So I’ve finally managed to find time to think about #teacher5aday sad isn’t it as people were doing this at the end of a very busy term. Apologies for the lateness of this but here it is @martynreah

I try to connect with people everyday in classrooms, in corridors before, after school and at break times. I stick my head around doors and always pop in to say hello to connect. I try to connect with people on line too but this is proving to be increasingly more difficult but I’m always trying. It’s important to connect with the ‘human’ albeit it making a cup of tea, sharing tasty treats or a hug after a tough day. It’s something I try to do everyday because it matters!

Eeek I’m rubbish at this, I have good intentions but I must improve at actually making these a reality. Long walks with our dog (husky-German Shepherd cross) is great for getting out in to the open but as I’m in to a new decade I have to try a little harder. I have tried running with the dog but often he gets sidetracked by rabbits and bikes and I give up easily so perhaps some additional training might make this more fun. Oh and fixing the puncture on my bike so I can get out on it more!

Last Christmas I did get a fitbit (wearable tech) which has significantly helped in keeping me knowledgeable about sleep, weight, water intake and movement which sounds probably tedious but honestly it has become an addiction to see how many steps I do, how much sleep I get and how restless it is. I had been tracking my sleep for a while as I was a bad sleeper but it appears I’m not according to the data. Interestingly this wearable tech is helping me rid my wardrobe of those terrible bugs… The ones that stitch your clothes tighter and give you a muffin top though in my case it was more Victoria Sandwich with a strawberry gateau for extra support!
I try to notice the people I work with and look in to their faces to make sure they have what they need and I can check in. The job we do is ace but hard work and someone taking the time to stop their busy schedule and notice something on a human level is important and another thing I try to do everyday.

I like learning so I feel good when I learn something new. I try to read books, blogs, experiences and can get so caught up in the learning experience that I don’t always get to blog about the adventures in my classroom which was an idea put to me by a few friends a while back. I love getting out to TMs and learning from others, it’s a privilege to hear others sharing their experiences and learning from them. Learning something new to me is rejuvenating and keeps me happy. It’s keeps me out of my comfort zone and at my most active. I love it.

After working myself in to serious health issues in 2012-13 and then a nasty health scare resulting in operations and consultants I decided that things had to change but I didn’t know how. The job still needed doing and with the pressure to get good results I felt I couldn’t step out of the role and actually I still had so much to give. My wonderfully tolerant and amazing husband and I had a plan to retire at 50 to volunteer to work at a new conservation park in Bristol but with changes to retirement age and the fact the park had opened in July 2013 we felt it was now or never. So we volunteer as rangers at the Wild Place, Bristol’s newest attraction. @wildplace is a conservation park and has ambitious plans right next to Cribbs Causeway. We both love it. Every Sunday at 10am as the park opens we go in until 2pm and have been since Easter time. It’s fab, we are out in the fresh air meeting new people and learning about endangered and critically endangered animals from across the globe from the amazing animal keeper team who are brilliant at what they do. I am stopping to enjoy life, to enrich it and never in my wildest dreams would I have seen myself face painting hundreds of children, feeding lemurs and being part of such an amazing project this time last year. The marking, planning, updates to handbooks, policies and RAPs still get done but I get to stop and have fun. I didn’t think I could find the time to do this with a full time middle leader role but I’m so pleased I did. I can’t imagine not doing it.



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