caz963: (Grammar)
An entry by someone on my f-list reminded me that I wanted to post something about the public sector workers' strike that's taking place on Wednesday this week.
On the soap-box )
caz963: (DT grey)
It was another bright day (mostly) today, but it's still a bit chilly out. I'd already designated today "work day", so I spent most of the afternoon inputting marks onto the school's data system which I can access from here. Mind you, it's not just a case of putting in a number. Nope, I had to write a comment for each pupil as well, along the lines of what we used to do for end of year reports. Fortunately, we don't have to do that every half term, but as the system has only been up and running since last term and last time, I did just put numbers in, I thought I should show willing this time and do a bit more.

But the best laid plans... )
In other news - DW spoilers abound, but I'm not reading all of them. (I haven't even got round to reading the RT yet!) It's reached the point actually where there's not a lot of new info filtering through, and let's face it, we all know damn well that SM is keeping his cards close to his chest and that the DW team are generally pretty tight lipped about the really big stuff. So while I'm intrigued, I'm (at the moment) quite happy to wait to find out what the hell is going on. Whether I'll still be saying that at 7pm on the 23rd remains to be seen. Btw - is part 2 going out on the Sunday? I assumed it was, for some reason, but haven't seen a confirmation. As [livejournal.com profile] crossoverman indicates in comments, it's entirely possible (not to mention likely) that I've dreamed that one up.

spoilery pic under here )

And in a spectactular scheduling balls-up, Auntie is presenting us with two helpings of DT on the same day at the same time. Grrrrr... Thank gawd for the iPlayer.
caz963: (DT on RG hand on chin)
As usual, half-term has flown by and it's back to the grind on Monday. I've started to make a list of all the stuff I need to do; I didn't get to finish all my assessments or input the data I do have because I was ill, so that's at the top of my list. It's going to be a long week though - it's the school show on Weds, Thurs and Fri and I said I'd play in the band, so that'll be three late nights. I live too far away to be able to come home after school and go back again which is a bit of a pain, but it does at least mean that I have a few hours each night to get stuff done.
Read more... )

telly )
caz963: (Snowy seat)
Six hours, one aching back and two frozen feet after I started, I've managed to break the back of the work I had to do this holiday. I've finished the marking and written and resourced almost an entire scheme of work for the year 9s. I've just got a couple of powerpoint slides to complete and it'll be done.

That leaves two-fifths of my year 7 scheme to write, which should be reasonably simple. (Now I've jinxed it!)

But six hours - okay, maybe five given a break for lunch - sitting still and my upper back and shoulders ache and I can't get warm! I've got a thick jumper and fur-lined boots on - and I still can't feel my toes!
caz963: (winter trees arch)
A real life post! Blimey :)

Cut to maintain sanity of the f-list! )
caz963: (Autumn cartoon)
I really need to spruce my classroom up a bit. I've covered all the noticeboards on the walls with nice new backing paper and I've already got some kids' work up there, plus a few other bits and pieces. But what I'd really like is to put some posters up - film posters, theatre posters, stuff like that. But of course, they need to be IN FRENCH.

Has anyone got - or can anyone easily obtain - such things without it costing a fortune? (Because it'll have to come out of my own pocket - there's no budget at school for this sort of thing). I don't need many - maybe 4 or 5, and they don't necessarily have to be posters, anything suitably "french" would do; maps and touristy stuff would be good, too, as long as it's not tiny, because I've got a fair bit of space to cover.

Anyone got any ideas?
caz963: (Default)
See? I told you I was good at it! To be fair (to myself), I do have my school laptop open on the other side of the table, have attempted (without success) to access my school email, sent some other emails because there is Stuff I Need To Find Out Before Wednesday, and opened up some lesson plans and resources. I am - or was - in the process of transferring some information from Notebook to Powerpoint (yeah, whoever wrote the resources has an Interactive Whiteboard, and I don't!) and reading through said plans so I know what I actually have to DO in the lessons. Fortunately, I've got a relatively easy couple of days Thurs and Fri, despite having double year 9s on Friday morning! It's Monday that's going to be the killer because of the fact that I have to teach French and Music immediately after each other and the classrooms are at opposite ends of the school.

This bout of procrastination is brought to you by the letters 'D' and 'T'. )
caz963: (batshit animal)
Five weeks and six days of freedom - which will probably feel like about ten days. I finished packing up my desk today; I'd already done most of it, so there wasn't much left, but I haven't been able to unpack much at the other end because I need some new storage units and shelving. I might see them this side of Christmas if I'm lucky. I spent most of yesterday morning taking down old displays and putting up new display backing - I'll have to do the actual displays when I go back in September.

