Regan's blog

Updated pictures

Am working on getting loads of photos uploaded to the website. Most are of our recent holiday in Pembrokeshire, which was amazing. We were very lucky to have my sister, Shannon, along with us. She is such a delightful person who finds the fun in any moment. It is a constant source of joy to be around someone like that. Buffy is much the same way, so we had loads of fun.

I was very proud of Katie's progress this summer. She went surfing many times. While she never went deeper than her knees, she did get her face wet many times. This is huge progress! She also made a new friend (a boy!) at Folly Farm. I think this went a long way towards building her confidence in making new friends. As her best friend is changing schools, Katie needs a confidence injection in exactly this area.

It will probably take me a couple of days to get them all up. Thanks for your patience!

Socks!!!

My baby is four. Four years ago today, her beautiful, empowering and energizing birth was over. We had called everyone. We were basking in the glow of our chubby, happy and hungry little girl. She latched on like a natural born champion. She was born in a warm tub at home in just a few hours. It was fantastic. I still feel high when I remember it. I could have climbed a mountain afterwards. Amazing.

Buffy is still a very happy child, still enthusiastic about everything. She opened her presents this morning with sheer glee. She started with the cards. Cards! Buffy was so happy to receive cards! The little fairy picture from her long-distance friend Jana was particularly appreciated. Oh, but there was more! More than cards?! Fantastic! She opened her next presents. Socks! Then MORE socks! She couldn't believe her good fortune. Now, get this: The socks had BOWS on them! SOCKS WITH BOWS!! She hugged them and spun around. Socks with bows!!

Aunty Shannon and I giggled, simultaneously remembering the disappointment of such a practical presents, bows or none. Buffy's wearing a brand new Gymboree outfit from Gramma, complete with SPOTTY SOCKS. If you thought she liked the socks with bows, you wouldn't believe the joy with which she received the spotty socks. She took off all of her clothes immediately to put on the spotty socks. Of course she was already wearing another outfit from Gramma, so everything has now been worn.

Buffy got a present from Aunt Joanie in Virginia, a really cool book on gargoyles. She thought the book was fab, but she was positively over the moon about the candle enclosed in the card. The card itself was worthy of a hug and a little dance, because it has a mermaid on it. A MERMAID CARD! Life is so good!

Our own presents for Buffy have been comparatively modest. A sweet book, Small by Jessica Merserve, which I adore and Buffy is currently reading to Shannon; a dress made from Liberty fabric, and a bag of chocolates. Each gift was received with so much joy and love, I am pleased we didn't do more. Most of all, I'm proud of my positive little sweetie who sees joy in everything.

If you say to Buffy, "Life is good," she answers, "All the time!"

She teaches us so much.

Happy birthday, baby!

Working hard for the... experience?

So much for being gainfully employed. I'm working all this week, but won't get paid for it until August. Or September. Whichever comes later, I think. I'm not even really a teacher this week, I'm just doing supply, which is subbing in American. I've met one class which I adore and today had two classes I didn't like much at all. There could be a slight issue of bias in that the adorable class is going to be mine next year. The unlikeables are leaving for secondary school in a week. They're full of attitude, swagger, fear and hormones. Not like my little dears next year.

I have seen the classroom I'll have next year. It's got to be the smallest in the school. It's pathetically cramped. I can only hope my students don't grow very much over the summer and learn to sit still a bit better than they do now. There is just no room to get up and wander about.

My budget to spruce up the classroom has also been announced. To my friends who are teachers and have their own budgets, I apologise. I don't mean to make you crazy with envy, but I will lay it bare. I am getting £20 pounds to spend on the classroom. For the year. I know! Awesome, right?! My mind is racing with all the possibilities. I could by a map of the world! And some... pencils! Maybe, if I am careful with my pennies, I might even get a little pencil sharpener, too. Those can be very handy.

Actually, they're critical. In my admittedly limited experience, pencil sharpeners and erasers (called rubbers here. Really.) are like cigarettes in jail. They're highly valuable and can be used as currency. In my last school the boys would smuggle them around in their socks. I kid you not. Everyone was so afraid the rubbers would be snatched away, they snatched them as soon as they were within sight. The irony was completely lost on them.

Now I'm going into a school where the kids really can't afford their own pencils and erasers. How does any teacher make it out of there with their salary intact? It's all I can do not to bring a kid home with me! I've already got my eye on one little boy. You know, just in case his mum forgets to pick him up one day. I wouldn't put it past her, actually.

I'm off to bed. Can't afford to make any dire mistakes like I did today. So embarrassing. Must fight off pariah-status gained from today's transgression. Think of me.

(oh, you want to know what I did that was so terrible? Okay, I'll tell you. Brace yourself. I wore jeans.)

PGCE is D-O-N-E!

Barring any unforseen panicked phone calls from Goldsmiths, I AM DONE! I am an official NQT - Newly Qualified Teacher. My new school even wants me to start teaching on Monday. So exciting! I'll be teaching the class I will take over in September. I'll get to know their names and get to start thinking about them over the summer. I'm half tempted to be really wicked, so they can spend the whole summer sweating about what a strict teacher I am going to be.

Back to now. I AM DONE! Doneydonedonedonedone! And I got a good grade. Much as I would like to say that I know I did my best and that's enough, that would be a lie. I need the acknowledgement. I feel knowing this is half the battle. I need it, I love it. I'm thrilled. I got a "Very Good/Outstanding". One could argue that this means I only got a "Very Good". One would be very churlish and mean to argue this point. Dude, I got an "Outstanding"! At least that's how it's going down in my memories.

Now I have three days to sleep before I start teaching. Holy crap!

Bored Now

There's a great episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where everything flips to what would have happened had Buffy moved to Cleveland instead of Sunnydale. Naturally, without her super-slaying, the vampires and various baddies flourish. In doing so, they managed to kill/convert Willow and Xander. It's Alyson Hannigan's first bad-girl role, and she plays it with relish. Hanigan plays it so perfectly, I'm shocked she hasn't had more naughty girl roles. No, I don't mean talking about flutes and band camp. I mean bitchy roles. In the episode someone begs for mercy, Willow toys with them then says witheringly, "Bored now."

That line keeps going through my head. Katie's adventure is Big News, and everyone wants to talk about it. They are talking about it all the time. Seriously, Swine Flu has officially hit the school, and still they're all buzzing about les aventurieres. I mean no hypocrisy. If it hadn't been my girl, I'd be talking about it too. That's probably the most galling thing. The judgement I would have issued on the girl's parents, "Obviously it's all because mum isn't around any more", "They always were too strict/lax", whatever. It's all hideous.

It's hideous the girls ran. It's horrible they were gone so long. It's horrendous the school is both exaggerating (wall is only 5ft high, not 7) and underplaying (very minimal punishment) the incident. What's worse is everyone and everything else. I wish it would all just end. I'm so bored now. Thing is, I've been through enough of these in my life to know that at graduation, there will be some snappy reference to the girl who ran. So bored now.

Oh Yes She Did

A letter all parents at our school received this evening:

Dear parents,

As you may have heard, two Year 2 girls decided to have an adventure yesterday and go out of school on their own. At afternoon registration their absence was noted, a search instigated and the police informed. The police found them and returned them safely to school. we take the safety of all the girls very seriously but did not anticipate that two small girls would scale a seven foot fence. All the girls from Year 2 and up have had a talk with their teacher today about the incident. We are all relieved that this incident was resolved happily.

Yours sincerely,

The Head Teacher

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