A Round Up: August 2020

Hi there family, friends and other readers! How are you doing?

First things first, have you heard this newish track? I don’t often listen to music these days but I’m currently obsessed with this…

Can you believe that it’s September? I am gobsmacked. I truly cannot believe that we are into our 9 month of the year and I feel as if so little has happened, yet the world has suffered so much. Despite so much sadness and anger in the world right now, I have tried my best to stay afloat and be as positive as possible.

So, my goals… *thinking face*

  • Be a better teacher

Whilst I think I have tried to improve my teaching skills, and understanding of the English language, every month since I started teaching, I haven’t made more of an effort than in these last 6 months.

I’ve tried to connect with more teachers on Twitter and LinkedIn. I’ve watched YouTube videos about teaching and I have made a big effort to read journals, books and articles about all sorts of teaching ideas, tips and tricks!

But, my favourite part of August was being able to take more Teacher Courses with ITTC Bournemouth. The two I booked in for this month were Teaching Young Learners and Teacher’s Toolkit – I really loved them both, but the Teacher’s Toolkit was extremely useful. A few people have asked for reviews / more details so if you’re interested, have a scroll!

The Teacher Toolkit was by far one of the best courses I’ve taken. I wish it went on for longer, either 2 hours a day or for 2 weeks because I felt as though I would never learn enough in just 5 short hours. And, our tutor Anna is absolutely fantastic. She’s really knowledgeable, down to earth and makes you feel as if she’s just reminding you of things you already knew. Even though you definitely didn’t! I received so many cool websites for rewards, quizzes and making your own online resources, all of which I have struggled with now and again during lockdown. It was also really interesting because able to share experiences with teachers all over the word, from all different backgrounds too.

Teaching Young Learners was, unfortunately, not quite relevant when I took it, because my young learner classes had finished the week before. However I still learnt a lot of tips and tricks that I’ll be able to put into practice should I ever teach youngsters again. Especially things like reward systems and creative learning pieces. I am creative, as many of you know, but I’ve always been told to steer away from this in a classroom. Something I find quite bizarre as my mainstream schooling involved a lot of projects and art work. Anyway!

  • Work consistently (and if possible, full time)

Yes, I have! Despite work slowing down a lot in the past 5/6 weeks, I have still had a regular schedule. And thankfully it has included morning classes! I was really struggling not starting work until 4/5pm because I’m such a morning person (especially during the summer months) so I’m glad to have a reason to be up and busy so early. I have also rearranged my schedule so that I don’t work after 4pm most days. I quite enjoy having my evenings to myself again where as previously I worked until 9 or 10pm.

  • Health

I’m not entirely proud of how I’ve been handling my health and diet lately, still, but I did start running about 3 weeks ago. I was running 3 times a week and it was exhausting, but it felt great! Unfortunately my knees weren’t really happy with this new change and I’ve had to slow down already, but I’m trying to walk every day at the very least.

My diet has been shocking. I have not eaten so badly since I was 69kg during my master’s degree and I can both feel and see it. Last year I ate so little and was so ill that I was as skinny as a rake, and now suddenly nothing fits and I feel disgusting. I’ve been indulging in crisps, chocolate and Fanta far too much. Anyway, I’m trying for real in September!

  • Reading

I would like to not even mention this, but then I’d be shying away from the truth. I started reading Sherlock Holmes and I have picked up a free book on a journey through the Congo, but I’ve yet to read more than a few pages. I think I’ve just been so busy and tired, that any free time I have has been spent tidying, sleeping or cooking. Hopefully September will be my ‘back to reading’ month.

  • Make new friends

Well, I suppose I have made even more friends for another month in a row! Lockdown has really strengthened my Instagram community and encouraged me to be more open with who I talk to. I’ve swapped plants with some lovely people, which has led to further discussions about life and things, so I’m very grateful for that!

I do really miss a coffee shop trip or a natter in the staff room though, and I hope some of those things can resume again soon.

  • Reach 7,000 blog views

I haven’t blogged as consistently as I wanted to despite starting off the year so well, but life and work got in the way. I’ve honestly been lazy, but I have also been fairly tired over the last couple of months and I don’t want blogging to become, or ever feel like, a chore.

I do hope that I’ll be able to post about exciting things in the next month or so – I do have some ideas!

  • Reach 3,000 Twitter followers

I did take a Twitter break for about a month and it felt quite refreshing! If only I could do the same with Instagram. However, once I was back on there I noticed that I tweeted less, but listened more. I connected with some lovely, supportive people once again, but I also recognised that I needed to step away when the news / media became too depressing, which it has been.

I’m on track for my 3,000 followers goal and I honestly thought it would take a lot of effort to reach, but it hasn’t. I have tried to join relevant circles and not jump on the bandwagon of following everyone I come across, and I’m now quite happy with who I follow and the followers I have.

Does anyone else really enjoy having a professional Twitter?

  • Be calmer

Do I ever really achieve this? Last month was probably the most stressful out of all the months we’ve spent in lockdown. Things finally felt as if they were getting on top of me. Work slowed down, the neighbour above us drives me absolutely round-the-bend and my internet is horrific. Money was tight, I wanted to go out and see my family. Nothing really felt comfortable (especially my clothes !) so none of this made me calm or relaxed. Woe is Claire!

  • Save some money

Now here, although money was tight, I would say I did an alright job. Yes, I spent too much money on plants again and yes I spent too much on food. But I did pay off some more debts and I did set some money aside for the next month or so. Despite not earning a huge amount, I think I’m doing alright.

  • Enjoy being me

This makes me chuckle. Enjoy being me? I’d say I haven’t enjoyed it per se, but I am still proud of what I have, and still am, achieving and the way in which my life is going. I’m proud of myself and the changes I’ve made, but I wouldn’t say I’m ‘having a ball‘.

So, what’s September got in store for me?

  • More teaching hours, thank god!
  • More reading and writing, I hope
  • Hopefully go out and meet some friends, at long last.
  • Absolutely, 100% making the most of the plants I have and preparing to keep them alive and healthy over the cooler months.

Do you have any goals for September?

I’d love to chat about how your month has been and if you have any plans for September. Feel free to message me over on Twitter!

P.S. Any fellow plant-lovers reading this? I’d love to chat plants!

Young lady with large number of plants in the background.

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