Category Archives: Saturday Night Confessions

Bona Fide

A child approached my desk at work today and asked a question:

“Did you compete in writing competitions

when you were our age, Mrs D?”

My curiosity as to why he would ask such a question was stalled by my need to flex my credentials, describing writing competitions I had won from a young age and my experience of writing poetry and stories throughout my youth. Watching his expression of surprise and then understanding, I went back to my original response and asked him, why?

He surprised me. He said, “Because we do a lot more writing competitions now, more than before. I thought that it was because of you!”

It took me a moment to think about this. I couldn’t deny the fact that I supported and campaigned for many writing opportunities within the school – it just didn’t occur to me that I was huge part of the influence – or, at least, the children thought so. Being a part of a wonderful literacy team that pushes for children to have these opportunities didn’t necessarily mean that I was the reason for change. Maybe it had always been there, but not so prevalent as we have it now with all the clubs and enrichment days.

One might say I’m over-thinking it, but this child’s answer touched a nerve. You see, I have been fighting a complex for many years. The stigma of who we are when our super-writing coats hang back in our caves while we go out into the real world to fill our coffers has confused me. Am I a writer pretending to be a librarian or am I a librarian pretending to be a writer? Can I call myself a writer if I have not produced a book in that last few years or can I call myself a true librarian working part-time?

All these questions float around and stew…and stew…and stew! The way I identify myself during introductions has changed too. When I first decided to become a fully-fledged writer, I shyly mumbled that I was a wannabe author. After my first book, my shoulders pressed back and I declared my author status to friends and acquaintances. Now that a few years have passed since my last novel, I’m back to being a Librarian – the title of author gathering dust at the back of my cave.

Drawing back to my earlier conversation with said pupil, it dawned on me that I am one in the same person. I am a writer, author, librarian, sad cow who hypothesizes over her silly titles when she has so little time as it is and mother! I’m influencing young minds to read and write and enjoy it.  I’m fulfilling all roles, titles, whatever-you-want-to-call-it and it’s okay. I don’t have to be one thing and not acknowledge the other. As long as I stay true to my profession: someone who shares in the experience of the written word, in whatever capacity, I am being true to who I really am. And that pleases me immensely. I am a bona fide writer/librarian!

It’s a trivial thing but something I wanted to share with you. Do you find certain roles/titles waylaid as you plough through life? What’s your take on this subject?

Advertisements

When Do We Fight?

As the world bathes itself in the blood of innocents, ignoring their cries as they bleat acknowledgements to corrupt leaders, I ask: when do we fight? Continue reading

Saturday Night Confessions

Hi there!

I haven’t written in this section in a while and I’ve just finished my studying for the night, so I thought I’d treat myself to a quick blog post. Yes, that’s the ultimate excitement for me on a Saturday night! Continue reading

What a week!

A while back I used to write a post called Saturday Confessions; it was a way of opening up and sharing things I had never shared with anyone else; kind of releasing the inner me onto you, the unsuspecting public! 
Well today I have woken up with that same feeling, due to the fact that I’ve achieved another awesome week at work, which I shall go into more detail about in a tick.  The other part is due to the incredible amount of work my fellow staff put in to make our school a cut above the rest.

Yesterday, I spent my break time duty walking around a playing field full of happy children, laughing together, singing in groups, challenging teachers on duty to races and encouraging them to play games, which the staff happily obliged in doing. The setting was almost too perfect to my cynical eye for the joy I felt was overwhelming. How on earth could 200+ students be so happy and content at the same time? I kid you not, those kids were beaming!

Now this leads me onto the reason why I was happy to volunteer to write an enrichment week for the teachers. Watching them and seeing just how much effort they put into their work, how much time and energy they place in getting the detail right to cater for every single child in their class and the support they provide for those lagging behind as well as the advanced students – it makes me proud to be a part of their support team. 

With careful consideration as to how we would utilise the resource, I had to write up themed lessons that would inspire the children to use their abilities in literacy and showcase their imagination, mixed in with technical writing skills for moderation. Not only that but giving the theme enough traction for the teachers to plan mathematics and science based lessons on it made it more challenging. With my Literacy Co-ordinator giving me her list of requirements, we banged out the objectives for the week and I began my planning. 

If I had to combine the time spent on creating the enrichment package, I would say it took me a week, maybe more, to get it right. That included meetings, editing and re-drafting of some lessons. Since time is not exactly free in this life, I spent my spare moments to piece this all together. 

Once the completed product was ready, I presented it to the deputy head (who is also the  head of junior literacy) and  Literacy Co-ordinator (who happens to be the head of early years Literacy). My theme was space, genre type: science fiction, and it roughly covered descriptive writing, diary entries, formal letter writing, code breaking, plotting a map and creating plants and animals found on a planet in our galaxy. There was, of course, more added details to make each day fun for the children and we included ideas (from the teachers) on artwork we could create during the week.