I've got a few things planned for the break. I'm taking the kids to the Doctor Who Prom on Saturday, we've got a couple of weeks camping booked and both the girls' birthdays are in August, so there are parties to be had and cakes to bake. I want to try to see some friends if I can, catch up with some reading and some TV... it's like making New Year's Resolutions though, which I never do because I know I'll never stick to them!

I am going to TRY not to think about work too much. I'm going to have to do some but hopefully not too much, and not until the end of the holidays.
caz963: (Kermit coffee)
I'm not going into work today. I've been sitting at the laptop for the last hour and a bit writing cover lessons but they are at last done and emailed in and I can go back to bed. Well, I can, once I've managed to get through on the phone to let them know I'm not coming in. I've been trying to leave a message since before 6 - what is it with the bloody phone system?

Also - X is ill as well, so we're both off. Not surprising, I suppose, that we'd get the same germs!
caz963: (manahmanah)
My lesson planning for this weekend is going to include making up some quizzes to use with the older kids. None of the year 9s are carrying on with music next year, and it's getting really hard to interest them in a particular topic, so I thought that until the end of the year, I'd do bits and pieces.

My knowledge of the sort of shite stuff (I can't bring myself to call it "music"!) these kids listen to is incredibly limited, so I'm throwing it out to all of you - give me a few questions that I could include in a quiz for 14 year-olds! I'm going to need some really stupidly simple questions a la Millionaire (because that's one of the quiz formats I'm using) and some slightly harder ones, but nothing especially challenging.

The other quiz-type I use is Blockbuster - the kids pick a letter from the board and the answer to the question will begin with that letter. (Hence the title of this post!)

The annoying thing is that it can take hours to make these things up and you use them once for 15 minutes! So the more questions the better!

Thanks guys!
caz963: (sucky watch)
I had a bit of an odd day today. I was woken up sometime between 5 and 5.30 by a cat, desperate for attention, who was trying to push her head underneath my hand in the hope that I'd be encouraged to scratch her behind the ears. She wasn't impressed by the fact that I didn't have the energy at that time of day to move any muscles - and so kept reminding me of the fact that she was there by nibbling my hand every so often. After that, I gave up and got up - 6 o'clock on a Saturday - ick. But I suppose that because I have to be up at that time Mon-Fri, my body decided it should wake itself up, so I came downstairs, made some tea... and was too awake to go back to bed, so I stayed up and marked a load of French tests. I then went back to bed about 7.30 and managed to doze off to the sound of Mr Humphreys on Radio 4. I didn't wake up again until just before 10, and I feel as though I could have slept for another couple of hours.

I've been pottering about since really - caught up with 30 Rock, watched another episode of Life... read my news feeds - and now it's time to head back to bed. I've put some of the clocks forward, and I'll do the rest in the morning. I really hate this pissing about with the clocks twice a year. I don't care whether we're on GMT or BST, I just wish someone would pick one and bloody-well stick to it!

That said - it's time to dust this one off...

This clock should be in military time. )

So it's the end of term next week, and the end of my time at school A. I can't say I'll be sad to leave, although the reaction of some of the kids I teach has been surprising, to say the least! I'm sure they're only begging me to stay because I'm the devil they know.

But the end of term means it's time to start planning lessons for next term. At least now, I'll be taking the majority of the classes myself, so I won't have to write lesson plans for others. The upside of that was that it meant I had to have plans ready a week or two in advance; now it's "just me", I won't have to do that, although I have to admit, it's a nice feeling to be prepared well in advance. I used to have a system of writing each weeks' lessons the day I gave the previous one - I haven't been able to do that lately, but I might go back to it. What I need to do first though, is get a rough outline of the overall plans done so I can root out or make whatever resources I'm going to need. That's the sort of thing that takes hours and hours.

I suppose that if a needy moggy wakes me up early again tomorrow, I could make a start. It's that or the ironing...
caz963: (doc & donna laughing)
My contract arrived in the post this morning - and the good news is it starts on April 1st (!) so I'll get paid over the Easter Holiday! Even better is the fact that my current contract doesn't run out until April 19th, so I'll have an extra few quid - although that won't last long before it gets swallowed up.

