#Nurture 1213 was my very first blog post and having just re-read it I thought it was about time I reviewed 2013 so here goes…


1. A New Me!

2013 was the year that I reinvented myself.  I have, mainly through reading, blogs and educational literature clarified my educational philosophy.  To be fair, I always had a philosophy but it was a bit wishy washy.  These days I am fairly obsessive about students doing the work as I guide them through the linguistic pitfalls.  Creativity and learning go hand in hand for me, I want students to be able to manipulate language, to take risks, to have fun and to think big.  I applied for and gained a 1 year development post this September.  I am responsible for leading a development group who are looking a homework in our school, it has proved to be very interesting in more ways than one.  2 years ago I was so lacking in confidence that I would never have applied despite my years of experience but I came out of my interview knowing that I’d nailed it.  I spoke with passion and conviction.  I knew my subject well, I was confident and clear.  I was the new me and it showed!

2. Family

It has been a big year for us.  My youngest started school in September, he’s loving it but he loves the holidays more frankly, who can blame him.  Our daughter continues to grow in confidence, she recently took her 1st ballet exam. The week prior to her exam she practiced morning and night.  She was nervous on the day of her exam but she came out having had a great time, she enjoyed showing the examiner all she had learnt.  Given the fact that 3 years ago she was painfully shy I was and am so proud of our little girl.  My Hubs got a new job in May of this year, he is now curriculum deputy at one of the schools in Douglas.  He is loving his new job and is full of enthusiasm and passion the like of which I have not seen for a long time.  As a consequence of his new job he and I are like ships that pass in the night most days but it’s worth it and it makes our time together all the more special

3. Conferences

I have attended to teaching conferences this year.  My first was #ILILC3  in February in Southampton.  It was an amazing weekend of ideas which I have blogged about here.  It was also lovely to meet a large number of the #mfltwitterati.  October saw me back in Southampton for #TLT13.  Again another great day of CPD and also a chance to meet some of my tweeting friends…

4. Tweechers

I was lucky enough to be able to meet some tweeting heroes this year.  Some of them briefly but it’s always nice to put a face to a name.  There are t omany to mention but I’ll give it a go – sorry if I miss some of you out. @joedale (godfather of the #mfltwitterati) @amandasalt, @spanishsam, @icpjones, @valleseco @lisabo @bains_1 – one day I will be able to teach like these guys!

Thanks go to @eleanorabrahams for giving me lifts around Southampton in February

@bellalle and @mrsbellacat for allowing me to crash at theirs the night before #TLT13

@MissJLud and @davidfawcett for showing untold kindness in the run up to #TLT13

I met some tweeting heroes too; @johntomsett, @dockershoops, @Edutronic_net, @rlj1981 – lovely people I hope we get to meet again in 2014.

5. iPads

This was the year that saw me really get into technology in the classroom.  iPads I love ’em

6. Kayaking

I nailed that roll, it’s taken a year of determination but I have done it!  I circumnavigated the Isle of Man in my kayak over 3 days in July with a great bunch of people. It was a trip never to be forgotten.

7. Australia

My lovely Dad had a new knee in March of last year.  He and Mum were due to go to Australia for the christening of my niece and their Grandchild but Dad wasn’t allowed to fly so Mum invited me to go with her.  It was a fabulous trip, we were there for a week in the sunshine.  It is so rare to be able to spend quality time with your parents as you age so this was one of life’s bonuses what’s more I was asked to be a godparent which is a pretty cool thing to be if you ask me!

8. Snow

Whilst I was on the other side of the world.  The Isle of Man had its worst snow storm for 50 years.  Our village was cut off from the rest of the island for 3 days and 12 foot deep snow drifts were the norm.  Communities come together as people took to the hills to dig sheep out of drifts, check on neighbours and provide food and warmth for those who were without electricity.

9. Support

There are aspects of my working life which are fairly hideous at times.  I try to remain stoical and have a water off a ducks back approach.  I hope that I have provided support for those who also feel the dark side of our work at school.

10. 40

I turned 40 this year and so did my Hubs.  We had a great impromptu night out for his birthday, I lacked enthusiasm for mine…

11. Arran

We spent a blissful week camping on Arran in June.  The sun shone, the kids played on the beach, we kayaked, walked and had a fabulous family time

12. The Isle of Man Adventure Race

We entered a team of girls.  It was great fun.  We came 2nd in the kayaking but despite all my  training my swim didn’t go quite to plan… maybe next year

13. Results

2 years ago our results were terrible in MFL for a variety of reasons.  This year once again, saw me responsible for all of the French GCSE results.  Many students did very, very well.  One of my students was predicted a grade D but ended up with an A*.  I met her in town 2 days after results and she just ran up to me agave me the biggest ever hug this was without doubt, one of my best ever teaching moments.  On the downside, I still had a negative residual for my class – this continue to frustrate me.


In no particular order….

1.  I am presenting at #ILILC4 and am incredibly nervous but excited about it.

2. I want to ensure that iPads are implemented properly into our department not to mention the school.

3. I was lucky enough to meet the lovely @mattyhilda recently  and hopefully together we are going to organise the very 1st #TMIOM.

4. I must get back into swimming – it’s great for fitness and for kayaking

5. Speaking of kayaking, now it’s time to nail my off side roll plus rolling in rough water.

6. I am not and never have been a runner but couch to 5K does appeal to me so,  I guess this is the year

7. This year’s mantra is going to be teaching and learning, teaching and learning, teaching and learning.

8. Fontainebleau – this has been a regular family holiday haunt for many years now.  We haven’t been for 3 years but we are making a return in 2014.  I can’t wait to get climbing on the boulders in the forest not to mention watching our kids take to the rock

9. I don’t teach German at the moment as my school does not offer it.  I love the language and the country, with luck I will be able to persuade the Hubs to go there on holiday this summer.

10. I hope to attend more teach meets and conferences next year and meet more of the lovely teachers that appear on my timeline but it all depends on flights and boats!

11. Being a supportive wife and a good Mum is important to me.  It is something that I must continue to work at.

12.  I would love to attend the Hanko sea kayaking symposium in Finland in August.  I love paddling in new places and many of the Finnish sea kayakers come to the IOM to paddle at our symposium in September so I would be good to meet them on their own turf.

13.  I would like to up my blogging quotient to at least once a month

14.  Forget and forgive it helps you to live…





2 thoughts on “#Nurture1314

  1. Thanks for this, Rachel – I do enjoy reading your posts and I think #nurture1314 is a great initiative!

    Hope you’re enjoying an excellent Christmas break with your friends and family and that 2014 is a happy and successful year for you.

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