Thursday, 18 July 2013

I love my Liebster Award! (and quite a bit About Me!)

Yesterday, when looking through comments from my first Monday Madness post I was absolutely gobsmacked to find two nominations for the Liebster Award. I am so utterly flattered, amazed and grateful to Katie and Mary for thinking of me and my newest venture. Let's hope I do them credit!

As I understand it, the Liebster Award is presented to new bloggers, with fewer than 200 followers. Liebster, a German word, means...

What a lovely award to receive! I feel all sparkly and twinkly. Thank you ladies! My part of the job is easy. :) I get to answer some questions about myself, which were posed by Mary and Katie, then list 11 random facts and nominate 5-11 further new blogs as my Liebsters. Here I go...

Questions from Mary

1.  How did you come up with your blog name?
My classroom always used to be known for being the messy one and although I'm getting better at it, I will always sacrifice short-term tidiness for the enjoyment and learning of the kiddies and that's the way I like it. :) I really wanted my blog title to reflect my personality and teaching priorities and explain how fundamental the children are to my classroom. Focus on the learning, not the teaching! 

2.  What type of music do you like?
Anything and everything. My iPod on Shuffle is one of the most hilarious/embarrassing things you will ever hear. Who doesn't love a blend of Killswitch Engage/Craig David/Taylor Swift?!

3.  What is your favorite sport to watch/play?
None. I am definitely an indoor gal. Unfortunately, my otherwise wonderful MJK is a devoted sports-lover and so I would have to say, my favourite sport to watch has to be football (soccer) when his team, Tottenham Hotspur, wins, as it ensures a very lovely evening in the Messy household :D.

4.  How many siblings do you have?
3! How lucky am I?! I have 3 fabulous sisters and I absolutely love it. As I grew up they were my playmates and now that I'm older they are my confidantes, cheerleaders and best friends. Huge thanks to my wonderful parents for all their devoted love, support and care which turned us into the people we are today.

5.  What is your favorite restaurant?
Farmer Brown's in Norwich. I love wandering into town with MJK on a balmy evening and enjoying some delicious local Tapas in this eclectically-designed and laid-back treasure.

6.  What do you enjoy doing most when you are on vacation?
Chatting, reading, laughing, singing, hugging, catching-up and spending time with people that I don't get to see nearly as often as I would like.

7.  What do you enjoy most about teaching?
The people I spend my day with. How amazing is it that I get paid to spend all day with 30 sparky, interested, kind, caring, supportive, polite and interesting kiddies?! What an amazing opportunity!

8.  What are your hobbies?
Crafting!! Reading, shopping (does that count? :D), baking, travelling and most recently, blogging!

9.  What is your favorite children's book?
This one is so hard! I suppose it has to be A Place To Call Home by Alexis Deacon. It always makes me cry and think about everything ahead of the little people that I teach and all the things they will achieve and places they will go!

10.  What do you enjoy most about having a blog?
The community! I've received such a wonderful, warm welcome and it's such a pleasure to share in all your great ideas and voices. 

11.  What do you like best about where you live?
That it's quite and safe yet vibrant and lively. That I get to live the city-life but am a 7minute drive from the countryside and 25mins from lots of glorious beaches. The very, very best bit is that MJK lives there with me! What a joy it is to wake up next to someone you love. :D

Questions from Katie

1. If you could hop in the car and take a road trip anywhere right now, where would it be?
To my parents' house. Although I love where I live, I really miss being so far from them and my sisters. I really can't wait until they invent the teleporter!

2. What book/magazine are you currently working on reading?
At the moment, I'm reading Bartimaeus, which was recommended to me by one of my kiddies. It's fab!

3. How did you choose to start a blog?
I was tired of sitting on the sidelines! I was so impressed by all the wonderful ideas and suggestions out there but felt that I couldn't really join in or even say well done until I had put in some work myself. Turns out I'm absolutely loving it!

4. If you could get paid to do anything, what would it be? 
Teaching! I seriously adore my job, love Mondays and can't think of anything better to do. I can come in on anyday with a grump, feeling tired and within 5 mins of being in the classroom I feel energised, positive and so happy. Where else would I be able to combine that with a reason to buy a corner rounder I ask you?! :D

5. Favourite classroom theme?
All of Schoolgirl Style's designs. She is fabulous! At the moment, I'm all about the navy/coral combination (see my Classroom Breakup post to learn more about this dilemma!) but, if I lived in the States and could find a wider range of bulletin board papers and trims, I'd love to go for Tattoed Teacher's new Vintage Chalkboard theme. It's just so pretty!

6. Best teaching moment?
I couldn't possibly pick! One of the most recent moments however was this absolutely dear message from one of my boys, who had had a bit of a tough time in previous years. He and I have absolutely meshed this year and he has grown and shone and exceeded everything we could ever have dreamed for him. He hid outside the classroom one afternoon and came in with this note. Needless to say, I sobbed...

He even accessorised it with glitzy polka-dots for me!

7. If you had one wish, what would you wish for? (And none of that wishing for more wishes nonsense!)
Health, love and happiness. That's it. I feel so blessed that I don't need to wish for them at the moment. 

8. What is the strangest food you've ever eaten?
I'm pretty gastronomically boring and mellow unfortunately. Maybe frogs at my grandparents' house?

9. Who was your favourite teacher growing up and why?
Mr Pashby - because he had a reputation as the fiercest, strictest teacher in school and was actually the most fun and engaging teacher you could dream of. I try to emulate him in my teaching and wish I could go back and watch him again. What an inspiration!

10. What is your favourite trait about yourself?
Empathy (MJK calls it my scary stalker mind-reading!). Although sometimes I have no idea how to support people with their worries, I like knowing that I'm aware of the people around me and that I will always put the people I love first.

11. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be?
A golden labrador. What a loyal, gentle, happy creature. Who wouldn't want one?!

Phew! That's it for this huuuge Q&A About Me section. Well done if you made it to the bottom of this section!

What I'm going to do (and I hope Katie and Mary don't mind too much), is pop one of my 11 random facts into each of my next 11 posts, instead of making you read through another huge section all about me.

Instead, let's now celebrate some other fabulous new bloggers and give them their chance to share in this virtual circle time. :) I have to admit, I've broken the rules here. I haven't been able to limit it down to my 5 favourite blogs under 200 followers, but instead I've looked at some brilliant UK-based blogs, which contribute lots of resources and ideas to the system. Under the radar stars! :)

So, without further ado...

My nominees are:


Congratulations to all of the above. Brilliant blogs a-plenty and I hope you all enjoy discovering some new blogging adventures. :D

See you all soon!

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