That life-work-life balance thing again

This seems to be a recurring theme for me – how to balance family with work and what percentage to give to what ? I know that I get it wrong most of the time. When you actually enjoy reading about educational issues and experimenting with software and tecchie stuff, this is one of the dangers. It doesn’t actually feel like work to catch up on the tweets about lastest teaching stuff, or to flick through a new textbook as it is actually interesting. But, having said that, at the end of the day, it IS still work.

This picture sums it up quite nicely for me.work life balance I feel it is important to work on those little bridges you can see which take you from life to work and from work to life in this picture. If those bridges are solidly in place, I am sure the rest kind of clicks. But the bridges are definitely the key to success, in my opinion.

On my To Do list for the weeks to come, I definitely want to read a really gripping book, one that you really don’t want tp put down and that you can get totally lost in. I also want to look after my garden. I talked a while back about dealing with the front bed before the weeds took over. Well, guess what ? The weeds did take over and I am going to have one heck of job on my hands to get that cleared !! But I will. And I want to do some furniture restoration. I love tinkering with old chairs and drawers, bringing them back to life. Those are my plans for the weeks to come.

Work-wise, as school starts to wind down for the exam season, it is time to think about the Big Tidy-Up. I haven’t cleaned out my study for years (if ever) and it was originally decorated as a nursery for my son, who is now 13. The teddies stencilled on the walls could perhaps do with an update. Maybe some funky and groovy colours, rather than the baby pastels ???

In terms of tidying, the end of year brings mountains of papers to my attention, that sit there, just getting bigger as the year progresses. They will all need to be filed away and sorted out. I dream of a paperless office – ha ha !!!

Does that sound quite balanced ? Still a little way to go yet, but I am getting there.watch this space

A few days off

Road map around Paris

I’m off for a few days to get a bit of cultural enhancement !!! A long weekend and Paris in May – that sounds all rather delightful, don’t you think ? A trip to the Louvre, a bateau mouche along the Seine, up to Montmartre and taking in a show. Does that sound like a plan to you ? It certainly does to me !!

Paris-pyramide-musee-louvre

My youngest, 13 years old, is about to embark on the family cultural experience !! Last time we did this, we spent most of the day chasing around after a bag that “got forgotten” on the bus. It only contained all our electronic goods – camera, GPS, camcorder … well, the good news is that you now only need to take your phone with you, so that is progress – and surprisingly, we got our bag back intact !! The time before that, we went to see a show and our car got towed away during the evening as it was badly parked !!! We spent half the night, getting it back out of the lock-up !! Not hard to understand why our kids are slightly traumatized about going to the capital !! Still, let’s be zen and hope we will not have any disasters this time !!!

OVERVIEW+-+Notre+Dame+cathedral+and+the+River+Seine

Time out !

Today is the first day of my Easter holidays. Rarely have I waited so eagerly for the holidays to arrive. In the last couple of weeks of school, the kids were irritable, the staff were irritable and it was a generally grumpy atmosphere. But the magic of two weeks break from all of that will pour calming water onto many of those frayed nerves, leaving us refreshed and ready to start anew on May 5th. Lots to do between now and then – Easter eggs to organise, a garden to give some TLC to, some serious Spring cleaning to undertake and maybe a spot of painting – why not ? For Christmas, my lovely husband gave me a “pampering session” at our local beauty spa. I have been keeping it for a special moment – and that special moment has now come. Two o’clock this afternoon for a “Hawaian moment of relaxation” !!!

So forgive me if I take a break from my blogging too – those batteries defintely need a supercharge. The Easter bunny can take over for the time being !!

HappyBunny-

Another goal to reach

As I am writing, the number of hits on this blog is 18,374. With three and a half weeks until the Easter holidays, my goal is to reach 20,000 hits before Easter. Can we do it ? Yes, we can !! I know we can. How do I know this ? Because I am confident in the knowledge that my pupils are working hard and using this blog to do so. I can see it on the stats as I follow who is doing what. I see it in their work in the classroom as they re-invest what they have been doing at home.

I know we can do it because I see also the countries that are following my blog too. I check my stats page every day to see which countries are there and I smile to myself as I realize that people around the world are checking out what I have to offer. It is very exciting being part of the blogosphere and to know I am being read around the world.

So, we’re on the road to 20,000 before April 19th. Let’s see how quickly we can get there, everyone.

tm_countdown

The big switch off

One of the aspects of the job of being a teacher that I am finding harder and harder to manage is the “switch off”. I seem to have one of these notices attached to me :

do not switch offI am finding it more difficult to deal with the never-ending nature of the job. You have never finished because there is always more forward-thinking that you can do. My lessons for the coming week are ready, noted down, on my USB drive (which is safely stored in my bag – as I have a terrible habit of forgetting it), papers are marked and Bob’s your uncle. But there are then the dratted reports to write – no, done those for this week). And of course, I also run training courses – but Friday’s is more or less ready and can be tweaked during the week – so, have I finished ? Well, I guess technically, I could say yes, but there is another lesson that I want to give some thought to, and my blog pages could do with tidying up a bit, and my office and my desk, well, how many piles of stuff can I accumulate in such a small space ? It all needs sorting and filing. And I have this new training course that will be in May … and for next year, I ought to add some new stuff to the training I will be doing on October …

NO ! STOP !

I entitled this blogpost “The Big Switch-off” because that is what I am about to do. My desk light actually conked out on me last night, flickered a bit, fizzed and then died. So I took it as a sign. It is Friday and I have a whole weekend ahead of me. In approximately five minutes, I am going to switch off my computer, not just standby, but actual switch off, and close the door on this corner of my life.

switch off pc I will not return until Sunday evening, not even to spy on my statistics to see who has read this blogpost in which countries. I will not fiddle, twiddle, tweak or even peak at any of it. I have the in-laws coming for the weekend and I will relax !! I have selected three novels to read – proper paper books and not e-books – and I am going to get halfway through at least one of them. I think it will be the juicy scandal about Henry VIII – the sort of novel I love but don’t take time to read. I will light a roaring fire in the fireplace, make an apple cake and enjoy a nice cup of tea, watching the blue tits on the feeder in the garden, hoping they will find the nesting box that my dad made me for Christmas.

Do you believe me ?

keep calm and switch off

I am determined to do it. How difficult should it be to decide not to work over the weekend ? It is, in my view, one of the big issues that faces teachers (and I am sure, other professions, but I don’t know about them). Surely anyone who works from home will empathize. I am not going to feel guilty about it. I am going to enjoy the downtime. If you are a teacher reading this, and you fancy joining me on the “Downtime Cruisade”, well, welcome aboard but don’t message me here about it, as I won’t be looking. This computer is now officially out of bounds. Do not enter. Go away and relax – yes, Frankie says Relax, so now go and do it. The Big Switch Off offically starts HERE …

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