#15 Things change

Hello my lovelies. I hope you are all well. It’s been a while since I have posted. A lot has happened!

So where do I start? First things first, it’s the summer holidays! It doesn’t really feel like the summer in London. It feels like a really long Saturday that lasts a month. Have I been relaxing I hear you say? No. No I have not.

A lot has happened personally. The person I had all trust in, I have no longer. It was a decision that I had to make for myself. I am telling you this as it leads to a few things.

The first thing this led to was getting closer to my religion and God. I realised that what I was doing was not permissible in my religion, hence why nothing good was going to come out of it. But, leaving the impermissible, allowed me to be permissible in other ways, which has made me happier and have full faith in God.

The second thing is that it affected my mental health. Now, I generally have a good mental health. I know how to manage it. But, something happened and my mental health was deteriorating and this was while I was teaching my cherubs. I realised that if I can’t manage my mental health, how can these children? So, I have taken up a mental health course for adults and children to help them manage it effectively. Just a side note: trust your gut instinct. It always turns out to be true.

Now, the next thing was nothing to do with the situation I spoke about earlier but, I have the most amazing friends! They help me relax, they remind me that I am a boss of my own life. I need to take the wheel and drive my car where I want. So, I researched and researched and researched as to what I want out of my life. Now, right now, women who wear hijabs (I wear one) are in the centre of media about the potential of hijabs being banned in the workplace in the EU. Now, UK are no longer part of the EU but who knows? They may decide to follow these European countries. This made me realise that I need to do more than just teaching. So, I created my own small business selling engraved necklaces for affordable prices. Let’s hope my adventure goes a long way. This isn’t just for the profits, but to put a smile on faces during the times where people may not want to smile. If you are interested, check out my Instagram page: @emmkayjewellery

To end this post, remember that everyone grows in different way and at different rates. Do you and do better. You are your own competitor. You need to be better than the you yesterday.

I hope you enjoyed reading my post today and I hope you are all doing well.

Lots of love,

Transparent Teacher xoxo

#14 It’s been a while.

Hello my lovely people. I hope you are all well and staying healthy.

It’s been a while since I have posted. Over a month. It was Ramadan. A month where Muslims fast and try to increase their faith for the long term.

It has been challenging fasting and working in a school. No pick me ups or snacks to keep me going. I will be honest, I didn’t do well with it. I could not focus on planning. I just about managed to teach the children but that is only due to the fact that I am here for them. I plucked up some energy just for them.

My mental health was challenged too. During this month, I couldn’t see the person I wanted. I felt like we had drifted apart. Things changed. But one thing I like about us is that we can communicate and bring each other up by reassuring one another. It’s still a work in progress but what relationship isn’t. Furthermore, I am starting to become self conscious. I keep thinking I am not beautiful or not worth it. This really affects me. The worst part is, I don’t have anyone to speak to about this because they don’t get it. It feels like I am alone and I know that I am the only one who can get myself out of this mindset. Again, this is a work in progress.

During Ramadan, I managed to read Quran – the holy book of Islam. I managed to pray 5 times a day. This was all a struggle as I don’t read Arabic and I was working at the same time. If you know the life of a teacher, you have no time. Some days I contemplated skipping prayers but I pushed myself to get closer to God. I aim to keep this up during the year. God willing.

Besides all of this, I think I have improved as a teaching professional. I have learnt to develop a good rapport with other staff members that was deemed challenging in the past. I, also, held a CPD in Reading for Pleasure, which grew my confidence in public-speaking, ever so slightly. At my school, we use destination reader as our guided reading approach in key stage 2. I have never taught it before I came to year 5. I, also, did not receive any training due to unforeseen circumstances. But, I built the courage to ask for help. I taught a DR lesson and recorded myself for the lead to feedback to me on. The lead and I team-taught. I am slowly growing more confident in this subject and I am so proud of myself.

The past month has been mentally and physically challenging for me. More than anyone can ever know. But I have tried to keep a smile on my face and made sure that it was not noticed by my lovely children.

