The Great Expectations of Summer

As it seems that summer may actually be starting, no doubt we are all looking forward endless summer evenings sitting sipping Prosecco in the garden with our children neatly tucked up in bed and by day, seamless trips to the park/beach/theme park with sparkling happy children and not an unhappy moment in sight because when it’s sunny and warm, everyone is happy, right?!

Well, I can tell you that, in my world, there are a few things to look forward to it but let’s face it… it will never be the wonderful thing that we hope it will be.

The miserable reality of summer

  • When I pull my summer clothes out of the wardrobe, it will all comes flooding back to me. Last summer I didn’t buy new clothes as I swore that I’d loose weight before this summer. I still haven’t lost the weight, so I still have no clothes that I like that fit – darn, blast and bugger!
  • Skirts… they are unhelpful! Before kids, they were pretty and flouncy. After kids, they are the devils creation for assisting me in flashing my pants to the rest of the park/beach/farm yard (delete as appropriate).  With a toddler in tow, there is no politely holding a skirt down as one potters around, there is only squeezing it between ones thighs, bending down to help/grab the child and a gust of wind!
  • Tempting sunshine that draws me into the garden of an evening, with my marking. It will always be too breezy for paper and it will always blow half way across the garden.

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Don’t get me wrong, there will always be lovely bits

My sunny reality

  • Ice cream stops on the way home from work are absolutely and totally necessary and wholly justifiable. I love stopping for a cheeky Magnum, the champagne one rocked my world last summer.
  • Flip flops allow me to ditch the boots and get my toes out for the world to admire/steer away from! Hello, fresh air. Unfortunately, it adds another element of personal maintenance…painting toenails!
  • Messy/tousled hair rocks my world! It dries naturally in the sun/warm, I twirl my straighteners through a couple of times and hey presto, it counts an actual hair do! It’s a summer version of the mum bun!

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Running in Lavender

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Making progress

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Making progress… 2 words that teachers live by. How do we know our students are ‘making progress’? By assessing their work, knowing them inside and out and by challenging them to be better.

The reality for your average Joe Bloggs teacher is that we know they are ‘making progress’ through their written work and for us that means marking and lots of it!

Now whilst I’ve gone back to work full time, I am lucky enough that we are a little overstaffed for the number of teaching hours in my department at the moment. That makes me the lucky one who isn’t currently teaching for a whole timetable and therefore has more non-contact time in school. But even I have marking to bring home still.

The reason I blog about this is not a rant and rave (it sucks, but I’ve known that since my first term nearly 5 years ago) but because today, in glorious sunshine, I sat and marked outside for the first time in 2 years.

It was like the first time you buy a Magnum each summer, or the first taste of a creme egg leading up to Easter, or your first mince pie of the season. The first time I got to mark outside!

It was extra special as last year I avoided the sun at all costs, a hazard of being really large and pregnant in the summer! I sat outside only when shaded and my swollen feet were in a bucket of icy cold water. But this year, it’s on! It was shorts, vest top, sexy sun hat and a pile of marking all the way! How wonderful?!?!