Friday, 17 October 2014

What I inherited from Mum and Dad

My Mum and Dad were both Heads of Science (in different schools of course) and people that didn’t know them well might have thought that they were rather “nerdy”. The truth is that they were both frugal and organised and above all sensible. 

Like all normal people neither of them expected to die in an accident – certainly they never imagined dying together and leaving me on my own! But because they were sensible they arranged their financial affairs so that if the worst did happen I wouldn’t be left destitute. They both had life insurance and any spare money they had was put into tax-free investments (ISAs). When they died the mortgage on the house was automatically paid off which meant that it became mine without anybody else having a financial claim on it and when things all went wrong with Nan and Granddad the house was a bolt hole for me to escape to. A place of refuge, that nobody could make me leave once I was 18. 

Yes I did have some financial problems but as readers of my blog will remember they were mainly due to Nan and Granddad stealing from me or were due to my own financial inexperience. As an example I didn’t know I was allowed to sell the stocks and shares I had been left as an alternative to using them to generate income. Once somebody explained that to me it made a big difference: problems like 4 new tires for the car needed a lump sum of capital rather than a monthly cheque and selling a few company stocks and shares enabled me to cope better.  

But this month I found that I had also received a different kind of inheritance from them! 

I’ve been doing the first school block in my PGCE (teacher training) course. I have been allowed to teach small sections of lessons at the 3 different key stages – so the youngest group I taught was year 7 and the oldest was year 13. Most student teachers prefer to teach the younger pupils but I must take after my Mum and Dad because I found working with the older groups both easier and more fun. I think my biggest success was doing some physics calculations with a triple science group. The classroom teacher gave me a couple of worked examples to use with the group but once they had finished these I made up some examples of my own and demonstrated how to work out the answers on the white-board without using a calculator. Mum and Dad were always good at mental arithmetic and I seem to be as well. 

I didn’t have any problems with classroom control. I think being so tall and having quite a loud voice makes them feel that mucking the new teacher around might not be a good idea. Several times each day I found myself using behavioural techniques that I had heard Mum and Dad talking about at home. My mentor seemed impressed that I knew these and he guessed that I had come from a family of teachers. 

I seem to have a lot of “electronic paperwork” to look at and even some to create for myself. What with schemes of work, lesson plans, pupil worksheets and class registers there always seemed to be something that needed to be done. I have all Mum and Dad’s teaching resources in folders so I look through what they used when they were still alive and pinch the best bits. It is almost like a legacy from them to me isn’t it!

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