No matter what you are going through, just know that you are amazing and your mental health is way more important than anything else. If you need help, ask for it. I know I am being a hypocrite but I can’t ask for help because no one understands me. Believe me, I have tried. Mental health is so important! I can’t stress this enough. Not only for adults but for the children too. So please, let’s build each other up and motivate one another.

Thank you for reading and I hope to write again soon.

Lots of love,

Transparent Teacher xoxo

#13 IWD

Hello my lovelies, I hope you are all well.

Today is International Women’s day. A day where we celebrate women. A day where we uplift women. This post is going to be different than the rest. I am going to allow you all to come deeper into my life outside of work.

The first woman in my life is my mother. We have been through a lot together. My mother was a victim of domestic abuse and mental abuse. As a child, I witnessed this and my mother came out strong. She was strong for her children. Then she found happiness in my step-dad. She found a job. She looks after a house and four children. She inspires me to become the best I can. She taught me to be strong-willed. Strong-minded. No matter what happens, be independent so that no one can mess that up for you. I owe this woman the world and more.

The second woman in my life is my maternal grandmother. I only knew her for four years but boy! She was so amazing! When my mum had to work, she took care of me. She bathed me, fed me, wiped my tears. She loved me so much. To this day, whenever I feel down or I feel like life is getting too much. I always wonder about her. What would she do? What would she tell me to do? My grandmother is so important to me and she could’ve spent more time on this Earth to experience the woman I have become.

The third woman is my step-grandmother. She made me feel like I was always part of the family since birth. She cares for me like her own grandchild. Even though there is a language barrier, she always makes me smile in her own way. In my life, I have always felt lost. I felt like I never had a place to belong but whenever I see my step-grandmother, I feel like I am wanted. She inspires me to treat everyone equally and with purity.

The last woman in my life is me. There are women who have such importance in my life but I need to realise that I am important in my life and to others. I aspire to be kind, helpful, loving, welcoming, honest, friendly to all the people I meet. From whatever background. This is my aim. To be the best that I can be. To be there for people when they need me. To remain positive. To have faith that what is meant for me, will be.

Before I say farewell, I also have men in my life who hold the highest amount of importance and inspiration to my life. I have a lot of people around me with different experiences which, in turn, has taught me a lot.

But to all my wonderful ladies out there. You are all important. You are all inspirations. You are all beautiful, amazing and perfect. Stay smiling.

Lots of love,

Transparent Teacher xoxo

#12 They are coming backkk!

Hello my lovelies! Before I get started, I just wanted to say a huge thank you for liking my posts and following my blogs. I started this off as a place to release my thoughts and ideas. I, now, want to post every week and if I don’t, I feel guilty. Thank you so much for interacting with my blog as much as you can. I hope you are all doing well and keeping healthy.

Despite my huge gratitude to you all, I am excited but nervous to have the children back. For those of you who are not British, Boris Johnson announced that all children will be returning back to school on the 8th March 2021. This is all insane.

I am so used to having the children on a computer screen. They aren’t as chatty as they would be in class since they are all muted. That was definitely bliss because my class are a talkative bunch! It’s so different. My year group have been practically remote learning for most of their time in Year five.

I am so excited to see all their little faces again. Seeing them smile in real life. Seeing them back to their old routine. Things are definitely going to be different. I know behaviours may change. Some children have gone through a lot being at home and I am going to make sure that they realise that coming to school is their safe space.

Upon their return, we will be focussing on doing more fun, interactive and team-building excercises. However, we have to continue the core subjects. I have such a fun-filled week planned. The children will be writing a card for lady at our local care home, who is turning 101. I think it’s wonderful to get the community back together. The young and the old! The children will also be completing a treasure hunt. They have to answer the questions, based on what they have learnt, and try to find the missing treasure (I put so much effort into this. I hope it works out well). The children will also be creating their own structure of the solar system and creating Islamic Art as part of our History topic. I will, also, be making sure that I have 1:1 reading with each child as some of our children do not have the opportunity of hearing someone read or for them reading to someone. Let’s just say, this week will be very busy and I will be needing as much energy as I can muster.

