With just 2 months left before I leave and one half term at school remaining, the Countdown has truly begun.
I find myself becoming more and more excited as I allow myself to spend more and more time researching various places. I've restricted this some what as i can lose hours at a time just looking. But half term was here and I used it to get a feel for my first stop...... South Africa! Ofcourse the excitement is buried under a significant amount of fear, but it's still there. A friend of mine who's from south Africa didn't really help when he said he'd never go without a gun. Eek! However, being what is like to consider an inelegant woman, I have tried to be as safe as possible in the trips in doing and the places I'm going.
Having had a week to look into this though, I'm now in the situation where I have to switch my brain into school mode. I still have an 8 week term to get through after all. It's definitely getting harder and harder to stay motivated, but i owe it to the students to be giving it my all in these last week's. And I 100% am. In the last term in running a charity event, running a borough competition and organising an assembly. All on top of an already hectic timetable, not to mention at some point I will have to tell my form I'm leaving.
The thought of telling them I'm going literally breaks my heart. They are the first form I've had and they are such amazing people. Each one of them brings something to the class and at some point each has made me laugh (and one even cry). They are the best part of my day almost every day and I love saying goodbye at the end of the day and finding any gossip from them. I honestly have no idea how I'm going to tell them, it will probably be a thousand times worse for me and they won't even be bothered!
I remember when I first applied for the job I have now, I was an NQT and was still technically training, I asked if I was likely to have a form and I was told no. After excepting the job I asked if I could have a form and the NQT coordinator said they don't give us forms because they don't want to stress us out too much. I had a lot of conversations after that, trying to convince them to let me have a form group. You see, for me, they are an integral part of a school culture. You become not just part of a form but part of a year group and that makes you feel part of the school, much more so than I would without them. All my persuasive techniques, however, feel on deaf ears (perhaps i needed some help from an English teacher). It was sheer luck and coincidence that they ended up a few teachers down and no volunteers to take up the new year seven group. So I came to the school for their induction day and for the first time, met my form. Instantly one girl was in tears. I tried to be reassuring, told her we were in it together, I had no idea what was going on either because I was also new! We really did struggle through together as I got lost more than once and had no idea of the timings (my first experience of no bells!). Also on this first day I was introduced to a student with EAL, who spoke Russian. I was ecstatic! I got an A* in GCSE Russian! We can chat, I can translate it will be easy! Turns out I remember very little Russian, I could say; hello, goodbye, thank you and one that I couldn't say to children. But even with my excellent grasp of her language she said nothing, all day. On the first day of school in year 7 she said nothing, it wasn't until the end of the week I got a ' yes Miss'. Now, over a year later she has become so much more confident, they all have and I got to watch it happen. That fills me with a joy I probably won't feel for a while. It's one of the main reasons I wanted to be a teacher, one of the reasons I still want to be a teacher.
I've been thinking about how to tell them, I want to inspire them. I want them to know it's OK to follow your dreams. But that you have to work hard to achieve your dreams. I want them to know that they can do anything they want with their lives, be anyone they want. But I don't want it to sound like an after school special, which it does, I know. But one of the few things my Dad taught me that has always stuck is: ' where there's a will, there's a way '. He told me if I wanted something bad enough there would be a way to achieve it and I've yet to prove him wrong.
All the advice other teachers have given me is wait until two weeks before the end of term and then tell the students, so that's what I'll do, but until then I am soaking up as much as I can with the students in my form and all the kids I teach.