Monthly Archives: November 2014

Lunch out …

Anne’s birthday lunch with all 4 of our little family unit. Together for the first time in …months. A tad chatty from two young men but a great find down by the river Colne, oh for a summer revisit and a kayak too perhaps.






Everyday solo taxonomy dilemma reblog

Pre structural ….but not able to retain uni structural … | globalsolo

Reblog piece from – time out example

Teaching through the medium of #pop videos | gasigict

A mishmash week …happy ending…

Well after last post on Thursday morning I took my day sensibly and later in the day felt much better. I avoided moving screens but managed to tick off a backlog of email requests from work, I felt that was making a contribution, I know,but I like to.

So an idea formed in my head even though work told I wouldn’t be in after the mornings rolling incident: what if I were to get up, prepare for work, monitoring how I felt at each stage and see if it was a possibility. I could modify my teaching, so less time on my feet, not use Interactive whiteboard to reduce glare and straining peripheral vision, I could handwrite on plain pen board.

Decision made, the plan was put into action. at no time in preparing did I feel light headed. The drive went smoothly, traffic was quite heavy which meant I could remain focused easily.

I arrived – dressed for delayed non uniform day. Surprise from several that I was in but reassured them that yes I would be teaching my classes. Lessons went well,I was back in my element. Topics included distinguishing between formal and informal employment using a Mali case study which allowed links to current media stories inc.Ebola and the charity responses, identifying links back to informal tenure and why shanty towns are populated. Later work on sustainable communities including BedZEDin Surrey using our core textbook (media awareness) and the linked website.

I was touched by the questions from staff and pupil enquiries as the rumour mill had me faint, taken home,in hospital …I was able to reassure.

A positive line management meeting; parent met after school and a dedicated group back for gcse intervention.

Friday was a good day.

Later took part in #satchatoc discussion with educators from: Scotland, London, USA, Hong Kong, China, Australia and Thailand. Fab …

A mishmash…week continues…TMHavering3

Well, I was able to follow aspects of TMHavering3 from my sofa and retweet images and thoughts from people present. I am blessed to have such good support in Andy Lewis and Martin Burrett who took on the hosting aspect and support in school from Alex Gilchrist, Brigid Hardy and. Lesley Hall.

So the Teachmeet lost a few attendees to work commitments and illness but they seemed to have a fine time. The pictures I am posting were taken by Andy Lewis on the night and tweeted as @iTeachRE.



A revised programme as two pedagogy presenters were unable to attend as unwell, myself in my @GlobalSolo guise and @CraftyTeacher Alison Weston who travels down from Suffolk. The space was better used in my opinion than the original plan and looked good. It was a chance to showcase the school’s E-Zone as well.

Presenters included Havering primary: Elm Park with Laura Woods and Neree Sale (@EPPS_ICT) on their extensive range of IT uses.


I have no image of Dave Smith from Havering IT/Computing team who shared lots on making links internationally including a response to the changing EAL profile within the LB Havering.

On the technical side we had an exclusive in Leon Cych (@Eyebeams) of L4L TV presenting on AV with his own hashtag #TMHavering3AV and it was great that Leon was not stuck behind a camera / mike as he often is when live streaming education events.


In the image he can be seen making use of the school green screen facility and the TouchCast app.

The pedagogy link was started by Adam Thorne, my Headteacher at The Albany School, who made impressions on several people that I spoke to after the event both online and by phone. He shared ideas on co-operative learning and also spent time networking with colleagues.


Andy Lewis and Martin Burrett both presented but I have no pictures of them yet. Finally Iesha Small presented on staff well being and her Mindshackles project which I have blogged about as one of the volunteers involved. This attracted a small but interested audience who discussed ideas in detail with Iesha. She also had some some A3 prints made up including a distant picture of me kayaking on the R Chelmer.



So here ends the first review, but as. I said more photos to file at some point. Already there are requests for TMHavering4…2015 beckons.