I know the children coming back can have a lot of emotions. For me, I am feeling nervous and anxious but also excited. I have tried to keep my weekend busy focussing on myself and not work. I have been on my 7km walks, making sure I try to exercise and I have managed to sneak in movies. Please try and do activities that are great for your own mindset, for your own health. As teachers, we need to look after ourselves as much as we look after our cherubs. Everyone is different so please look after yourselves in your own way.

You are all doing amazing, no matter what career or point of life you are in right now. You are all walking your own path. Keep your head held high and stay positive.

Thank you my lovelies,

Lots of love,

Transparent Teacher xoxo

#11 Is there light?

Hello my lovelies, I hope you and all your loved ones are keeping well and healthy.

Well, well, well. It’s back to school COVID STYLE!. Half term break is over. If I must say, I quite enjoyed my break. I went on walks almost everyday. I had a laptop/computer detox. Notice how I didn’t say technology. Ha! During these times, my only form of communication is calling and texting therefore, I need my phone. It was difficult to try not to think about work but I always remembered that my job needs me to refill my jug and be the best I can. So, a restful break is well-deserved for everyone.

We are back into school Covid style. This week, I am on rota with the key worker and vulnerable children. At first, the children were silent. As if they were scared or anxious. But after a while, they were used to being back and knew their routine as they have been in school since the New Year. I love children who have a can-do attitude. I have two children who want to teach creativity so they have taken over my job for two afternoons this week.

At the school I work at, we have a mini farm. Currently, we have 3 goats, 1 rabbit, 2 guinea pigs and some chicken. The 3 goats are newly called Gita, Sita and Anita. They are the most beautiful golden goats you can ever see! We also have Peter the Rabbit. He lost 2 of his friends two weeks ago as they were eaten by foxes. The children haven’t had much interaction with the animals therefore, I have planned a special viewing of Peter and the Guinea pigs this week. The animals will be coming to my classroom and roaming around. It sounds like a good idea in my head but it could turn into a catastrophe. Who knows?!

Schools were waiting for that important decision on 22nd February 2021. It came. Schools will be reopening to all pupils on March 8th. How do I feel? Well, I don’t know. Some days I feel like I really can’t wait to see all of them and have them in the flesh. Then, some days, I feel really anxious as I am so used to them being on the screen. I am also concerned about whether or not they have made progress. So, here we are. Going back to somewhat normality.

For the return of all pupils, we have decided to continue with core subjects, however, we also want to include team building and socialising activities. Most children haven’t been able to socialise with others so this will be great. I know that I will have to remind them of the expectations of school. Unfortunately, my lovely year 5 children have not been assessed since November 2019, therefore, they will be having assessment week on the second week back. If you know my year group, you know that we need to get this done as soon as possible before we end up in another self isolation period. I guess we just have to adapt.

Mr Johnson has come up with a plan. Is it going to help? Who knows? UK has had the harshest restrictions. But also the highest rates. The one main thing I am excited about are the gyms reopening. After being more active, I have been addicted. We just all need to pray and stay positive.

Thank you for reading my blog lovelies. Please stay safe and healthy.

Lots of love,

Transparent Teacher xoxo

#10 It’s been hard

Hello my wonderful people. I hope you are all well and healthy. Well, what can I say? It’s been challenging. I know I have definitely struggled for the past month or so, hence why I haven’t posted. I’m sorry. However, it’s officially half term in the UK!

These six weeks have been difficult. Remote learning is not the same as seeing the children’s beautiful faces. I am pretty sure that it’s difficult for the children too. Especially since some of them do not have access to personal outdoor areas where they can play.

I am, also, aware that it’s difficult for parents too. I had a parent zoom meeting and it was so sweet that they asked how I was and then proceeded to tell me how tired I look. We laughed it off. As a teacher, it is so nice to be appreciated from parents and children. Hearing children say that they enjoyed lessons that you have planned and delivered. It’s a wonderful feeling during challenging times.