And here's some funny that's doing the rounds at school -

Dumbing down? Surely not! )

Lemme tell ya - from what I've seen, that's not so far from the truth!
caz963: (Default)
I've spent hours today writing two letters - my resignation from job A, and an application for job B. The resignation could just have been a simple two line thing, but that never feels right to me. And as for the application, well... it's bad enough writing them at the best of times, but applying for the job you're already doing? Not easy. It was a case of - "how far do I state the bleedin' obvious?" And it's all the more difficult because I'm not writing to a spec - this is a new position that the school has basically created because they want to keep me on, and because of the situation re. the other teacher and her uncertain state of health, I doubt they've actually been able to write a proper job description yet!

Still, I do at least have something on paper which I can adapt if need be - although to be honest, I think that as long as I've written something expressing my interest in the job, the school will be happy. I think they just want to get on with it.

So next week is the week I start it all moving. The deadline for resignations (to leave at the end of this term) is Friday anyway, so the plan is that I'll get into school B on Tuesday, get the official offer of the temporary contract for next term, give them my application, and then hand in my resignation at school A on Wednesday.

I'll let you know how it goes.
caz963: (hgf)
Well, I'm feeling marginally more human today. My sleep patterns are completely skewed so I'm going to have to try to get them back on track or I'm going to be screwed when I go back to work next week, but at least I'm not feeling so wrung out as I was.

Abigail's room is decorated, the new bed and wardrobe arrived today and Mr Caz is currently having fun (not) putting them together.

we watched movies )
I hope I'll feel up to going out tomorrow because I need to get a few things for Abigail's room. Luckily, I'd gotten most of my lessons planned for next week in advance, so there's not much in the way of actual work to do - although I do now have to write an application for my job! I hope I'm not going to have to do anything too elaborate though - I feel pretty damn stupid as it is, writing an application for the job I'm already doing, but I'll feel even moreso if I have to jump through all the usual hoops and include the personal statement of trumpet blowing etc.

I guess I'd better update my CV first. I'll do that, and then procrastinate some more.

*goes off to find latest episode of Leverage*
caz963: (stems)
Thankfully, the forecast overnight freeze didn't happen here. I know there are still parts of the country that have snow and ice, but there really was nothing on my car this morning other than a thin frost on the windscreen! So that was good. I didn't have to drive to work feeling as though I was taking my life into my hands. No, I do that in other ways!

My "other" school was also one of the few that was open yesterday, and the kids are still moaning about the lack of a snow day, and hoping desperately for more snow. I don't suppose I can blame them in a way - it's not often we get snow at all, let alone enough for a decent snowball fight and a few snowmen, so maybe it would have been better to let them get it out of their system rather than have most of them grumbling and pretty much unable to focus on anything else. Not that that's a new thing for a lot of them, but still...

But it looks like that's it for us this year. Just wait, I reckon in a couple of weeks time, we'll be in the middle of a February heat-wave like we were a couple of years ago. That's how stupid the weather is over here. And then we'll have Arctic conditions again in May.
caz963: (brollies)
Ugh. Horrible day.

I checked the school website and the local BBC websites before I left this morning, just in case. I didn't expect there to be anything about my school on the BBC sites because it was a bit early, so off I went and I have to say that the roads out here weren't too bad - in fact, I think a lot of people had decided to stay at home, because there certainly wasn't as much local traffic as there usually is, and I had a reasonable, steady run along the A12.
Until I hit the junction with the A14 when things came to a standstill. I had to phone the school to say that I would be late, because I was stuck for about half an hour.

As luck would have it, all the year 9s had a Shakespeare workshop day today, so I didn't have my usual box of delights first thing, although I did have to cover a year 10 English lesson.

But the trouble is that all this snow sent the kids completely round the bend. And of course, the first words out of their mouths when they came into my class was "Miss, 'ow come we 'ave ter goter school terday? X is shut, Y is shut..." moan, moan... I just shrugged and said it was nothing to do with me which schools were open and which weren't, but they seemed to take it as some sort of personal insult that I (or any of us) was there - because of course if enough teachers hadn't been able to make it in, then they'd have had to close the school.

My car was pelted with snow as I drove into the car park - although I suppose I got off lightly, because later in the day, the snowballs were filled with rocks. I had two boys bring snowballs into the classroom, which luckily they were prevented from throwing - so instead, they opened the windows and started to scrape the snow off the windowsills. I know we don't get much snow here, but honestly, you'd think they'd never seen any before.

But mid-morning, it started to snow quite heavily. I don't teach on Monday afternoon, normally, so I managed to finish up with some things I needed to do by about two and got permission to leave early.

