Back to work we go after two weeks of eating and drinking to excess, oh and moving house! Within moments of entering the top secret code into the key pad and stepping foot into the shiny façade the sound of “diet” “detox” and “dry January” dampen the air and with it my surprisingly up beat mood.
INSET day today, woohoo! Meetings about curriculum, planning and behaviour, a day of being a teacher, without children…
Well that was the plan, but as always, people and paperwork get in the way. Teaching assistants in unexpectedly meant spending time meant for planning spent on time finding them things to do so their time wasn’t wasted (whilst inevitably wasting mine). My TAs are amazing and keep me sane throughout the daily trials, tribulations and terrible tensions of working in my particular school.
A morning meeting about behaviour frustrated me due to the heavy focus on the reactive rather than the proactive. I bite down hard on my lip as many of the ideas spewed out to the teaching staff conflict with my very being. The teachers smile politely and nod, knowing full well they will completely disregard what they are being told, because, as much as they would like to, when, oh when are they supposed to find the time to even think about it. To think about what is making Billy sad and what happened in his early childhood, as he lamps Becky on the head over a severe disagreement about a green pencil sharpener. Sometime between breaking into the first bottle of wine since dry January began 4 days ago, and writing their moaning blog about all the work they should be doing but aren’t just this once! (Oh, just me then?)
But its okay I am used to this, and I have come to expect these meetings that are often irrelevant to my class. So off I take my self to the peace and quiet of the PPA room. and actually I get a bit done, and my mood is still, surprisingly up beat. Then the boss comes in. The boss is not the big boss but is a lower level boss in a system of many bosses some of whom are higher on the boss scale than others and some are equal bosses, so I assume can boss each other around or just equal each others bossiness out. I am unsure on the intricate details of the boss scale but I may continue to note down the many adventures of the bosses.
What happens next must happen to all teachers. The teaching part of the job goes out the window, planning out the window, assessment out the window, resourcing out the window. and instead other extra paperwork that has a higher priority because it gets sent to other agencies and reflects on the school and us.
The up beat mood is gone. I am aware that I will not finish the work I need to do to be prepared for this week because of the extra paperwork. I feel guilty for not spending more of the Christmas break working, I begin to dread the next day and I begin to resent the job itself.
One day back, I cried on the way home. I have done 2 hours work tonight and will be in work before 7:30 tomorrow. I will spend the rest of my evening considering whether to find a new job or have a baby!!
Also … should I get a cat? Will that rekindle my love for teaching?