Friday, 22 August 2014

Rounding Up.




 


















A last collection of holiday images...

We begin around Avoch, the closest village to our holiday cottage. We were within walking distance of the village but it was a steep climb back up to the cottage. From our cottage we could also walk to the remains of Avoch castle, the site of the raising of the standard of Andrew de Moray during the Scottish Wars of Independence. I knew there were old castle remains on the hill, but I hadn't realised their significance - I was doing a little on-line research for my class topic whilst hubby and the children were swimming in Inverness one rainy afternoon, only to realise one of the locations I was reading about was right outside my window. A spooky coincidence. Of course, we had to make sure we then climbed the hill to visit what was left of the castle. There isn't a lot there, just a cairn, a saltire flag, some shields with the de Moray crest and a lovely view. I have never seen such a high density of slugs as we saw when walking along one of the fields to reach the castle. The children were freaking out and had to be carried as it was almost impossible to walk along the path without inadvertently squelching one or two slugs.

Next we move to the beach at Rosemarkie where we spent some happy time during the days of good weather we enjoyed at the beginning of the holiday.

Lastly, a super quick visit to the Clootie Well. Some people claim to feel a great aura of mystery and magic here, I just thought it was a bizarre sight - interesting but not particularly attractive or emotive. You can read more about the Clootie Well here.

So I've lasted another week at school. It is a complete roller coaster experience - there have been a few days where I have really wondered if it was all worth it and have seriously felt like giving up. Today was a good day though and it's nice to end the week on a little high. I've brought loads of marking home to do though, and don't get me started on the planning. This is aggravated by the head teacher's love of differentiation. Prior to starting my teaching course, differentiation meant a form of calculus to me. In teaching terms it involves splitting your class into ability groups and teaching them all separately. Fine in theory, but I feel it results in the teacher's time being spread too thin - I can't assist those having difficulty in getting on with their work as I'm having to be teaching another group something completely different. The head teacher likes the children to work without talking so I can't encourage them to help each other either. Also, to me, it seems that those in the lower groups will never have a chance of catching up if they are always being taught at a slower rate and a lower level. I know I have much to learn as a teacher but I feel it's all a question of balance and sometimes it tips too far in one direction...

8 comments:

Angel Jem said...

Differentiation bane of my life as a supply teacher, and one I hated having to plan for! It makes a weird sense and gets easier after a while.
The holiday looks fab, I love the white cottages with red doors. And isn't the clootie well strange?

Isabelle Hulm said...

Beautiful photos - what a treat!

Jennifer said...

I love seeing these places. I've never been there myself but you're photos are really evocative. Is that purple flower in the first few heather? I've always wondered what it really looks like and where it grows.

Toffeeapple said...

Thank you for the pictures, they increase my longing to be back in Scotland. I don't have long to wait, I'll be back in Argyll in September.

Sorry to hear that you are having a tricky time at school, I hope it improves soon.

CJ said...

What a beautiful place, such big skies and breathtaking views. I imagine it was hard to leave. I'm sorry your teaching position is proving tricky. I do hope you can hang on in there for a while and that it improves very soon. I know how frustrating it can be when you're not allowed to proceed as you think is best. CJ xx

Julie said...

I didn't know that about the hill above Avoch either - it is on our list of walks to do in the next wee while....maybe just moved a little higher up the list!
Hope you start having more good days than bad. I can see some sense in differentiation but it needs to be balanced with bringing everyone on, as you say. Also, no talking just seems daft - kids have to learn to work together! Good luck! Juliex

Angela said...

Beautiful photos! The white cottage looks so lovely. I often wonder what they look inside. Those narrow roads are so pretty and specially those with tall trees. Gorgeous nature!

Lynn said...

NQT year is like being the ball in the pin ball machine ~ bounced from pillar to post!
You will get used to differentiation ~ it becomes second nature and you just do it automatically-honest☺

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