I have also been challenged personally. A lot of personal issues arose. This really affected me mentally. I felt overwhelmed by everything. There was a week or two where I was constantly crying, wanting to give up. To forget about things, I worked all day and night. I couldn’t sleep. I think this is the lowest I have ever been. I had dark thoughts that I could not share with anyone. I had thoughts about leaving my career. Leaving my life. I was questioning my ability to be a good teacher, a good daughter, a good sister and a good girlfriend. I felt like everything I was doing was wrong.

During this time, I still had to teach. Even this was hard. I wasn’t myself and I felt like crying while teaching. But I stayed strong and remembered that sometimes, the only source of happiness that the children get, is me. I am trying to better my mental state but I do fall back to those times. I know it will take time.

Despite all of this, the half term break is here. I will still be working a few days but I really hope it will be relaxing and happy. Nothing propping up to put me in a downward spirals. If you are a teacher or taking a week off from your profession, please do remember that your mental state is really important. Do something that will make you smile. Do something that will relax you and find someone who you can talk to.

I know this post has been a bit negative but I just wanted to show that if you are going through something, you are not alone. These are hard times but you are all amazing and great!

Have a wonderful week my loves.

Lots of love,

Transparent Teacher

#9 Back to school (well remote learning)

Hello my lovelies,

I hope that you are all well. Well guess what?! We are in another lockdown which means schools are on remote learning until who knows when. It’s been three weeks since the chuldren have started remote learning.

My school have decided to do 1 live lesson a day with extra lessons that are pre-recorded on Google Classroom. We, also, have key workers children attending school. It’s been manic to say the least.

At first, it was all okay. The teachers were getting their footing with remote learning for a longer period of time. Also, thinking about those who attend school and what learning will they be accessing. The children really do miss coming into school and seeing their friends. It’s a different and new experience for all of us.

Vulnerable children have been provided with laptops on loan. This means that they must use the laptop for school purposes only. This is difficult as most of these children do not do any extra activities. We have been giving them phone calls and emails to track and enquire but there is only so much we can do.

Parent phone calls. Well, parents have been getting a lot of these. During live lessons, our support staff come into the Zoom and take the register. If there are children missing, the support staff call up parents asking why and making sure the children attend. Parents, also, get phone calls for their child’s misbehaviour over zoom or lack of work being completed. Some of these children fool their parents and tell them that they have completed work when they have not. Cheeky. Parent phone calls are needed now more than ever as teachers need their support.

Pastoral care phone calls. Every other week, teachers call children to make sure that they are doing well. Children are so important and change can be hard for some of them. Change can affect their mental and behaviour. So, teachers call up bi-weekly to make sure that the children are fine and healthy. We also call them to encourage them to complete their task.

Now, let’s go into live lessons. From the get go, the children knew the expectations but I guess they are now used to it and their behaviour on live lessons has gone downhill. Children are laying in bed. They are coming to the lesson wearing pyjamas, they are chatting away when they shouldn’t be. This has become very challenging to deal with.

As Dr K (HealthyGamer_GG) would say, the education system is outdated and not suitable for remote teaching. Does this mean that live learning is beneficial or has the same impact as pre-recorded lessons? Are teachers more over-worked now than when children attend school?

This is maybe 10% of what my school does. There is so much more that we do. I really think that teachers are under appreciated and they need to be valued more.

To end this off, I really do appreciate all the hard work that every person is doing. Whether you are a teacher like me or in another profession. Everyone who is finding lockdown challenging, I am here for you and you are in my thoughts and prayers. I am definitely finding this lockdown more draining mentally than the previous ones. Not being able to see my favourite person as often as I would like to is one of the worst things.

I hope you all have a lovely week.

Lots of love,

Transparent Teacher xoxo

#8 New Year 2021

Hello my loves,

I hope you are all staying healthy and happy.

