Tonight I have been laying awake in bed worrying. I have not done this for quite a while thankfully, and yet tonight I find myself treading an all too familiar path of worry about things I have little control over. I cannot even begin to explain why I am filled with all these thoughts and fears but they are there and as long as I am being kept busy they hibernate fairly well.
They have reared their ugly, nagging head this time because I quit my long term supply position that I got back in January. My last couple of posts, prior to a large silence, have been about the job so if you haven’t read them they will hopefully illustrate some of the everyday craziness that went hand in hand with the role. I don’t like giving up and will struggle on far beyond most other people before finally self combusting. But on this occasion I felt I was making myself ill because I was, on some occasions over the past few weeks, scared to be in my own classroom. Not because I couldn’t do my job but because I spent more time on “crowd control” duty, pacifying students rather than actually being able to get on with the actual teaching. Yes in a mainstream setting, occasionally you find a class or year group that also warrant the “crowd control” job title rather than teacher title but this school is anything but mainstream and you actually get the students that have been turned away from many other schools, with a variety of reading ages and a complete mix of levels in the main core subjects. They are far from the easiest class and unless you have taught such a mix of students with the backgrounds these students have then you probably can’t quite even imagine – I certainly learnt a lot about these students this term.
I feel like I have let myself down along with the students that were actually trying to get their work done by leaving, especially as it was not because of all of “my” students I finally bit the bullet, it was partly due to constant disruption from other students and members of staff which impacted quite substantially on my students and my lessons. I was aiming to get my class using the computers and have spent a considerable amount of time not only planning and devising the scheme of work to sort them out learning not only what they needed for the exam but what they needed for life generally, but I have also spent a lot of time fixing the computers in my room, leaving detailed notes for the technicians to fix the bits I can’t fix when new parts were needed after they were trashed or smashed yet again. It has all just led to me feeling frazzled and disillusioned, my resilience faded away a few weeks ago and since then it has been a constant trial to even just get through the day. Last Thursday I finally lost the will to carry on and before break time, 10.45 am, I was well and truly broken. The students had been “better” than the previous day according to other staff later that day but by break time I had already been snapped at 4 or 5 times by a member of staff and that continued during the rest of the day. I wouldn’t have minded nearly so much if this had actually been an appropriately placed telling off but it was not, it took place in front of students and was all because of people being in a bad mood, not for actual things that I had done/not done or things that were my fault!
Anyhow, all that aside, I am still trying to convince myself I have done the right thing.
I have had what can only be described as nightmares since last Thursday, apart from Saturday night because I was so tired when I got in from baby sitting my cousins son I just slept.
I have continued to look for jobs all the while I have been on this supply job, there has been the usual quiet time at the start of the year but I have been applying for what I can and have now started to see an influx of opportunities as we near the Easter cut off point for leaving at the end of the school year. So, over the next few weeks I will be applying for the jobs I find and selling myself in the hope that I can get back in to a regular, non supply, teaching job in a mainstream school. I still want to teach IT but I now have more of a specific open minded approach to what I want to do and what/where I don’t want to be. I want to be at a school where I can have my Filofax open on the desk at the front of the room, with all my lesson plans and class details in, without worrying that it will be defaced, thrown against the wall on the other side of the classroom or stolen. I’m sure that is not too much to ask? I know I sound a little fragile and jaded at the minute, but I will shake the last bits of my nightmare and spend some time in a regular classroom this side of the Easter holidays, then over the Easter holidays I can gather my resources and get back to it after the 2 weeks holiday better than ever.
I need to learn from this term and move my development forward from the experiences I have had rather than looking back and turning into a wibbly jelly every time I think about it. One example of the good things to have come out of this term is that one of my students taught me how to do sudoku – I’m not by any stretch of the imagination a genius at it but I did manage to complete the “easy” one in the Metro last week, on my own, so that is a good accomplishment (that I did thank the student for last Thursday).
Over the next week I am going to prepare the Summer Term Teachers Organiser pages and will upload them to the files page when I have done them so others can do the preparation work for the summer term over the Easter holidays as much as possible. I am going to make sure that I have a really positive remainder of the spring term (yes the last 4 days of it!!!) and a damn good summer term as well! If anyone tries to tell me different or tries to deny me of this I will be putting my foot down…
It’s funny how writing this sort of stuff down is so cathartic, really does help to get it off your chest I guess. Over the holidays I also need to write a couple of letters, I have not written to my pen pals this year and I am pretty sure they must thing I’m a bit mean and useless! So I am really sorry if I should have written to you and haven’t yet, I am on the case and will be sending out a whole bunch of letters ASAP, must equally remember to purchase a book of stamps as well…