It’s been a tricky few months! I found out at the end of March that I wouldn’t be able to return to work part time at the school I was teaching at – full time or nothing! Teaching is such an all-consuming job and I knew, even before I was pregnant, that I would never want to teach full time whilst Lefty Baby is so little. I’d made this clear to my school before going on maternity and was assured it wouldn’t be a problem, but the political climate, school budgets and the academy system being what they are meant that part-time wasn’t an option where I was. This was the start of a mad several weeks of searching for jobs during naptimes, writing extensive personal statements whilst half-ignoring the baby and filling in tedious application forms in the little spare time I had. God, it was dull. And stressful. There were lots of tears.
Lefty Husband and the rest of my family were brilliant, though – always there to proof read application forms or take LB out for a walk so I could actually get something done. I applied for quite a few jobs – a couple in teaching, some in the civil service, but there was only one I was really, genuinely excited about. A bit of luck and a lot of hard graft later, I have a new job! I start in September. It’s in a school going through a really challenging time (read: special measures) in an area of deprivation* of my hometown. I’ll be working three days a week and happily have been given a TLR (teaching and learning responsibility), in this case a core subject to lead on. This is very different to my previous TLR role and a new challenge I’m very excited for. I can’t wait to get started in general. So often I find that disappointments I experience are blessings in disguise.
*I have issues with the word ‘deprived’ and its connotations that I’ll unpack at a later date (‘deprived’ doesn’t automatically mean ‘working class’/not all children who are classed as ‘deprived’ are unfortunate etc. etc…) but it’s a description that fits to set the scene.
A few hours after my interview for my new job, we found out that my Nannie had suffered a huge stroke. That entailed a frantic ‘throw everything in the car and drive to South Wales as quickly as possible’ in order for us to say goodbye to her. She’d been on holiday with my Grandad, visiting my bio dad. She had a lovely last few days in the valleys, picking wildflowers and enjoying a boat trip and spent the evening before she died looking at photos of LB I’d sent her, as well as photos of me and my sister as babies. As deaths go, it wasn’t a bad one. The NHS staff who looked after her were incredible and I couldn’t be more grateful to them for their kindness in the last few hours we had with her.
All in all, it’s been a strange few months and I’ve been feeling ‘not myself’ quite a lot of the time, hence the lack of attention I’ve been paying to my blog and its associated instagram. Hopefully now that the stress of job hunting and the funeral are both over I’ll have a little more head space to devote to this.