The General Election – Who to vote for??

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For starters, Corbyn should NOT be running the country. He has no experience, and seems to think he can solve the terror threats by having tea and cake round a table with ISIS.

On the other hand, he has some great ideas about ploughing money into the NHS and schools.

His 30 hours of free childcare for anyone two or over is unrealistic and never going to happen. The UK nurseries cannot even cope with the current 30 hours offered to 3 year olds, with only a handful of nurseries in my county offering this service, and even then with lots of restrictions on when you take the hours.

Free tuition fees COULD be a reasonable idea, but certainly not for everyone. It should be for only certain courses, OR those who work for a UK company in a graduate position for say 5 years get their fees paid off. It is an idea that needs a LOT more work.

He seems to just be offering incentives left, right and centre to any group of people he hasn’t pleased yet. And at what cost?? hHis figures are sketchy at best, and he has been very vague over them, often making mistakes when quoting them. I believe there is a genuine risk of bankruptcy if this man takes over!!

And yet on the other hand we have May, who is making FAR too many cuts in the public sector, mainly schools and the NHS! We do NOT want the NHS privatising! Nor (as a teacher) do I want classes of 32! These kids are our future, so invest in them!

Yet she does have a good concept of what benefits are for. They were brought in after the war to help genuinely desparate families get back on their feet, particularly when the man of the house had been killed fighting for his country. The bedroom tax is a brilliant idea; if you have social housing, then you should be GREATFUL for it, and single people should not be hogging a 3 bed house without a penalty when there are families waiting for it. Benefits need to be a helping hand, not a lifestyle choice.

So this leaves the difficult decision of who to vote for.

Conservatives WILL win in my area, because housing round here is expensive, and even a small three bedroom semi-detached would classify as “rich” under labours terms. Yet it is these people who are hard working and have saved hard to buy their own home; certainly not people to penalise!

I think the best option is a coalition government again, hopefully Conservative-LibDeb.

Corbyn is just not fit to run the country, and I fear for the long term future of my children. A vote for anyone other than Conservative is just giving Corbyn a lead, so although I feel I want to vote for our local LibDem candidate (who is very good), I am not sure it is a good idea.

I do not fully support May either though…

Argh. See? Such a hard choice!

 

 

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How to be the PERFECT parent

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Ok, so I am not claiming to be an expert (my eldest is only 6), and the word “perfect” is used with sarcasm, but after 5 years in teaching, I have learned a HUGE amount about how NOT to parent, so I thought I would pass on these words of wisdom, and hope that I can also follow them as my kids get older.

  1. EFFORT is what is important. NEVER praise your child for how amazing/brilliant/talented they are – that will just lead to an insecure child who is afraid of trying in case they get in wrong! You should always praise how hard they try in order to achieve whatever goal it is.
  2. Kids need SLEEP. Particularly teenagers studying for exams. Kids bedrooms should be only for sleeping and perhaps studying, and should certainly not contain games consoles or TVs. Mobile phones should also be removed at say 9pm. I cannot believe how many kids are too tired to concentrate because they have been on Snapchat or playing on their PS3 until goodness knows what hour. What sort of parent allows their child to do this?!?! There is a DIRECT correlation between what ability class a child is in, and whether they have a bedroom full of gadgets and mobile phones at night.
  3. It is YOUR responsibility to support your child in their education, not just the schools. Did you know that a supportive parent adds MORE to a child’s education than the school can? Listen to your child read, attend parents evenings, take an interest in what they are learning, support the school when required, provide a quiet space that they can do homework, check what homework they have and make sure they can and have done it! Last year I taught sets 1, 3 and set 9 for GCSE. At the Y11 parents evening, the lowest set (9) had just 20% of parents turn up, set 3 had 80%, and set 1 (top ability set) had 100%! The numbers speak for themselves.
  4. It is perfectly acceptable to say NO to your child. Kids need boundaries, and boundaries that are crossed need a consequence. Set your boundaries clearly and make sure you are very clear what will happen if they do not follow this.
  5. Kids need to take responsibility for their own actions, so let them take RISKS and don’t wrap them in cotton wool. They need to learn from mistakes. If they want to climb a tree, roll down a hill, drink alcohol, go out with a dodgy friend etc…, then let them (within reason)! So long as they know the consequences of their actions should it all go a bit wrong!
  6. Have FUN with your kids. Do not spend all day watching rubbish on tv and online. They are only young once (18 still counts as young!) so go out and have some FUN! Go on a bike ride, climb a big hill and roll down it, play a game together, go for a meal, cook together, make something together, plan a holiday together, watch a film and eat popcorn together etc… it doesn’t have to cost money to be fun.

 

Ok, words of wisdom complete. There are probably zillions more, but the above are just things that could make the difference between your teenager turning into a nice human being rather than some of the vile kids I teach where quite frankly I would question why the parents ever bothered to have kids.

