Archive for March, 2011

Just To Make Me Even More Sure…

March 9, 2011

Teaching is a calling..a ministry! You must be called to do this work. My motto..”You can’t hack it…get your jacket!” #education #teachersTeaching is a calling..a ministry! You must be called to do this work. My motto..”You can’t hack it…get your jacket!” #education #teachers

And tweets like this make me feel a whole lot better. Forgive me for wanting a certain quality of life, a pay check and maybe even some respect. I guess I am being “called” to work in Sainsbury’s.


Not Sure I’m Good at this.

March 8, 2011

I’ve lost confidence in my ability to ever be a good teacher.

Why is it so hard?

Why aren’t I there yet?

Going “Home”

March 6, 2011

I didn’t really go home, but I went to British territory, a city near a rock that is attached to Spain.  It’s called Gibraltar.  It’s a strange little British enclave.  I liked it very much.  we arrived and waited in a long line of traffic.  Once we got passed customs, and I had flashed my British passport (“I’m one of you,” I thought.), we waited at a giant level-crossing-like situation where a road is shared between cars and air traffic.  After we had successfully passed this area, I was greeted with a quaint area of houses that reminded me of all the little quaint places in Wales or the Lake District.  It showed me that what makes Britain different to Spain is not geography, nor weather. It’s something else!  I guess we know how to make things seem pretty and not just functional.

The mountain looked fabulous and impossibly green given the climate, with a little castle popping out and donning a union flag (I still want to call it a jack!) which did make me at home. (I generally don’t do flags, only that one time as a joke Fathers’ Day present when I got my dad some car flags during the World Cup season!)

I changed my money to these special pounds:

I did the typically English thing of ordering a MUG of tea, albeit in a pub, which is not typical.  I ogled the fish and chips served in said pub.  I’ll buy some next time!  (Picture Homer Simpson thinking of donuts.)

We did a little bit of shopping.  I picked up a summer dress from Dorothy Perkins (Good old Dottie), we had an Indian lunch in a little Indian cafe, I picked up my British staples from Morrisons, which included Cadbury’s chocolate, beans and hotcross buns, and then back to Spain.

I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to go back.  It brings a new meaning to that Rupert Brooke poem (obviously I’m not advocating war; I only want to interpret it my way!)

“If I should die, think only this of me:

That there’s some corner of a foreign field

That is for ever England.”

And obviously, I don’t mean that Gibraltar is England, but the United Kingdom.

It’s a nice little quirk on the Iberian Peninsula and one I’ll be going back to visit.  Only next time, there will be fish and chips!

Embarrassing Moments

March 6, 2011

It’s been a while since I posted an embarrassing classroom moment, so here it is.

I was cleaning the whiteboard when the board rubber bounced out my hand and into my face, leaving a lovely black mark on my cheek, which I promtly made worse by smearing it to the audible, gasping shock of my adult CAE students.

As professional as you can be in such situations, I asked them for help removing the smear and laughed it off, wiping off the remains of my teaching dignity into a tissue.  Nevermind, there’s always next year to get it back.



New Blog

March 6, 2011

For those of you who stop by, there is a New Teacher On The Blog (! – okay my pun is kinda dated but check this out.)

New ELT exploring all the glorious wonders of teaching and reflecting. Please show your support, teaching pros.

Off to make food, now.


Ordinary Hepburn, or should that be Audinary?

March 3, 2011

Audrey Hepburn is an icon for many young women.  She has poise, elegance and is just lovely.

But how many of us can relate to Audrey?  As much as we might want to?  I’ve been reading a lot of terrific blogs written by people who I might consider to be more privileged than me.   I went to a fantastic grammar school, but a state school nonetheless.  They, on the other hand, have received the kind of education that has to be paid for.

And then there was a short spell at university where we all rubbed our dirty shoulders with near-royalty (or at least that’s how they seemed!).  Now, I always considered myself to be quite well-spoken, albeit with a Scouse twang, and I’m unmistakeably “Northern” to a Southern ear.  But I could use “big” words and was the cause of private giggles by my family in “Canny Farm” for knowing certain words so young.  I had good manners and I knew how to behave myself (most of the time, give or take that trying-smoking-in-the-schoolgrounds-in-an-act-of rebellion incident).  I am a rebel, don’t get me wrong, and a complete maverick, at that, but what I’m saying is that in terms of class, it shouldn’t have mattered where I came from.  I was as good as any public-schooler.  But then, when I got to unversity, it became apparent that the most popular students were the “ras” and if you tried to speak to certain ones while waiting for a class, they wouldn’t welcome you.  I talk to people, you see.  Because I’m friendly.  It’s a nice thing we do in Liverpool when waiting for a bus or when a train has been delayed.  It’s also okay to do it outside of a class, but not to just anyone, evidently.  And on such occasions as I felt my friendliness unreciprocated, I felt more and more common.

Let’s fast-forward to now.  I thought I could manage in any social circle, but now I’m having doubts.  You see, there seem to be rules I wasn’t aware of, for example, not being grammatically correct on tweets on Facebook is frowned upon, and mixing certain foods together makes you a freak.  So I don’t think I’d ever survive in London or New York or anywhere like that.  I’d make to many faux-pas, being the kind of girl who has Ketchup with everything and who has a penchant for sweet and savoury things mixed together.  I’d probably read the wrong sort of book or wear something completely wrong without realising it.

This is were we get to the title of my post.  You see, I’m not a “ra” and I’m not very fashionable, and I’m only glamorous when certain occasions call for it (because comfort beats glamour hands down).  So, in Gibraltar when I saw a girl wearing a black coat, black trousers and normal, slightly worn, heeled-but-practical-for-work leather shoes, I thought to myself “There’s a girl who could be British.  She’s one of us “normies.”  I expressed this observation to my colleague, using the word “ordinary”, to which my friend repeated, in her Virginia accent, “Orrdinrrry?” with a laugh in her voice, which reminded me of the name “Audrey”.  And so the term Ordinary Hepburn was coined.

An Ordinary Hepburn is a normal girl who goes to work and hasn’t got the time and money to be glamorous all the time, but perhaps would like to be more often, and who doesn’t quite fit in with the “ras” and the fashionistas, but could compete with them with her mind.

All the Ordinary Hepburns, please stand up!


Protected: If I Started a School…

March 3, 2011

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Am I Being Paranoid?

March 1, 2011

Or do other people say hi to people on chat and get ignored?  Is it just something that if people just don’t feel like talking, they’ll politely ignore your greeting where they would be lovely and fine in real life?

I know some people simply have problems with Facebook chat and others simply respond to the calls of real life forgetting that they haven’t said goodbye. This seems to be an unwritten custom that if you have something to do, you’ll log off without rounding off those little chats.  That’s okay.  I won’t take it personally.  I’ve had a life of taking things personally and, quite frankly, it’s fruitless and a waste of energy to feel hurt over nothing.