Wednesday, 31 December 2014
Hiatus Over...Finally Finding The Strength To Blog Again
Sorry that it has been a really long time since I last blogged. Guess you could say I was on a massive hiatus. Quite a large one, a lot has happened since my last post. I kept making new blog posts, but I just couldn't find the strength to finish them. Some of you may say I was being lazy, maybe I was...some of you probably just don't care. I actually started blogging again because an old friend of mine mentioned it, stating that she enjoyed reading my blogs and I was good at it. She suggested that I should get back into it, it was something I was good at. So here I am, thanks Sally, you have always been there for me <3
I was on hiatus! But hopefully I am back now!
I have stopped doing all the stuff I used to love. Like writing, I haven't done any creative writing in a very long time, partly because of the PGCE but also because I am not quite myself. I used to enjoy blogging, words came naturally to me. Well when I write anyway, well sometimes....sometimes I can be awfully blunt when I am texting/email etc...completely different in person.
In May this year, I failed my final placement, I was asked to leave by the school. I knew I was struggling, I knew I needed extra help and I didn't ask for it. When I did, it was too late because by then they had made up their mind, I knew they didn't want me anymore, they were just waiting for me to slip up so they could ask me to leave. I blame myself mainly for this, I should have asked for help, I should have opened up, I should have spoken up. I just thought I could get through it, that I didn't want to be a pain, or be a burden to my class teacher or my mentor. I felt like I was a burden to them, just by being there, wasting their time, being useless. I couldn't control the class, I wasn't being consistent, I was stressing an awful lot. Which showed when I was teaching. I knew I had to keep my emotions at bay, but when I was stressing over my career being on the line, I could hardly focus on the main task, which was to teach.
(Just some of the reading material I used for my final placement)
Everyone thinks teaching is a piece of cake, that it's just sitting in a classroom full of 30 angels and leaving as soon as the school bell rings. It's not, it's so much more than that. I am not saying that other professions aren't difficult or challenging. But teaching isn't as airy fairy as those who work outside education think.
I used to wake up at 5:45am, leave the flat at 6:30, to get into school for just after half 7. I would fit in my half an hour a day exercise (walking) in that time. I used that time to clear my head, to think, to believe in myself. Once arriving in school I would make myself my third cup of coffee (I know I drank too much of the brown stuff) I would sit down and work on my files, look over again and again the lessons I would be teaching, and prepare the whole foundation area (with help of course). Preparing resources for the lessons/group activities, as well as the free flow activities the children would take part in during the school day.
(Quite often left the flat before the sun was fully in the sky)
At 8:45am the children started to roll in, and so the school day began, the only break I would have would be lunch and that would go down to half an hour or less by the time I got the kids ready for lunch and helped them with opening things and cutting up food. As well as organising for the lesson I would teach after lunch and the resources I would need. When school ended at half 3. I would then put all my energy into making resources and preparing for the following day. Also doing more filing, marking of work etc. (Unless there was a staff meeting, which occurred twice a week for me.) Quite often I would leave school after 6. Normally half 6. That's right 6:30pm, teachers wished they could leave when the kids did. The earliest I ever left school was probably 5. (And that was at the beginning of my placement.) By the time I got home it would be half 7. (Traffic was always bad, and I had to get two buses, sometimes I would add in another walk and get one bus instead, but that depended on my mood and how much I had to carry.)
Home at half 7, food was always my first thought, by the time I had made dinner and showered it would be like 9. I would spend the next hour or two doing lesson plans for the next few days, and go over what I would teach the next day. By half 10, I would start to wind down, knowing I needed to get some sleep otherwise I would be too tired to keep up with my active bunch of 4/5 year olds.
As you may know, I am an over-thinker, and quite often find it extremely difficult to sleep, and that is exactly what happened, often not sleeping till gone midnight, it also didn't help that towards the end of my placement, I say the last month, I started to feel sick, I would have belly pains because I was stressing so much about passing the placement. (I wasn't even thinking about getting a job, I was too focused on not screwing up my PGCE). When I eventually went to sleep, the moment I woke up (it was always before the alarm, about half 5 probably). I would instantly, have that sick feeling, pain in my belly and sometimes an awful headache. I would feel like all the way to school, until I started teaching when I couldn't really focus on my health but rather on the well being of the children in my class.