Once the package was approved, I made sure to role out a teacher pack and student pack so that everyone was on the same page. 

I’m not going to lie and say it’s an easy task or that there are no hiccups along the way. Some children respond beautifully to these specialised writing tasks, whilst others shut down completely and find it overwhelming. But that’s where the staff step in and make it all possible. Like superheroes, they descend onto the unsuspecting child struggling in the corner and sit with said child till they understand what is required of them. The teaching assistants work their butts off to support the teachers and by the end of the week, we have children from Reception through to year 6 using the same enrichment package and producing work on the same theme. 

It’s really exciting! 

For added effect, this year I included a link up with the National Space Centre in Leicester (from the midlands whereas we are based in the south of England) and we held a virtual classroom in the hall with all 200 children in attendance. They were so well behaved; we were very proud of them all. The space commander answered their prepared questions and the children got to interact with the presenter and watch video clips from NASA. They were pretty spellbound when they saw footage of the first jumping spider in space and I was hooked to the screen too!

To close the week off, we all dressed up as book characters, the staff choosing to dress as aliens in underpants! I’ll share a pic with you that my Headteacher took which I assumed was of just the book but included me. We ran an assembly celebrating the work from each year group and listened to stories read out from their missions. I got to read Aliens in Underpants Save Earth to the children and we all had a good look at the artwork created throughout the week.

Yes, as I said, it was a lot of hard work and creating the package was wonderful, but watching it get rolled out across the school made it all worthwhile.

Last year, the children went on a quest to save a baby Phoenix; this year they became space cadets and had to save the world and travel to Proximate B. If I’m asked to write the enrichment again, where will I take them next year and what will they become? Who knows, we might just go back in time or become something fantastic! 

Saturday Night Confessions

Playlist for My Little Bird

Bird FlownToday is the second week anniversary of the flight of my little bird. I am caught in an emotional trap. I am nervous as I set about putting together the playlist for her wake. In my hand I nurse a brandy and coke, my father’s drink. In my head I spin the songs that I will play for my little bird.

My Saturday night confession: I hate crying. I don’t do crying unless someone opens that ridiculous door and allows the little crybaby inside me to escape.  In the deepest, darkest catacombs of my mind there are very few opportunities to escape, but once in a blue moon a little bugger of a crybaby escapes. 

Tonight my mind is on high alert. One of those little crybabies has escaped.  So, to distract the escapee those little people who live in my head have decided to make a playlist.  It isn’t possible to be sad when you’re listening to a good playlist.  I’d like to share the torment with the little people who live inside in your head. 

Who said I wasn’t a caring, sharing, giving person?!

So here goes. Get ready to sing along, and to dance when the moment takes you.

Tonight, I present to you, for your pleasure and mine, my playlist for my mum, my little bird, who escaped her cage and flew away.  She is happy now, I know, but please share my songs and my tears.

  1. Leo Sayer – When I need love
  2. Bread – Make it with you
  3. The Eagles – Take it to the limit
  4. The Platters – Only you
  5. Eva Cassidy – Songbird
  6. Leo Sayer – One man band
  7. Andrew Gold – Never let her slip away
  8. Chicago – You’re the inspiration
  9. Air Supply – Without you
  10. Tina Charles – Dance little lady dance
  11. Bread – Everything I own
  12. Brotherhood of Man – Save your kisses for me
  13. Eagles – Hotel California
  14. Randy van Warmer – Just when I needed you most
  15. Deep Purple – Child in time

I will close this playlist with yet another Deep Purple song, which just seems right for the moment,

Deep Purple – Bird has flown

I could go on adding more superb songs right through the night, but I am going to leave it there for now. What one song would you add to my playlist for my little bird?

Saturday Night Confessions

Continue reading

Saturday Confessions

My confession. Continue reading

Saturday Night Confessions

Now I only have a few minutes before I turn back into a bumbling pumpkin, so I shall make it fast…

Embarrassing moments!  Thanks Blondewritemore! Continue reading

Saturday Night Confessions Reminder

Join me later tonight when I reveal…well I don’t know yet.  Still pondering on what I feel like sharing with you.

Any suggestions, questions or something burning inside of you that you’d love to know about me? Leave a comment and I shall promise to try answering it as honestly as possible.

Okay now I’m nervous!  



See you later.  Oh and if no-one leaves a question, I will just have to go with whatever comes to mind!  

Pic courtesy of Giphy.com and animationgraphics.com

Saturday Night Confessions

Put the lights down low, hear the music flow.  

Let it swing and sway as I make my way.  

You may ask to dance, search for some romance;

I’m not here for that and will refuse you flat.  

Just let me dance, let me show,

Why we need to get to lose control

Flash those lights, shake those hips

No don’t pucker up those lips

All night long, hit those songs

Stay up with me, it ain’t wrong

To just dance! Continue reading