Welcome 2018

Hello to another year and farewell to 2017. It’s nice to be in a different place this year compared to this time last year. I wrote my review of 2016 but couldn’t face looking forward as I had just been diagnosed with cancer and the idea of it was scaring me silly. However, one year and two operations later, I’m still here and hoping to be around for a long while yet.

2017 was a difficult year not just because of my cancer but also the sudden death of my ex-husband which was an extremely traumatic event for my two children. I have always been proud of them but never as much as on the day of the funeral which they organised amazingly. It really brought it home to me that they are now adults. I may not see them as much as I would like but I am so lucky to have them both in my life..

2017 wasn’t all bad though. Being diagnosed with a serious illness makes you think about what is really important. I have tried to make sure that I spend more time with my husband doing things together. As a result, we have seen more films and shows, been to more places together and walked more. Not to mention eating out. We have eaten so many lovely meals in some gorgeous this year and sharing a meal together remains one of my favourite ways to spend time. We also had some lovely holidays and short trips away. Possibly my favourites this year were going to Norfolk at Easter, Portugal in October and another visit to Collioure.

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Music continues to be important. For the first time in 30 plus years, I didn’t do  our show in Leicester. My heart wasn’t in it and it seemed easiest to drop out. However, I did have two amazing shows with Present Company and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of Camelot and White Christmas. I really loved the dance routines in White Christmas and just wish that I was a better tap dancer.

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I have also continued my fairly rubbish efforts at improving my art work. I don’t think that I have really improved but I enjoy it and it’s something different to focus on. Reading is still my main leisure activity and according to Goodreads, I have read over 200 books this year. I have tried to read more books that are relevant to my Year 6 class so that I can recommend a wider range of things to them to extend their reading. My favourites of 2017 have to be Cogheart and Podkin One Ear.

Teaching continues to be stressful. I love my job but hate the continued focus on progress as measured by Sats being the only thing that is seen as important.

Looking forward to 2018, what do I want from this new year?

Primarily,  I want to still be here. The odds are in my favour but the death of our lovely Chair of Governors from secondary cancer after having breast cancer has reminded all of us that you can’t take anything for granted. I have another operation to go where the reconstruction will be completed and then hopefully it will be over.

I want to continue to sing, dance, read and paint and to do each of those as well as I possibly can. I am looking forward to My Fair Lady in April and then we will see what else is in store.

Holidays are important. We have booked a trip to Venice for May half term and are both incredibly excited by this. We don’t have anything else planned yet but I am determined that I am going to make the most of our time together at weekends and holiday times.

And what about teaching? I have a lovely Year 6 class and I am really enjoying lessons with them. I passionately believe in getting each and every pupil to achieve as much as I can but just wish that the stakes weren’t so high for us if enough of them don’t achieve the magic 100 in their tests. Funding is also an issue now and the struggle to cover classes when teachers are absent makes life harder than it used to be. In theory,  I have just over two years to go until I retire. I always meant to carry on for longer as my husband is younger than me and won’t retire for several years yet. The prospect of this seems increasingly unlikely as I’m honestly not sure if I will have the energy or the will to keep going. Teaching is incredibly tiring and the negative aspects are almost beginning to outweigh my love of my job.

So, that’s my review and look forward on this New Year’s Day. Now it’s onwards and upwards and hopefully 2018 will be good for all of us.

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Author: Janette

Recently retired Ex-Assistant Head of a large primary school in Leicestershire although I seem to be in school teaching quite a bit still.

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