Meanwhile a scrolling screen of spreadsheet this morning did for me. I have never felt motion sick before from that. So I will not return this week but will do what I can from home as long as it doesn’t involve vigorous motion.

A mishmash… Recent week

Well since my last post life has been varied. Many that know me will / may think “oh no” or am I self-judging again. I have had two episodes of going light headed / faint and dizzy in the classroom within a week of each other. The first time the asthma pump was needed to calm my breathing, not the second time. At home there has been a virus in the air and it may be the oneI have caught but it could have been from a variety of sources as I know so many people being ill currently. The first time I was reluctant to leave my class (Last Wednesday), the second time I was only too willing to leave with the school nurse. Pupils were great in a) fetching assistance and b) checking on me. In between, I was back in with full days Thursday and Friday determined to be well and meet commitment to Promethean Advocate weekend for UK and Ireland team.

This was the camel back breaking moment I think. I felt much better on Thursday and Friday. However, a six hour drive after school Friday and almost five hours back on Sunday meant that my energy levels were lowered and wham the virus won on Monday. The same seems to have affected my fellow advocates as 6/15 on the weekend struck down with a variety of symptoms. The weekend itself was educational, great chance to meet the group again, celebrate Jon’s birthday with Socks and Zebra and start to master new Classflow software to help promote as UK launch approaches.

This time the nurse and Head’s PA kept an eye on me – it took almost 2.5 hours until I felt safe to drive home. I had spent more time than usual on my feet with an active prep lesson making arrangements, delivering resources … The directive was clear – see the doctor, I had an appointment booked for Tuesday before I left – it seemed a better option in case I was asleep and unfit to travel Monday pm (a wise decision as it turned out). A steady drive home feeling ok and then two long 3 hours sleep as my body pumped out heat as if the national grid needed a hand. I woke to greet son and send him off to get his supper,then a return to the land of nod.

Between 3pm Monday and 8am Tuesday I spent less than two hours awake. I rested as that was all I could do. Stomach cramps woke me on Tuesday and food was needed but not easy to eat. I saw the doc and after some seemingly bizarre requests – yes BP lower than usual but healthy and wobbling eyes in lateral movment indicated inner ear / balance issue – labyrinthitis – a new term to digest and essentially motion sickness pills. I have two weeks to hope that these clear the issue or further appointments beckon.

Rest – well. I am trying to, stomach tells me loudly through rumbles and cramps when it needs replenishing and after eating not being welcome I am starting to follow a more regular pattern.

Worst bit mentally / emotionally…Teachmeet Havering 3, a new experience for my new school and sole responsibility as co-conspirator has own events to organise. So documents finalised, emails sent, Fb messaging… So event can run but under different hosts – thanks to Martin and Andy. I don’t get to present, host or evaluate if change of style works or not! I just have to wait and hear from others.

So late to sleep as body had slept enough. Then awake early – stomach speaks…

Time out … Follow up – yep I know OTT. I was determined to fulfill Promethean commitment, but I have to reassess my commitments outside the workplace – I know that. Rest, yes I am and will not be online much longer but enjoying the quiet before the day begins for others.

Please body, let me get back to school, to teach, to support the department, to develop the curriculum, … Yep I like my job and I want to be there to do it… And next weekend ?? Much much slower I promise and family time too…

Time out …

Well, “it” caught up with me yesterday and I had a big dip in the workplace at my new post. I am past it but let’s look back and think about why it happened, how I contributed and what I need to do next.

If you don’t know what “it” is then read some of my older posts about me and you will discover your answer, or read and work out the answer.

I am just at the end of the first week back after half term in a new post. The break saw me lose two days to a combination of exhaustion and “it”. I ended the break back to my positive self and a new start offered itself. Three days in nature intervened and it seemed like I was back at the base point I had been at pre half term re. Staffing.

