Carrying around my geographical rucksack

I’m a shooting star leaping through the skies
Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity
I’m a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva
I’m gonna go go go
There’s no stopping me

Interesting thinking and reflecting about what is essential to every school day, especially when struggling up the inclines of the South Downs this afternoon!  I remember the exact moment when the penny dropped at what a huge, cool thing being a teacher was.  I was in Klute (voted worst nightclub in Durham) coming toward the end of my diagnostic  teaching practice. Loads of wannabe teachers were there.  Then Freddie exploded into my mind.
To me, my teaching approach is a product of the geographical rucksack I carry around with me.  It’s not always physical, but is made up of the experiences, thoughts and perspectives that make me.  I am the boy from the Valleys who was told he’d never be anyone by his teacher. I’m the boy who just wants to make a difference. Even have a T-Shirt:
What is it that I deem essential for the everyday?  I’ve had a pretty pants time over the past 18 months professionally, I’m coming out of this now, here we go:`

1. Running

Running keeps me sane.  It allows me the time and space to reflect, think and, most essentially, not act.  By the time I’m finished, I have a way forward that is infinitely better than my usual gut reaction.  I get to see where I live changing through the seasons and I feel healthier.  People ask how I got to run over 1,200 miles in 2014 and how I’ll fit in a 50 mile ultra marathon in 2015.  It’s simple, I prioritise with running over work.

2. Coffee

I love rituals and coffee is one of them.  I have a fridge in the office, emergency chocolate on tap and even some tea bags and milk.  Having a brew gives time to put things into perspective.  Sometimes, inaction is the best thing you can do.

3. My Phone

Blah blah blah right.  But, wake up to the fact that my phone has revolutionise the way I work.  Don’t like using them with kids? Your choice. But, the workflow and reminders that I have set up (accessible via web and tablets also) makes me better at my job.  Reminders to visit members of staff, calendar, cloud documents that can be shared and analyses stuff, Evernote to capture images of important docs and working procedures I set up so I can remember how the bloody hell I did it last time.

4. Selfies

Sure, take the mick, but selfies mean memories, perspectives and resources. Maps, books, stories to tell around the campfire in my classroom.  As John Muir said, the mountains are calling and I must go.  The stuff that makes me me, my classroom persona (I am actually painfully shy) and the reason why I love teaching – understanding the world. “>

5. Twitter and Amazon

Access to teaching ideas, resources, connections, and books.  Reading all sorts of stuff helps out.

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