A little philosophical thought. I have felt so much better since I’ve come away from school. Hither too: the constant ‘fight’ (every class, but one) to keep the errant few on some sort of message. The confrontations. The three chances (‘but you’ve only given me two!’). The rigmarol of then dispatching them from class hoping that the leave without more fuss, or that they actually end up at the right place. The rest of class, in their own way, breaking down a little as you deal with a single irksome. And then the e-admin, phonecalls home etc. And onto the next lesson.
But, come on Roland … Yes? It’s probably easy to judge – and I possibly would too. I’m ex-Army, tall, stern and trained to be unflappable. That’s true. All I’d say is that I have tried every tactic. Including losing my temper (once), something I really hate doing. So, the answer is not to care. And I am getting better at that. I find it easier to lose a battle, in order to win the war. I’m now much more efficient at dispatching children from my class. And, having come late to this and picking up the classes that seemingly no-one else wants, I do feel as though I have made progress. And – and it’s a big and, I have had some notable successes. Grades have improved. Classes are much more ordered. Learning is happening. But blood pressure is up.
So what’s the philosophical thought? We’re loving being in Scotland in Doris. Loving it. The weather has, so far, been extremely kind. It helps to be up here for Jen’s wedding, but as I said last post, wouldn’t it be great to be staying a lot longer? Work calls, unfortunately. But, for us, only until the summer. We are blessed with the opportunity of not having to be tied down. Yes, it would be great to earn some cash, but mostly we have that tied up – accrued from years of hard work and one or two lucky investments. I will break clean in the summer and next Easter we may well come up here for 4 weeks.
But what about the rest of my colleagues at school? Those on a single wage who haven’t had an inflation-plus pay rise for ever? Those who, currently like me, have to face some classes that they know will end in tears? They don’t have the luxury of pushing off into the sunset. And … what about those teachers who work in even more difficult schools? Ours is a breeze in comparison. Bex, (who worked at an inner-city Wolverhampton school) always asks me if I’ve been spat at yet – or had a chair thrown at me? Eh, no. It’s not as bad as all that. Well, my thoughts go out to every teacher. All of them. Well done you lot. Yes, you get long holidays, but I’m in school at 7.30 every morning and I am not alone. Long evenings follow.
So – well done the lot of them. The great, the good and the not so good. But, sorry. This time next year I’ll have wimped out and be up here with fabulous views and a glass of red wine – raising it to all of you.