Two days on, I got in, I found out the gap was still there I wobbled, I was open, in response to a series of email requests I didn’t say no but I did point out the limitations that would affect me doing the tasks. Then the expected reaction from classes due to the gap and linked to an outside conversation the previous evening the fissure opened. I found myself unable to close the fissure, gave a task, and left for the safety of the staff toilet and adjoining room. On entry I dried my face to little avail, cue a friendly soul who asked the trigger question.. “Are you al…?” The fissure chasmed and the tears flowed, the wreaking tremors…”it” had arrived.

The soul went off into auto pilot and resolved the situation and summoned my LM. They were fab, grabbed paper to stem the flow, checked and found the soul had evacuated the room and we sat and I was encouraged to talk about the outside influence. As usual a brief answer wasn’t possible and the potted history erupted out of the fissure. Go, rest, leave, directions came. Disappointed but knowing this was the safest response I did as bid. So an early journey to base camp and time out…

Cryptic, rambling, … Probably several interpretations or not read this far – this was my first hour at school yesterday. By 8.50, back in the car on my way home. This was now 25 mins. later, I was safe to drive – a precaution I am too used to evaluating.

Home: sleep? Exhaustion? Waterfalls from the eyes? No I sat had a mug of tea and proceeded to have a TV catch up. Not work related, fanciful fiction and it helped. I was transported away from the concern which I had already rationalised I had just met the “straw that bro…” I was not at fault and I will be back Monday. Lunch, time out resting, an afternoon nap and then a rare thing an evening home alone while others ventured out.

My salvation – some will say sad, I say thank you – twitter – in a range of accounts from @knillsocks who had dressed for a fun Friday; @globalsolo to welcome new network members, share some uses I had done this week, encourage more network sharing and assist a new member find infant based sources; @aknill chat with friends; @TMHavering promote teachmeet I am hosting in 12 (now 11 days time); finally @gasigict the group based account I co-ordinate on behalf of the group who have one our three annual meetings today.

Variety is the spice of… Well my tweeting. I found an event about Missing Maps that links with unit I am currently developing. I made a #videoscribe review of the twitter account since it started in May. I purchased and downloaded free apps too for image and text production of teaching resources …. Outpouring again aren’t I? Yes I know it’s a feature of me.

End result – I relaxed, I was calm, I was enthusiastic BUT vitally I did things that I enjoy as much for me as any work related link. I took Time Out.

Pause, review, proof read …


Review – how did I come to “it”?

New post, no secure second main subject in post yet. This has left me doing everything as I establish and support two non specialists, one new to school too. Second main subject holder has been insecure and already onto second one. This time nature intervened.

I am “throwing” too many hours (and hours) at the situation. It is unsustainable, a concept I teach about yet don’t personalise. I have outside triggers that have been calmer of late or at sufficient distance to place in a neat “box” in my mind. This time the box couldn’t contain the situation, I had dealt with it calmly and rationally at the time but it was seeping into me as I started work yesterday. For those who are aware of my @mindshackles volunteer involvement – the “J” factor.

My new employers have been very clear that I have made a positive impact already and have told me this on a number of occasions already. This has lodged and is a counter to “it”.

Yesterday the balance could not cope, it was a minor setback on a one day scale. It means that this review was needed.


Employers have already found one way to address our number one priority. I have requested a meeting to review and plan forwards so that I know all expectations and hopes are out in the open. I took the whole “time out” off work in an applied way – this was unusual. There was no flood barrier of flow or slump and sleep response. I do not need to return to my GP to change my meds. I am able to manage this situation and that is another positive.

M to F – I reduce the “take away” factor
– I start exercising again, from a low level realistically but I get outside
and start my own adrenaline levels again
– I do what I can and I maintain that perfection is not needed for most
If any tasks
– I do what I can each day

S and S
– I reduce the “take away” factor
– I enjoy family based activities more than I have been
– I stay offline more
– I take in more fresh air in whatever form is possible : water based,

Walk, cycle …

I become a person again, oh but I will blog from time to time as well.

Your turn… Re logs, RTs, feedback, comments especially from those that have met me cyber or f2f what say you? Judge if you need to but give me some constructive commentary.