I miss having a best friend

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At school I had a best friend, who now lives a long way away, although we always keep in touch.

At uni, I had a best friend, who also now lives 1.5 hours away, but we also keep in touch and we do meet up when we can, as we both have 3 kids.

But I miss having someone to gossip to, to go for a drink with, a girls night in etc… I have TRIED my best, but just can’t find someone I have much in common with, or they seem to have enough friends already, or I just don’t seem to be the type of person they want to be friends with.

I have been doing the school run since December, and although we call for people on the way there and back, it never seems to be more than superficial chat. I ask them questions, I show interest in their hobbies, I try and remember when they have said that they were doing something, then ask them about it. But they never seem to ask me anything. I then often spend the entire school run walking on my own whilst everyone else pairs up to chat. I try joining in, but it feels like I have nothing of interest to say and my comments are ignored or go unnoticed.

I even invited 3 of my son’s friends and their mums round after school a while back (they all came and appeared to have a good time), but no one returned the invite.

My son is desperate for a play date during the hols, but so far my messages remain unanswered, and I am feeling rather sad for him. One “friend” said she was busy on the day I suggested, and then said they were only free on the morning that she knows full well I take the babies to a group. I am hoping she just forgot rather than picked a time she knows I cannot make, but she didn’t reply when I suggested the afternoon instead.

As a last ditch attempt, I have posted a FB post asking if anyone fancies a play date tomorrow morning at a soft play centre. It feels a bit desperate, and if no one replies, then I can feel my heart sinking to the bottom of my stomach already. That horrible saddening butterfly feeling.

My son can be a bit annoying and bossy, but he is a lovely kind boy. He has had his life turned upside-down by the arrival of twins, so he doesn’t deserve this. I can take him out places, but he just keeps asking for his friends to come round, and I just have to keep telling him they are busy.

So, I voted…

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… Remain!

It was a close call, but I decided to go with remain, as although the EU membership is a long way from ideal and needs drastic changes, better the devil you know!

I knew a lot of people would vote for BREXIT, but I did not anticipate a BREXIT win!

One thing for certain is that the result has shown the true colours of many people. A friend who does lots of good work for charity had a Facebook rant calling people who voted BREXIT some vile names. Just nasty! I sporeciate the good work she does for charity, but that does not give her the right to be so vile towards those just exorcising their democratic right.

One of the great things about this country is that we have a democracy. Eveyone gets to vote, and we go with the majority. In this case, the majority who voted opted to leave the EU.

So WHY are people demanding a second referendum? That is like saying you can have a referendum, but only if we get the result we want! Their excuse so far is that the leave campaign was full of lies. Ok, but so was the remain campaign. They have found a few people that would have voted differently if they had their chance again, but so would I – I would vote BREXIT this time!

Isn’t it about time we accept that democracy has spoken, and pull together to make it work?

On the plus side, the leave vote has indeed highlighted the flaws in the EU membership, including the lack of democracy within it; one of the reasons many voted to leave. Other countries are now agreeing with the UK.

Perhaps this BREXIT vote can be used to reshape the EU onto a more democratic model that benefits all?

Why I am voting BREXIT

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My country, the United Kingdom, is an island. It is less than half the area of France, yet the same population.

Having an open border to the rest of The EU is unsustainable. We CANNOT cope with such a high population.

I have nothing against immigration, and quite welcome anyone who has the skills that this country needs, who will work hard and intrgrate within our society.

But this is where it needs to end. No job in a shortage area? No speak English? Then no right to stay in the UK.

I appreciate all the comments on the economy, but ultimately, the economy is the least of our worries when we have no space for everyone!

A surprise arrival of my twins!

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In the last week of term, hubby and I went to watch my son’s nativity play. I felt a bit tired and run down, but managed a trip to the shops afterwards.

At midday, I had a midwife appointment, so decided to take advantage of my husband having the day off work and got him to drive me down, as I felt so rubbish. My back ached (quite normal when 34 weeks pregnant with twins) and I had a few cramps, which I presume were Braxton Hicks again.

The midwife decided to send me to the hospital to be checked. Grrrr. Such a long way. I put my hospital bag that I had packed a couple of days earlier into the car, just in case.

There were no parking spaces at the hospital, so we had to park a long way from the maternity unit, and walk the 20 minutes across. I told the reception that the midwife had sent me, and they showed me to a room and said someone would be with me shortly.

30 minutes later, no one had been in, and I was now in agony with cramps every 5 minutes, so sent hubby to get pain killers. The midwife came in and seemed rather surprised (I think most people in the assessment unit are false alarms), and discovered I was already 4cm dilated!

After a quick transfer to a delivery suite, I BEGGED for a c-section, but my little girl was too far down for that. Nor was there time for an epidural. Eeeek. As my boy was transverse, I quickly got moved to theatre, where 2 pushes later and some gas and air, my little girl was born.

