18 May


I went into the gym at 9.30 and met Kath at 11 for her to go in, and for me to look after baby Cara. Then we had lunch together. This worked well and I think we’ll do it again on Thursday. While Kath was in the gym I got a call from my usual school asking me to work today. Of course I said yes, I can’t afford to pick and choose. However, the class I was asked to cover is a tough one and I had a bit of a panic. As cara was asleep I sat on a bench in a sunny spot and wrote out my worries.

1. Planning might not have been left. (This rarely happens if a teacher knows that they will not be there, but if the teacher was unexpectedly ill then the supply teacher has to think fast!)

2. I may struggle to get the attention of the kids. (I’m often scared, with an older class, that I will call the kids to attention and they will choose to ignore me. It very rarely happens but sometimes you have to be pretty scary to command attention. I am not naturally scary!)

3. Children may not take me seriously.

Then I wrote out solutions.

1. I’ll spend tonight planning 2 lessons that can be used with children of any ability.

2. I will establish a way of gaining attention (putting my hand up in the air and expecting them to copy) and then quickly reward those that comply.

3. If the children prove to be difficult to control then I’ll offer an end of the day incentive, such as a game of rounders, to keep them on track through the day.

Once I had written this list my panic level went from an 8 to a 3. It jumped up to a  5 when I woke up this morning but a little bit of nervous energy never harmed me 🙂 If my panic/nerves level had stayed at an 8 then I probably would have lost my cool. I am a firm believer that kids can’t see a crack in the facade! In the end I had a tough day, but not a terrible day. Plus I got to leave at 2:30 🙂 Of course I will only get paid till 2:30 too though!

Now I know that you are probably not at all interested in teacher talk, but I thought I’d share my strategy to control nerves. I’m a huge fan of notebooks, and writing things down. For me, writing a plain list of worries is pointless though, all it does is make them concrete, I also have to plan an attack!

Do you use notebooks for anything? What do you do when you find yourself worried?

Nerves provide me with energy.  They work for me.  It’s when I don’t have them, when I feel at ease, that I get worried.  ~Mike Nichols

As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey.  ~Thomas A. Edison


Lunch was had at the pool cafe with Kath. I had a cheese toastie on brown with a small salad and crisps.

I also had a snack after doing my shopping; strawberries, yoghurt and cheerio clusters. I need someone to steal the cheerio cluster, they are so addictive.

Dinner was simply chicken and rice. It was also simply heaven.

I can’t get photos to work on wordpress at the minute. I haven’t got time to sit and fight it so I’ll try and add them in later!

I’m off to the post office to return a dress and then make my dinner 🙂 See you later!



7 Responses to “Nerves”

  1. Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear May 18, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    I find it interesting to heard about your job, I know I could never be a teacher and I admire people who do hat for living, it must be really challenging!

  2. blondeviki May 18, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    Wow at how brave you are – I could never step into a room full of children (of any age) and speak! never mind teach them anything – you should be proud of yourself 🙂 I’m glad your day wasn’t as bad as you expected.

    I use notebooks for eveything – I am an obsessive list maker, I make plans and write ideas (particularly about my house) – I’m about to go on a sketchbook drawing course on weekends too, so I can fill my notebooks with little pictures as well as my lists!

    I love your idea of writing worries down and looking at ways to address them too – I’m sure I can find a notebook for that as well. (I buy so many lovely notebooks and probably have more than I’ll ever use!)

    • thirtyandhealthy May 18, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

      Haha thanks! I’m so jealous of your sketching course- it’s something I’d love. I would love to do an evening course in something (anything) but there are none here. I’m thinking of doing something cheap through distance learning just to keep my brain active!

      • blondeviki May 18, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

        It’s a shame there is nothing for you to try where you are – I guess that’s one advantage of London at least, there is plenty to do.

        I’ve just finished a three weekend watercolour painting course which was really fun – I still can’t paint but it got me out of the house and I met new people and learned quite a bit about colour and technique.

        Do write and say if you do something distance learning – I’m always nosy about what people are up to!

  3. Laura May 19, 2010 at 6:03 am #

    I think I’m probably commenting too late to wish you luck so I’ll say I hope it went well instead!

    The reasons you wrote there are some of the reasons I decided teaching was not for me so I think you’re very brave 🙂

  4. laura@keepingslimandgettingstylish May 19, 2010 at 8:24 pm #

    I find that really interesting stuff, I love the technique you used to address your worries, I think I’ll be lending that from you! Ive always been a list writer and I have loads of little note books lying around filled with random lists. I tend to use my computer and phone more for list writing now, but its not quite the same as writing things out properly x

  5. gateauxbellehelene May 19, 2010 at 9:23 pm #

    I would be so scared to stand up infront of a room of children and get their attention, never mind teach them!! I like hearing about your teaching. I am a big fan of writing things down to help clear your mind. I often do a pros and cons list of certain situations to help me decide what to do. Glad I’m not the only one!

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