Autumn has always been my time for fresh starts. My birthday falls in November and I think this is part of this. Another year older etcetera. This year, my new beginning has even more significance as I am returning to work after many months of illness and recuperation. I am returning to the school at which I have worked for the last five years. I have used my enforced time out to reflect on my practice, pedagogy and teaching style. I have also addressed issues around what is truly important and that which is not. Somewhat to my surprise, knowing how major illness can affect confidence, I am confident that the decisions I have made are the right ones.
I am really looking forward to getting back to work. I know the school really well and have had the privilege of returning to Year Three, my favourite year group in Key Stage 2. I know what topics we'll be teaching and having taught in Year Three previously, am familiar with what needs to be taught for Maths and Literacy. All this is very satisfying.
However, I do commute twenty five miles to my school in the city, and I have to ask myself if this is sustainable. It seems to me that it would make more sense to work nearer to home. Of course this would depend on someone employing me in a school nearer to the town in which I live.
Clearly I am going to have to have a plan of action. This time of new beginnings is therefore going to be a time of strategy planning and research.
No-one should worry that all my action planning and research will detract from my efforts for my class of 2011-12. It will not.
Making sure I have a work/life balance is also one of my goals and I need to do all I can to reduce serious stress in my life as this could have a profound effect on my future health. The main conclusion I have reached is that I should take responsibility for the life I lead.
The answers for me then, my friends, lie in my hands.