Journey home wasn't nice. The main roads are okay because they're in use, but if all that slush freezes tonight, it's going to be really dangerous tomorrow. According to the BBC weather page, it's going to be 5 degrees tomorrow, but with sunny spells (last night, they were forecasting rain, but now that's moved to Wednesday), yet the local radio stations are saying we're in for more snow and sleet. The Met Office is just as helpful - its website says - There is a potential for widespread ice on untreated surfaces especially on Tuesday morning.

No shit, Sherlock.
caz963: (winter sunset)
We have white stuff on the ground and it's blowing a gale. Needless to say, I'm not looking forward to the drive to work tomorrow.

The problem is that although we're told to listen to the local news which reports school closures, they're never reported in time for me, because I have to leave the house at seven. I remember a couple of years ago, when I slogged to Colchester in horrible conditions to find that the school was closed, it hadn't been on the radio and nobody had bothered to let me know.

I called my boss earlier, and he said that he'd be surprised if the school was closed because it never has been; I suppose it depends on whether enough staff can get in. But I really hate driving in snow and ice. I'm always careful, but there's always the possibility of a situation you can't control and you're at the mercy of the other idiots on the road who don't take account of the poor driving conditions.

All I can do is wait until morning I suppose. The local forecast is for "heavy snow" (according to the BBC Weather Page) - for my trans-pondian friends, I should clarify that "heavy snow" for my part of the world is two or three inches. Yeah, we're wusses, but because we get weather like this so rarely, we're not too good at dealing with it.

And it's supposed to be gone by Tuesday, when they're forecasting rain.
caz963: (good grief)
Gah - manic day. My HoD in MFL called me yesterday evening to say that she wouldn't be in today because she wasn't well - and I have to say, she sounded like crap, so I don't blame her. But that means that the entire MFL department for the day was - moi. Luckily, she'd jotted down some ideas for her lessons today, so I just had to write up the cover sheets and get a few things together, but it still takes time. And now that school starts that much earlier in the morning - first lesson used to be at 9.15 but now it's 8.45 - that leaves a lot less time to get ready. I had to get my own lessons ready as well, which was when I discovered that the material I was supposed to have been left for PSHE - hadn't been left for me. Great. And I didn't have time to chase anyone up about it. So I had to improvise a lesson about "Fair Trade."

Just before break the fire alarm went off. My coat was in the office, so I ended up standing out in the freezing cold in a muddy field with no coat for best part of twenty minutes. Apparently, it wasn't a drill, there had been something burning somewhere, but it wasn't serious. I'm sure the kids were delighted.

The good thing was that my PSHE lesson was truncated (thank God) but things like that seem to have a knock-on effect and the rest of the day seemed very disjointed.

But, I'm planning to have a night off tonight. Mr Caz and I have asked the Cazes senior to come and babysit so we can go to the pictures. This is assuming I can stay awake that long. We're going to see Valkyrie. I figure that the presence of Messers Branagh, Nighy and Wilkinson will be enough to distract me from Tom Cruise's eyepatch and poofy hair!

Blerg

Jan. 13th, 2009 06:35 pm
caz963: (brad bored)
1. I updated Windows Mail yesterday to the new version and I don't like it. The colours are all wishy-washy and they've moved stuff, like the "send and receive" tab. And they've taken away the little icons on the toolbar :( Bastards.

2. I've had one of those days where I'm sure I have a hundred and one things to do, but I'm buggered if I can remember any of them. And I hate that feeling, because I'm sure I'm going to forget something important.

3. I need to make a list. :)
caz963: (Default)
The end of another... well, I was going to say long week, but to be honest, none of them seem that long, these days.

And it's two weeks until the end of term - thank God.

It's funny, but every teacher I've spoken to, either in person at school, or via various fora and blogs has said the same thing - that for the last week or so, the kids have been 'orrible. I can only attribute this to the fact that we're all tired. It's been a long term; staff will have done 15 weeks (of actual teaching) and the kids will have been in school for marginally less time, and we're all knackered.

This is always the case in the autumn term though - it's the longest term of the year and the one with the least holidays. Well, other than half-term, NO holidays.

But although it's December, and the kids - my own and those at school - are starting to talk about Christmas, it just hasn't sunk in that it's only about 3 weeks away now. I'm probably so focussed in just making it to the end of term in one piece that it's all passing me by. I haven't bought a single card or piece of wrapping paper. I've bought a couple of presents for the kids, but otherwise, Mr Caz is going to have to take care of it all. I'm just too tired.

But... when I do get around to getting cards, if you'd like to receive one, please drop me an email with your address (and your name!) and I'll do my best to oblige :)

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caz963

December 2012

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