I live in London and our Prime Minister has decided to close schools, in certain boroughs, until 18th January. I don’t know what that point of this is, as if Covid is going to disappear on the 18th. But, I know that with the children being off, their education will be hugely impacted. I, also, know that the teachers will be under immense pressure due to trying to provide the children with enriched learning. However, there is nothing that we can do about this but to live each day as it comes.

We say our goodbyes to 2020. A year of change. A year of adaptations. A year of loss. A year of lockdowns. A year of pressure. 2020 for me was definitely challenging. I am ever so grateful that I have not experienced loss due to Covid-19. I am grateful for still having a job and an income when others lost theirs. I am grateful for the good health of myself and the people around me.

However, there has been some challenges. We are all allowed to have challenges and there is nothing to be afraid of. You are all amazing despite these. My first challenge was the uncertainty of what was to happen in schools. This was the first time where I could not be over-prepared or organised in advance. I really learnt that I have to live everyday as it comes and I should not plan forward, in terms of work (This is still a work in progress.)

Another challenge I faced was relationships. I am blessed to be in a relationship with a man who I see the rest of my life with. I am a touchy person. I love to have my significant other around me. I like to speak to them everyday. I like to be able to hear about every little thing. Lockdowns made this difficult. It really affected my mental state of mind. Things would get lost in communication. However, I like to believe that I have worked on this and my communication has improved as it will continue to do so.

There were some positives to the year. I have become a reader. A reader of fiction books, self-help books and even researches. I knew I always loved books but 2020 brought this out of me even more. I, also, decided to do some painting. Therapeutic. Furthermore, I gained positive people around me. People who always pulled me up when I fell down. I can’t be more grateful for them.

My goals for 2021 is to communicate better with everyone around me and to learn to solve my problems. By this I mean, every human has problems. Life is not all flowers and perfume. Problems will always be a part of our life. My goal is to solve my problems rather than dwell on them or blame others. Solve my problems to make me a better me. Furthermore, I need to prioritise what is important in my life. I want to focus on the things that really matter.

I am going to end this post with saying that I wish everyone whom this post has reached, with a better 2021. I wish you good health (mentally and physically), good relationships, happiness and peace.

Thank you for reading my posts and interacting with my blogs or my profile. I love it. Speak to you all soon.

Lots of love,

Transparent Teacher xoxo

#7 Refilling your jug

Hello my lovely’s,

I hope you are all well. My well wishes are with you and your families during this Tier 4 announcement. Today’s post is not like any other. I am going to write/talk about my experiences the past few weeks. By experiences, I mean what I have been up to.

Let’s start with a huge congratulations to all teachers out there. We managed to get through the Autumn term with our ‘new normal.’ I praise all your hard work and dedication to make sure these children get a valuable and enriched education. Have a drink on me!

The last week of school was crazy. We still had to complete a ‘big write’ in one week. From start to finish. But the children got there and I am so proud of their perseverance. Not only am I their role model but they are also mine. They are teaching me certain attributes that I would love to acquire. To end the week, we had Christmas parties! The children enjoyed it. I tried my best to make it as fun and care-free as possible. Let’s just say, a lot of Tiktok dances were involved and I had to get in with kids. I didn’t care if the children thought I was weird because it made them smile. It made them forget how tough this term was. Especially since they have had to self-isolate twice in six week. I guess, my aim was to just make them smile and enjoy every moment.

The winter holidays are finally here. I promised myself that the first week, I will not do any work. I need to focus on myself and ‘refilling my jug.’ By the phrase ‘refilling my jug’, I mean, as teachers, we are always giving our students a bit of ourselves. Our time and our efforts. By the end of the day, or week, or month, our jug gets empty. So, we need to refill our jugs so we can fill the jugs of our students. I have been refilling my jug in numerous ways. Now, this is new to me. I always thought I would be that teacher who binge watched Netflix. I came to realise that, that is not me.

