To mail or not to mail



It is Friday. The back to school emails have started. They are popping into my mail box with the inevitability of a Monday which follows a Sunday.

I have very mixed feelings towards looking at work email when I am at home. First of all, it does interrupt your home life. As a profession, we need to try really hard to switch off sometimes – which is often an impossible task. This is made harder if you have those pesky emails popping up.


On the other hand, if you don’t check them, then you may miss an important notice and end up looking unprepared when you go into work. Also, looking at the mail today started a sick kind of rolling and knotting sensation in my stomach which I was powerless to prevent.

Being in special measures adds a extra element. With a new acting head starting with us, we once again find ourselves in the position of having to prove ourselves. We did that last year. It was hard, scary and sometimes quite exciting. And now we are having to do it all over again. I am sure that anyone who has been in special measures with lots of management changes is very familiar with this situation. So, there is that extra pressure to open those mails…you want to make a good impression.

So, what is the solution? I tried switching off my school account during holidays/weekends. I found this created more anxiety than it prevented as I was scared I was missing out, or would appear ignorant to anyone sending me a mail.

I decided to blog about it instead. To see if anyone had a solution. Funnily enough, while I was writing this, I thought of an idea. To achieve a balance, I could designate certain times to switch on/off that work email account. For example – turn it off after 8 on a weekday – only turn it on for an hour on a Saturday afternoon…

If anyone out there has any other solutions I would love to hear about them…it’s something we all need to think about in this work/life balance conscientious world.


1 week countdown

Oh God. We are here. Time to start winding up the gears and getting ourselves ready for the big back to school bonanza.

The knot in my stomach is there but I am trying my best to ignore it. Instead I will try to get on with the business of getting ready.

Step 1 – set up my alarm to go off earlier and earlier throughout next week

Step 2 – begin to look at what my priorities will be during the first week. (In my case it will be updating our data managing system and the website. Also helping a new supply year 5 teacher to settle in.

Step 3 – check in with the new acting head so he doesn’t think that I have forgotten I work there (I have actually already done this step with an outline plan of where to move next after a third fairly damning HMI visit)

Step 4 – ensure my mindfulness meditation routine, courtesy of @headspace is well established – I will need it more than ever after the start of next week.

Step 5 = start to visualise a positive return to work

Step 6 – look at a few resource sites for any new downloads which may be beneficial to staff.

Step 7 – make the most of every minute of holiday time left

So what steps do you take to prepare for going back to work? I may add them to my list!


Who I am and why I am here


I am a mom. I am a wife. I am a teacher and assistant head. I am a gamer and I am a reader. I am a photographer.

I am here because I want to rediscover a joy of teaching. Being in a special measures school is bringing a host of new challenges. We are currently in our second year of this process and I find myself becoming more than a little jaded. I don’t want to be. I used to love my job and could not understand why teachers were leaving in their droves. Now…I understand.

I struggle everyday to stay positive. I try to put a good spin on the ever changing head teachers. The constant judgement. The scrutiny that we are all under at the moment. I try to deny to myself that it is a struggle and try to ignore the nagging thought that I could lose my job, or be forced out of the school that I love.

So, I am here to share experiences and find people who are in similar situations (or much better ones) who can inspire me to keep going, and maybe also learn from some of the things that I share on here.

Blogging has never really got started for me. For various reasons. I am hoping to keep it going this time in the knowledge that ultimately it could help me. As an outlet for my thoughts and a way to connect with people and make new friends.

So here’s to a new journey.