3 doctors then started pushing on my stomach to turn twin 2, and 20 minutes later out he came!

Twin 2 spent 17 days in hospital, despite being the bigger twin, but they are now both home and doing really well. I am not sure where the last 7 weeks have gone since their birth, but as they are both gaining weight, my extreme exhaustion is obviously paying off.

 

#needsleep

Maternity Leave Anti-Climax

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On my penultimate day at work, I jokingly said during a department meeting that I would take on a particular task, knowing I was about to go on maternity leave. My head of department laughed, then commented that “oh yeah, it is almost my last day, so as we are all here then good luck”.

My last day just came and went. No card, the odd goodbye from individuals, just nothing really. A couple of my colleagues asked me at the end of the day had nothing been organised, as even they seemed surprised that no one had done anything.

I just feel a little deflated that after teaching and putting loads of effort in, meeting all deadlines, not missing a single day this year other than maternity appointments, and getting great results, that no one seemed overly bothered or cared.

I feel like a complete mug for writing cover lessons for all my classes for the following week (which I didn’t have to do, but did so because I was being nice and saving someone else a lot of time) when no one bothered to say thank you. Just “oh, ok”.

At least I did have some nice comments and a couple of cards from some of the kids I teach, but other than that, the whole thing has been such an anti climax.

Not even my tutor group managed to organise a card.

In my last (non teaching) job, despite working with all men, they managed a presentation, card, presents and loads of Mothercare vouchers. I wasn’t expecting all that again, but a good luck card would have been nice.

Oh well, onwards… I have two babies to prepare for!!

 

 

A Devious Boss Still Holding A Grudge

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I finished my engineering job over 3 years ago then re-trained to become a science teacher.

I actually LOVED my engineering job, and 3 days a week gave me a superb work-life balance. I did as much 3 days a week as many of the guys did in a full working week.

As we were short staffed, the boss at the time decided to solve the problem by increasing my hours back to full time. Illegal, as I was well past my trial period of 3 days a week. He sneakily got my team lead to give me the letter, so when I appealed it, the boss himself (who was behind the whole thing) got to make the final decision.

Very devious, but thankfully I knew the law, so told my team lead I would be taking legal action, so wanted to know if it was 100% him alone that made the decision to force my hours back to full time. He panicked, and even better than planned, sent me an email confirming both him AND the boss were behind it.

Needless to say I forwarded the email to the director and the boss got his fingers burned for being so unprofessional and devious.

Hubby still works for the same engineering company, although he was never involved in my dispute – I can fight my own battles.

They have just been putting the jobs into “bands” with pay scales, and hubby, despite being the most experienced and knowledgable in the office, has been denied the senior position as he doesn’t have a degree! His team lead went to see the boss who pretty much told him that as I was awkward and caused him trouble, along with hubby being friends with another guy who left (forced out!), then he was going to block any future promotions!!

Hubby is fuming! If it wasn’t for the fact we had twins on the way (so he is now planning to take 6 weeks parental leave over the summer hahahahahahaa), he would change jobs.

Feeling ENORMOUS

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After 5 x 1 hour lessons today, most of which I had to stand up for, my back is killing me, and my bump feels stretched.

I think I underestimated the affect these twins are going to have on my body…!

At least tomorrow I have a lighter day with a chance to sit down and do some book marking in my frees!

I saw the consultant the other day, and he was concerned at the length of my cervix. Apparently 2.6cm is a little short for 21 weeks pregnant, so back I go in 3 weeks to have it checked again. Something about a risk of premature labour in twin pregnancies.

Hopefully all will be fine!

On the plus side, the scan showed baby 2 to be absolutely fine, although still being awkward and refusing to move to be measured!

The boss with mood swings

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With my head of a department it is a little like working for Jekyll and Hyde – it is hard to know whether she is going to be nice or just rude and stroppy!

Today she was in the mood for biting heads off! A few of us pointed out at the meeting this morning that stuff for lessons were arriving late, so kids were arriving at lessons and the starter worksheet wasn’t available. Queue sarcastic comment and me getting my head bitten off!

We end up with SO many worksheets for lessons, it is not surprising the technicians are struggling and stressed, but it is also annoying to get head bitten off for trying to highlight a problem and suggest a solution!

In reality, she had an idea that turned out to be cr*p, so doesn’t like being corrected.

She obviously then upset the technicians and commented they were late delivering lessons, who then practically threw the tray of worksheets for lesson 2 into my lab half way through lesson one. I didn’t dare tell them it was the wrong lesson they had printed, so had to improvise!

Oh well, only 9 more teaching weeks after this until I go on maternity.

I do love my job as a teacaher, and the kids are (mostly) fabulous, but it is such hard work putting up with a boss who can react in such different ways, and you never know which.