Niki Carrick-Steele

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Hoi, hoi mama elsie here, a.k.a Niki Carrick-Steele. Blogging since motherhood. Life was moving too quickly and the 'me' who stepped foot off a London Underground tube to find fortune in the nineties was no longer the 'me' who reached destination 40 in London Olympic year with a Geordie husband and three girls in tow. Blogging enabled me to breathe and stop. making it up as i go along does what it says on the tin. It's a place where I make sense of life and living. I'm a middle management secondary English teacher so my writing is creative (the only way to teach writing is to get your own creations up there) alongside factual (who knew English teaching required so much data analysis?). A career break gave me time to get my creative on: a novel, short stories, poetry (unpublished) and give some real love to my blog; plus whiling away hours on new blogs and twitter. Neither me or my blog fit a single niche , but breaking the 40 barrier gave me the cajones to share experiences without apology and listen without prejudice - of which I found in abundance on #Post40bloggers. This is where I'm at. Lovin' it, lovin' it, lovin' it.
Post40bloggers - Headmaster peering over eye glasses
Our 100th writing prompt is inspired by our very own teacher and writer, Niki (aka Mama Elsie). Always with an eye on, and concern for, children going through the education whims and vagaries of every changing government, Niki discourses here on the introduction (again) of grammar schools and the (sigh) 11-plus...
Post-40 Bloggers - Stressed mother with fighting children
Remember the time? Surrounded by cooing friends as cute tiny outfits are brandished for the arrival of a tiny human being. A perfectly packed bag with a perfectly organised birth plan sit by the door. And all eyes are on the parents to be offering tales of joy for...
Fear
Like many of us, Niki’s fear of failing started in childhood. Those limiting beliefs we take into ourselves which go on to shape who we think we are through the lens of other people’s worldview. I found this post touching and authentic especially since many of us go to...
School pupils in uniform
So this is the week that launched a thousand waiting lists. On Tuesday 1st March envelopes and emails were opened with trepidation as parents and year sixes discovered the fate of where they'll be come September 2016. At the start of the week the media had already whipped their frenzy of...
Mother in pyjamas
I can regularly be found berating my telly or radio when I hear teacher-bashing articles; especially as there is a well-publicized shortage of teachers in the country. No amount of shiny recruitment ads with a class full of smiley children will persuade people to come to teaching when we...
Black family watching TV
An intelligent read from our Education Editor, Niki. In the current pooh storm of #OscarsSoWhite, it is always refreshing to have open and honest conversation about the issue of lack of diversity across our literature, media and TV screens. However, I do worry that people often feel unable (or unwilling)...
Student under exam stress
'Tis the season for entrance exams, mocks and practise tests. No sooner have the year 6's swallowed their last bit of turkey and got bored of their Christmas presents, it’s back to school and back to the grindstone. Whilst some pupils have been sitting 11+ exams and private tutor...
David Bowie, photo credit Pop Blerd
We all have landmarks that colour our lives; media moments creating a soundtrack to our memories. Sorrowfully many of these are attributed to the death of public figures. Watching the news break live on telly and listening to the woe from London radio listeners I could do little to stop...
Boy struggling with homework
As the Christmas holidays approach many teachers will be scouring for worksheets, story titles or research projects to dump on their students in the vain hope that two weeks of all day television and Minecraft won’t drain three months of knowledge. Said teachers will also probably be lugging bags of...
Poetry book
Youthful memories of poetry take me back to my FantasticoDad painfully trying to get me to memorise Macavity the Mystery Cat by TS Eliot and reciting Ozymandias by Shelley. Gove may be a fan of the learning by rote but back then I couldn't see the point. Until I...
Red poppy in praying hands
Do you wear a poppy? Did you ever consider your reasons as to why or why not wear one? My earliest memory of poppies go back to school where I'd jump at the chance to avoid lessons to visit other classrooms offering the tray of paper flowers, hopefully co-joined by a...
60 Untold Exhibition, photo credit Goldsmiths University
I visited this amazing exhibition sharing the stories of 60 Caribbean born Brits aged sixty plus. These were the first children to go through the British education system. Although the exhibition is over at the end of the month - the stories, the profiles, the documentary and the message...