A change is as good as a rest

2 July 2020 So this time last year, I was worried about too many changes. Little did I know about a global pandemic heading our way to smack us all right in the face and necessitate a multitude of changes.

In terms of what I was worried about last year:

Sam isn’t even going to school although he does appear to be doing more work than he ever did at Whitehaven. The change has done him good.

My parents are fully installed in their new bungalow, but are struggling with living in smaller accommodation as they keep bumping into each other! Meanwhile, I haven’t given my teenage home a second thought.

And out of the ashes, I rose like a phoenix to find a job which I would never have anticipated – in a secondary school, a place where 22 years ago, I refused to set foot in and opted for primary instead. But I was surviving before COVID kicked me out, so maybe I need to take on more new challenges.

Meanwhile, Joel’s still driving me crazy, Abigail’s still dancing, Frankie’s still dirtying my house and Ian’s still breathing after all these weeks on lockdown! As some French guy said, ‘plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose‘ so, this time last year, basically, I shouldn’t have bothered my little head!

2 July 2019 I’m experiencing three “end of eras” in the space of a month and I’m struggling.
Firstly, Sam has left Whitehaven School which means I have basically left for a second time. My links with the school are undeniably broken as the two youngest will be at Keswick School. This is not what I had planned but an arrogant, greedy, uncaring academy trust made it impossible for me to risk two more of my children’s education and well-being. I will drive to the school for the last time on results day in August and will inevitably drive out crying, although that may be to do with Sam’s GCSE grades!😂
Secondly, my parents have moved out of the home of my teenage years. It’s not just bricks and mortar to me. It is the keeper of memories. Although it doesn’t ressemble the home where I lived 16 years ago, as I stood this morning in the front bedroom which was my sanctuary, I can still visualise myself waiting nervously for my first driving lesson or tumbling drunkenly down the drive after a barbecue for my 18th. I still can’t accept that I will never set foot in the place again.
Thirdly, I am leaving the school, not through choice, where I fell in love with French again. I learnt here to teach my favourite foreign language in a fun and engaging way – basically in complete contrast to how I was taught. I learnt that pupils who are weak in their own language and other traditional subjects could excel in French. Having no fear of fronted adverbials or improper fractions meant they could shine. I learnt that, for once, I was actually better at something than those around me and my confidence inevitably improved. Hopefully I will carry this on in other schools but it will never be the same.
I don’t like change and such big changes coming all at once is unnerving and I can feel myself withdrawing as a coping mechanism. Come September, hopefully Sam will be settled in his new school, my parents’ bungalow will be one of the best decisions they’ve ever made (after having me of course! 😜) and I’ll be in a job where I feel valued and value others. What I have to try and remember is that I may be giving up or losing things which are good, but I will hopefully be gaining some things which will be even better.

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