I remember my last week (week 7) at the school, I knew they didn't want me there, It felt like they hated me. I started to feel things were going wrong in week 4 of my placement. I felt that my class teacher and mentor started to think differently of me, I am only basing it on the vibes I got from them. They were lovely people and were kind, just I guess I didn't open up enough to them that maybe they thought I didn't care. When I really did, I wanted it so much, but I wasn't asking for help. Like there was a lack of communication, which was true, they surprised me with a couple of surprised observations, well more like last minute observations.
Anyway, as I was saying during my last week, I had gotten my second cause for concern ( I got my first, in my first placement). I tried every so hard not to get another one, because I felt a lot of emotional pain after the first one. I knew when they issued me with that I knew I was a goner ( I know I shouldn't have thought like that, but it started to all add up, the hostile way I was feeling, the way they looked/viewed me differently.) I wasn't even given a week to sort myself out, I had till Wednesday, and it was on that day Wednesday 21st May 2014, I had a disastrous phonics lesson/Observation, really disastrous, the kids weren't listening at all, I was stressed up to my eyeballs and I really, really wanted to cry.(Cried over my lunch break I also think that was the same day I made the kids sit in silence for 5 minutes because they were being really rude to me ha.I think they knew they that they really pissed me off, I was also very close to crying too.)
I knew I had screwed up majorly and I knew I would be leaving. After school I was called into a meeting, that I didn't know about until the end of the day. And I knew I was walking into a dark tunnel and I would never see the light of day again. After they left me in the meeting room, a few tears came out, I dried my eyes and walked back to my classroom and bumped into my lovely friend (a fellow trainee teacher, who was so lovely and supportive.) She instantly knew something was wrong, before I knew it I burst into floods of tears, then the cleaner (who was such a lovely lady, I really liked her, so kind and chatty) came in and stopped what she was doing and came and gave me a hug and asked what was wrong, before I knew it most of the foundation stage team were there and listening to what I had to say, or rather watch me cry and use up a whole box of tissues. After a lot of tears, Sally (the other trainee, and not the same Sally as the one mentioned above.) drove me home. Wasn't in the right state to catch public transport anyway. With red/panda eyes, and bags full of stuff, I think I had like 3/4 bags.
At home, (I was home relatively early, giving the fact most of my flatmates never got home till half 5 at the earliest.) I immediately logged onto my laptop and cried to my parents over Skype, and then to my sister on the phone. And then to my flatmates. Who have been ever so supportive since that day I let my career blow up in my face.
(My lovely and very supportive flatmates)
You probably didn't want to read any of this, well the above, me rambling about my day to day life when I was on my final placement. Just guess I wanted to share to everyone how I felt during this time, that I don't ever want anyone to feel the way I did. So helpless and stressed. I made myself ill, physically and emotionally.
I guess it was only now New Year's Eve that I finally had the courage to put it into words, what happened. I spent the next 3/4 months after failing, crying everyday over it, replaying it all over and over again. Blaming myself. I guess you could say I fell into a slight depressive state. Falling out of love with the things I used to love. Like shopping, (I still shop now, but not in the manner and enjoyment I had before), and reading, It used to take me a matter of days to finish a book and now I can't even finish a book, it's been months and I am still reading the same book.
(A few purchases I made after failing my PGCE)
(I am still reading this book...)
It is like I had my heart ripped out of me and crushed in front of my eyes, as I watched on helplessly. (Ok I have watched way too much of Once Upon A Time)
(A little clip from Once, referring to the whole heart crushing reference I made above.)
All the stuff I used to believe in, has started to fade. I have started to stop holding on to Love, on to faith, dreams and hope. The four words I would ramble on about, that I would dish out. But I still hold onto the thought that 'Everything happens for a reason', I just haven't found that reason for what has happened yet.
(This is my diary, I decorated it at the beginning of the year, because those were the four words I believed in, they were the words I held on too...now they are pretty much all but gone.)
Here's hoping that 2015 couldn't get any worse, to new beginnings, that I hopefully will find myself being where I want to be.
In no way whatsoever do I want to discourage anyone from going into teaching, I just wanted to share with everyone what I went through, that I hope no one ever goes through what I went through, I know that others have had it a lot worse than I have, but I just hope that I helped just a little. That's all I ever wanted, a job where I could make a difference to help someone, even just a little. That's probably why I wanted to go into teaching, I wanted a rewarding job where I could make a difference. If there are any questions with regards to teaching or anything else, I am happy to answer to them and try my best to help.
Happy New Year, May 2015 be more prosperous for me and for you all.