My first way of refilling my jug, is taking on running. Our PE coach at school suggested we do half a marathon to raise money for our school food bank. Honestly, this motivated me. As soon as the children were dismissed on the last day of the Autumn term, I downloaded Couch to 5K. At first, my thoughts were negative. Why am I putting my body through this? Is it worth it? Then, Saturday, I got myself up. I had a better breakfast than I usually do then went for a run an hour later. It was hard. It really was but I felt great after it. This really made me realise how unfit I am but it was time for me to fix that. Honestly, going to the park to run and being in your element is amazing. I am currently on day 5 of Couch to 5K and it hasn’t gotten easier yet. However, I am feeling more motivated to go on the runs because it makes me happy. I also push myself to get a workout in but that is if my body is ready for it.

My second way is taking up painting. I have seen paint by numbers all over social media. I have always wanted to do it and I thought what a better time to get one and complete it. I brought a lion one and when I opened the box, I immediately regretted it. I thought to myself that I can’t complete this. This is going to take me ages. However, I have developed the patience to complete it. It is also calming and your brain doesn’t have to think of much but to stay within the lines. It really has relaxed me a lot.

My last way is reading. I have become an avid-reader and I really get immersed in the books. It reminds me of when I was a child and I used to really imagine the story through the words. Word can be so powerful. I am currently reading The Beekeeper of Aleppo. It is so touching and heart-breaking at the same time. The authors out there who make readers feel like this are amazing. Their words and their portrayal are so beautiful that you want to give your 100% focus. Unfortunately, my reading over the past few days has been dismal. Purely due to the lack of sleep I am having at the moment. But, I do aim to finish this book by February.

That is what I have been getting up to in the first week of the Winter holidays. I am going to enjoy every minute of it, as best I can, before I start the new week off by working.

If there is one thing I want you to get out of this post, is that you, no matter what career you are in, need to find ways to refill your jug. It is so important to focus on your well-being because if your jug is empty, the children or the people around you can pick up on this. Everyone has different ways to refill their jug and please just do what is best for you. It could be talking to a loved one (my personal favourite) or catching up with friends. Please just make sure that you refill your jugs and make sure you are healthy and happy.

Thank you for reading.

Lots of love,

Transparent Teacher xoxo

#6 Starting from square one

Hello my loves!

I hope you are doing well. One more week until the winter holidays. I tell myself that I am going to relax and not try to think about work but who am I kidding? I have so many ideas and these children need to be pushed! After having so many days off due to self-isolation, they have gone back to square one. It is as if they have forgotten everything they have learnt! HELPPPP!

The children came back on Wednesday. It was so beautiful seeing their faces again. I did see them on live lessons but it was not the same. I missed their comments and their laughs. It brings joy to my day.

Even though they were still doing live lessons, everything they have learnt seemed to go out the window. I am still trying to teach them long multiplication but they have forgotten how to put their digits in the correct place value columns to help them add. I have been going crazy for the past few days. But tomorrow, I am going to try and teach them a different way but we also need to move on. So it’s going to have to be a starter teach and then going into the main lesson. Let’s see how that goes.

Aside from all this, I was observed during an English lesson. It was a lesson where the children had to edit and publish their work. I was trialing out editing stations and the children loved it. I felt like they were beginning to edit more independently. This made their publishing a smooth transition. But who on Earth gave me the courage to try something new during my NQT observation? It was definitely nerve-wrecking.

But it went well. Lovelies, my observer told me that he witnessed things in the class that I, as a class teacher, never witnessed. He told me that I have developed a culture in my class that making mistakes is okay. The children were able to help each other without shaming each other about their mistakes. They were also having valuable conversations about the work and how each other can make it better. When my observer told me this, it made me smile! It also gave me goosebumps because these children have been through a lot this half term and seeing their drive to be and do better is brilliant.

If there is one thing to get out of this post, it is to keep going. No matter how many times you lose hope, there will always be a time or a moment where the children do give you back the hope. They are children and, sometimes, the only hope and faith they get is from you, their teacher.

I hope you all have a lovely week ahead.

Lots of love,

Transparent Teacher xoxo

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