So back at the end of July, I wrote a blog post about my #summer10 (read it here) – the top ten things I hoped to achieve over the summer – and undertook to come back and review how it all went.
So here it is…
1. Spend quality time with my family. This was a resounding success. We had lots of slow, hazy summer days. We slept in, we rode a steam train, we went to the zoo, we visited the park with friends, we cooked, we snuggled on the sofa and watched lots of movies. Rather than rushing around trying to fit in a year’s worth of stuff, the slower pace of life we chose was what we all needed to recharge our batteries and connect properly.
2. Start and maintain a blog. Check! ‘Nuff said.
3. Read some books purely for pleasure. This was not such a success. I did lots of reading, but the reality of life with a 2 year old and a 6 year old is that most of the reading was books like The Gruffalo, That’s not my train, How to Catch a Star and others of a similar ilk – plus Horrid Henry. All lovely, enjoyable books in their own right (and each was accompanied with a precious little boy cuddle), but not what I originally had in mind. I have now left a novel by my bed and plan to read a little each night before falling asleep (or being summoned by the smallest person!)
4. Research. I have chosen a topic for my dissertation (well, have narrowed it down to two related options), done some reading and should be ready to submit the initial introduction by the deadline in the middle of September.
5. Exercise. This is a work in progress – I have been going to an outdoor fitness class on Saturday mornings and started running with friends on Hampstead Heath as regularly as possible. The aim now is to get back to running 5kms and then 10kms comfortably and to fit back into my pre-toddler wardrobe.
6. Planning for work. This is done – I met with my Headteacher in August and we know where we are, what we need to do and actions are in motion.
7. Plan for career and leadership development. A ongoing process, but I am happy with the thinking, reflecting, connecting and professional reading that I have done in the last 6 weeks. I am clearer than ever on my own strengths and what I need to develop – onwards and upwards!
8. Catch up with friends. We did lots of this both close to home and in France and it was refreshing to have lots of non-work related conversations with grown ups and to go out for a drink on a school night that wasn’t actually a school night!
9. Prepare for #PedagooHampshire. Well, the map app on my phone has shown me how to get there, I’ve connected with my learning conversation partner and have a fair idea of what I hope to achieve and how…watch this space for more information.
10. Travel. Well and truly achieved – My oldest son and I had a lovely three days in York and all four of us had a brilliant break in the south of France – we saw the Bayeux tapestry, swam in a lake, ate ice creams and wandered through markets. And yes, there was plenty of sunshine, cheese and wine.
All that aside, I think the most important thing is that both this #summer10 process and #teacher5aday more generally have helped me to take a step back, reassess what I am doing and examine how all the cogs on the wheel fit together, both for me as an individual and for my family as a whole. Regardless of what initiatives are handed down from on high, what the latest pronouncements from Ofsted are, what my next career move will be or what daily challenges present themselves at work, my family takes priority. This year will be about living in the moment, maintaining balance, and spending truly quality time with the people I love.