of women in science, and lots of other women that are not in the public eye who have inspired me, but the ones we see on TV, on the news etc is what I am looking for.

  1. Alyssa Carson

    Alyssa (on the left) is only 13!

This is a 13 year old girl, who since the age of 3, has been making it her mission in life to become an astronaut, and is a member of NASA and has gone to countless conferences and training sessions all over the world. She has been doing this for 9 years…and she is only 13. I can only think pushy parents, but reading around her, it does sound as though this is something she genuinly wants to do. Which is crazy, cause at 3 all I wanted to be was a mermaid.

Actually, I think I wanted to be a teacher, so maybe it is not so crazy after all.

But she is working hard and hopes to go to Mars on the Mars mission, despite the fact she will probably not be coming back! Dedication! And a very brave young girl, I wish her all the best!

For more info, this is where I first found out about her: http://hellogiggles.com/alyssa-carson-mars,  or look at her blog here http://nasablueberry.com/.

2. Rachel Riley

Rachel Riley

I f*****g LOVE Rachel Riley. Firstly. Just look at her. Her body is FANTASTIC, curvy in all the right places and very womanly.

But enough girl crushing.

This is a lady with a degree in Maths from Oxford. So she is extremely talented, and although her main TV appearances on countdown don’t really appeal to the young girls of the UK, she appears on enough other TV (such as Strictly Come Dancing, 8 out of 10 cats does countdown etc), that she will be in their general radar sometimes.

Another thing I love about Miss. Riley, is that she is from Essex. Another thing about me which annoys me is that I’m from Essex, and so people automatically judge you and are even more surprised when I say I am from Essex and have a science degree. Thanks to people such as Joey Essex, and anyone from TOWIE in fact. One person I had just met  even said to me once (while talking about me becoming a Physics teacher) “It will be hard to teach, especially if you have to teach people from Essex!”. I just opened my mouth and was like, well I’m from Essex so it wont be that hard, in a sassy black lady way. RUDE.

3. Dr Alice Roberts

Dr Alice Roberts

 I maaayyy have first been attracted to this lady because her name is my name. But after researching her I have learnt that she is in fact a very clever lady, who is actually physician with multiple degrees, including PhD’s in paleopathology (which is basically looking at diseases in ancient remains) and anatomy, as well as being a Fellow at the University of Bristol and Professor of Pubic Engagement in Science.

So she has an absolutely ENVIABLE amount of qualifications, which I can only ever wish of having the money to achieve, but it is her role as a Professor of Public Engagement in Science which most intrigues me, as it sounds like a wondrous-ly inspiring and fulfilling role.

Of course she has also worked as a TV presenter (god knows where she has found the time), helping to get her name known. Her programmes have probably inspired an older audience, rather than a younger one, but this is still good!

4. Mayim Bialik

So of course she is most well known for playing Amy Farrah Fowler on the amazingly successful and hilarious ‘The Big Bang Theory’. Amy is a neuroscience, and so is Mayim! So in her life, as well as being a successful actress since childhood, she has gained a PhD in neuroscience, and is now inspiring a generation portraying this role in one of the most popular sitcoms! Although…who’d want to be quiet like Amy I am not sure, but I think that show in general has opened up science to an audience who perhaps wouldn’t have been exposed to it before. Many people think the Big Bang theory will keep to the impression that all scientists are nerdy, and it does, but I think it also shows that scientists (and nerds for that matter) are real people too!

The only problem I have with Mayim is that she is reportedly anti-vaccine, which is something I feel very strongly about (as in anti-vaccine people are literally uneducated dumb f**ks), and I am very surprised someone with her credentials feels this way! But that is a debate for another day…

This is a lonnnggggg post, so I’m going to leave it at 4 for now, but maybe one day there’ll be a STEM girlies 2! And there will always be new women coming into inspire us, and to open our eyes to the wonderful world of science.

Posh Hotels and Conferences

So last night I had a night away, and it was possibly the best reason to want to become a teacher!

It was a night in a spa-hotel which was absolutely stunning (well, for me, a poor, very badly traveled person), with free dinner with a lot of wine, breakfast, more tea and coffee then you could ever need, and a lot of education and chances for professional development. And not a penny spent (apart from petrol getting there!)

Firstly, the conference. Phil Beadle was the speaker on Friday night, and we spent about 3 hours being inspired and taught by this master of his craft. He has written countless best selling books, has been on TV about teaching, but does not sound at ALL like a teacher, especially not an English teacher (which he is).  The topic of the conference was behavior management, as I may have mentioned, is my biggest fear coming in to teaching! So this conference was very useful, and I do feel a lot more confident, and I do feel as though I have a lot more up my sleeve to deal with a range of behaviors and issues which I may come across.

It was also a very very good opportunity to network, as  there were a lot of teachers from other local schools and I got to speak to a fair few of them, which is good; getting my name in and everything.

The main thing I came away from Phil’s session was that there is probably bad behavior for a reason, and your (as in the teachers) behaviors can effect this profoundly, and can even be the cause of it as emotions are viral to an extent. For example if a child was to get wound up, and was to shout a lot; don’t raise your voice to match it…stay calm, and keep your body language fairly relaxed, and they will eventually come to match you. Also…people can tall a real smile from a fake smile, so faking enthusiasm in the classroom and with your pupils will not work, and will likely cause bad behavior, as they will be able to ‘sense’ the teachers emotion whether it be anxious, bored etc.

In the morning, after a fairly late night, we had some more on behavior management, which added on fairly nicely from Friday night’s session, and gave us more time to discuss and reflect on what we had learnt and add it to a real-life situation, which of course was extremely useful.

Overall very informative and I learnt A LOT, and it has increased my confidence in dealing with behavior ridiculously!

*

Then, the hotel. I LOVE hotels. Like LOVE them. And I never really have the chance to stay in one, so this was amazingly exciting for me! And then I got there, and it was so beautiful. I wish I would have taken a picture of the lobby, as that in itself was unreal, but my room was something else.

The name of the hotel was 5 Lakes, in Colchester.

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Really beautiful king size bed all for me. Also 2 dressing gowns and slippers. There were also more lamps in the room then anyone could ever need! (I really wish this picture quality was better!)

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Walking in

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Desk and TV area

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Sink area. I did of course take the shower gel and soap…

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Shower cubicle and a bit of the toilet area

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I wish I had the time to have a bath!

I wish I could have stayed here forever, and I will definitely come back for a spa weekend or something. It is definitely a spot were it would be really nice to bring a boyfriend or something!