Below is my review of how my 13 aims for this year are panning out My notes, and score are in italics below. Feedback/advice/support/sarcasm always welcome.
(These were) my 13 things to aspire to in 2013
1. Less iPhoneage
I’m addicted. I admit it. I’m going to try this year and plug it in to charge more often, AWAY from where I am. It’s just so useful….!
Still addicted, although I’m having serious thoughts as to a stunt phone, with just numbers, for the weekends. I survived a whole 24 hours without it (accidentally of course) in May, so here’s hoping…
Score: 2/10 Must try harder.
The hours that I work mean that I don’t see much of Oscar, my youngest. A glimpse in the morning at weekdays is mostly it. This Christmas holiday I have realised more than ever how strong our bond is, and how that will break when I go back to work. I am going to try hard to spend a little more time with him at the weekends.
Going well. There are of course demands with having seven children, but Oscar’s personality is growing daily, which oddly makes it easier to bond with him. He is currently at the stage of repeating everything he says, which is great as a Dad, and for those who do know me in person, is enormous (guilty) fun.
Score: 8/10 Will be higher when he goes to bed later. I must of course try to get home earlier sometimes…
3. Writing projects
I have two writing projects that should hopefully launch this year. After interest in something I wrote in late 2010 came to nothing, I am loathe to say in public what these writing projects are – but I will of course if they get off the ground!
Still on the hard drive. Building up material, but it is slooooow work. I’d rather have something complete to redraft, as I need the discipline. I am happy to reveal more now though – one is a book you would find in the Popular Psychology section of Waterstones (one of my favourite sections!), and another is a book of advice I am building up, from a certain perspective. Other things just keep getting in the way…! Having had books published in the past, I know it isn’t beyond me, but I was sans children then.
Score: 3/10 Start writing again!
5. Vegetable plots
Mixed success these last few years, I have written a game plan for my vegetable boxes (5 beasties!) that I built last year. Hopefully, it will be a good harvest, and not just leek/courgette themed like 2012!
All five boxes are active, although I have a glut of Mustard salad and no chillies to speak of! Boo. Sad to admit, but I find them quite therapeutic to look after and gather my thoughts with; a vast quantity of produce would be the icing on the cake though.
Score: 7/10 Weed more. Find a book which identifies weed seedlings (weedlings?).
After three years, we said a sad goodbye to Mr. Dustbin-Lorry, one of the original four chickens, and the last to survive. The coop needs revitalising, and I am planning to clear the end of the garden so we can see more of the field, so no chickens for the moment. Hopefully more by the end of the year.
Will stick to that. No chicken back here yet, unless you count the cooked one we bought today. Good work by me on giving a generous deadline here.
Score: N/A Coward.
7. Streamlining paperwork
Love it or loathe it, there’s a heck of a lot of paperwork in schools these days .I’m going to try my level best to get as much of our shared paperwork on the Cloud as I can manage this year, and at the moment I’m favouring Dropbox, although there are certain rights issues I want to resolve first.
Well, how funny! I’d forgotten all about this one! I have actually got better at streaming my paperwork, which just needs lawn care (regular maintenance and organisation). As for Dropbox, my tiny idea for a shared one has really taken off, and now there are over 10 Teaching Dropboxes running now, with about 800 individuals subscribing to them! Join us!
Score: 8/10 School good, Home, musty try harder.
8. Less ideas, more doing
I am filled with ideas, and find it hard to actually ‘do’ so many of them. I’m going to try harder to start less this year and complete more. Or find good ‘finishers’ to work with. Speaking of which…
Nope. Still the same. If anything, worse. At least I’ve found a better way of organising my ideas (iphone/Notesy/Mailbox/GDocs). I have however decided that this is good thing! This is a part of me that Kate Perry can’t take away from me.
Score: N/A Coward. Again.
I am really lucky to be attending this in January, and even luckier my wife gave me permission to ‘nerd-out’ for a whole weekend. I’m going with an idea – hopefully it’ll get some traction, but if not, I’ll look forward to contributing to other projects and ideas!
It certainly got traction – it won the prelim round and then won the final event! Although things were very positive to start with, we’ve had some major technical delays which we’ve had to tackle, but remain keen to soft-launch later this year. You can follow the progress of Useedu, which turns your boring blank whiteboard into an inspirational, topic and changing wallpaper, on Twitter.
Score: 4/10 We’re in the valley…
10. Family wedding
In July, my brother is marrying my sister-in-law. It’s legal and very very lovely. I cannot wait for this day, and am incredibly excited about it. I’m also the Best Man, so this will be in the front of my mind for the next few months at least!
Well, the Stag Do in Bristol was a success, despite many months of minor worrying about it. We all had an incredible time, all fell in love with Bristol, and have to say that this has been the closest I have been to Golf – and I survived! Just the speech to write now, which is probably the far easier pat of the deal for me!
Score: 8/10 On target.
I’m going to have a go at an open mic night. Too many people have, incredibly flatteringly, said I should try it, so this year I’m going to go for it. Stupid challenge, as I get incredibly nervous at the oddest things, but getting out of your comfort zone once in a while is a good thing, right? RIGHT?
Not done much towards this. Got a knock-back for an open mic request, and haven’t stirred since. Someone recommended a course to me, but it was too far, too long and too expensive. I have got to go for this, but everything else seems to be a higher priority at the moment. The lizard mind speaking?
Score: 2/10 Still quite cowardly.
Having run several marathons, half marathons and races in the past, 2012 was essentially RUBBISH in the exercise stakes. Apart from my Augathon (89 miles in one month, with a daily 1 miler at least), I only ran 490 miles, not including Running Club miles. In 2013, I’m going to exercise more, eat better and enter a few more races. Hello Tunbridge Wells Half and Trailwalker 2013!
This has gone moderately well. I ran the Tunbridge Wells half (badly, 2.11), and have run intermittently ever since (although I ran a surprise 10k the day after a Barn Dance and ran it in 51 minutes). Much healthier diet. Trailwalker postponed until next year, but I have agreed to run a half marathon the week before the Big Wedding. I’m running it at the same time as my brothers, except that they will be in Surrey, and I’ll be in Edinburgh at the time. Hmmm.
Score: 6/10 Need to get out there more.
I’m launching #batttuk with my online 6’4 wingman @mrwaldram. More to follow, but basically it’s like ‘bring your daughter to work’ week, except it is ‘bring a teacher to twitter’.
This went really well, and we’ve started BASTTT – Bring a School to Twitter, which just follows and RTs school and class accounts. We launched as the first talk/Act at TMBETT this year, passed 1000 followers this weekend, and our next push is next week! Going well!
Score:8/10 2,000 followers by December 31st?
Mid-Term successes for 2013 (so far)
1. Winning Startup Edu
2. Stag Do success organisation
3. Brilliant class this year, really refining my teaching
4. More specific family times
5. Teaching Dropboxes
6. Giving my first Keynote – amazing!
7. Growth in #SLTeachmeet