A very belated Happy New Year to you all!

It feels like such a long time since posting, and even longer since having a guest. However, today I’d like to introduce you to the lovely Lesley Berrington and her collection of books, Hattie and Friends. I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing Lesley all the best for 2022.

Back to School 2022

Last term was really exciting for me, after 18 months of being confined to Hattie HQ I was released back into the community, visiting primary schools again. I was eager to see all those little faces and inspire their creativity!

I was delighted to visit thirteen primary schools last term, speaking to hundreds of children about ‘Being an Author ’and answering some of their fabulous questions. ‘How old are you?’ is always favourite!

As we approached Christmas, Covid cases were increasing again, and it became obvious that this new term would be a challenging one. I decided not to approach schools to offer my visits, for this reason. I have an enormous amount of respect for everyone working in schools during the Pandemic, I know they support each other and have fabulous teams but it’s not easy for anyone.

So, I’m ‘on pause’ again, confined to Hattie HQ.

2020/21 felt like a lost year, in a lot of ways, but it also brought new opportunities for me. I spent a lot of time promoting my books on social media and I connected with some wonderful people. I was invited to take part in interviews, record podcasts, and write blogs for a variety of groups and organisations.

I also had the time to apply for funding for new products and an animation, which would be amazing!

Without a break from ‘normal’ life these projects would never have happened.

I’ve found a lovely community of helpful and supportive educators, particularly on Twitter. (I’m still trying to figure out Instagram!) Some have become friends, which has been very welcome because my dog’s a lovely companion, but he doesn’t have much conversation!

If you’re on Twitter come and say ‘Hello,’ I’m @Hattiesfriends.

So, I’ll continue with all these ‘working from home’ projects and look forward to Spring.

The Spring term is always an exciting time if you have any connection with Education. Usually, children have had the opportunity to settle into their classes, make friends and learn new routines etc. Teachers have a good knowledge of each child and learning can really progress, building on the work from Autumn. Rested from a well-deserved break, there’s great enthusiasm for the new term.

January 2022 brings some apprehension and anxiety due to Covid uncertainty, but schools have shown how resilient they are and will rise to the challenge.

We’ve all learnt new skills, dealt with changes in how we work, last minute cancellations, disappointment, and isolation. We’ve picked each other up when it’s been too difficult, all these experiences have made us stronger and more resilient, able to face the next challenges together.

I’m full of hope for the year ahead and grateful for the positives from the last one. I’ll be back in schools again soon!

You can find more information about Lesley and her work at hattieandfriends.com.