Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Saturday, 6 June 2009


Thanks for all your expressions of sympathy over my little rant last night.

I'm feeling a bit sheepish today however. My sister phoned from the UK today and really grilled me over how serious I was about changing jobs. She has good creds on this count as she was a secondary German teacher and, having moved from a lovely school in the countryside near Leeds to an inner city maladjusted teenfest establishment, wisely quit teaching altogether to take up a highly satisfying job in University Administration. Her message of course is this: what am I doing to change my situation?

The more she hassled me, the more cagey I became and I am forced to ask myself why?


1) I don't really WANT to change jobs. I have experienced a great deal of change in my life (as attested to by my mother's address book entries under my name) and some fairly major change in the last 10 years so actually, I am reluctant to upset the status quo. Also, the stress involved in learning a new job is almost as daunting as the day to day stress of the current one.

2) I don't like to leave something I haven't conquered. I know, don't tell me, I am a self confessed control freak but I also don't like to be a 'quitter'. What I really want is to be good enough at my job that these recalcitrant children will sing my praises and proclaim me as the marvellous teacher I am. OK, maybe it's less about control and more about vanity. (again)

3) I like my colleagues, I like my work environment (mostly) and I like my role as House Co-ordinator. (Have I mentioned recently that we are leading the race for the House Cup????)
But are these things enough to compensate for the constant frustration I feel and the effect that it's having on my health, weight, alcohol consumption and self esteem?

4) I am a little nervous of the prospect of rejection. As in, no one else will want me.

5) The very act of seeking alternate employment is time consuming and I have enough to do as it is. I know. This one is pretty lame.

6) This year the musical is Annie and I'm the stage manager and costume coordinator again. I have been trying to get them to let me understudy Miss Hannigan but there is some ridiculous policy about students having to play the roles. ;-)

At the end of the phone call I had to acknowledge that if I am not prepared to do something about it I must stop whinging.

But what the hell. It's my blog. If you get sick of the whinging you can skip those posts :-D

image credit
Had to laugh. This is a promotional shot for a play called 'Sheepish'. The world's first play about an openly gay sheep. Bwahahaha.


Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

It is amazing how much easier it gets every year at the same school. The first year at my current school it took me half the school year just to find the bathroom closest to my classroom!

I know it sounds like a little thing, but every minute really does count & when you can save five or ten minutes a day by not having to walk to the office bathroom, it gets to be a big deal. And there are always a hundred little things like that - it adds up!

So if you do decide to stay, I was wondering if you've tried any problem solving with those groups? It's worked VERY rarely for me, but sometimes it does work. And your guys are bigger - getting a 3-5 year old to problem solve, there are only usually a couple in class that are even capable. Your guys would be more capable but perhaps not willing. But something like, "When we practice this way you say it's babyish. But when I go back to that way you all call it boring. We have to get it knocked out somehow. What do you think we should do? I'll give you X amount of time to think about it and then you can hand in some ideas." Or something like that?

Maybe you could make a goal for getting back into primary if you really want to? Like, you're enjoying the stability NOW but maybe three to five years the stability won't seem like such a big deal.

It's hard for me to fathom the rejection part. I'm about as sensitive to rejection as they come, but here in Texas if you have a head on your shoulders & a degree, you can pretty much get hired for the lower grades. So it's not all that risky as far as rejection is concerned. In fact if you're ready for big change, you can move here. I think there are several houses for sale in our neighborhood... :-) :-) :-)

Arizaphale said...

Thanks Aunty Jill. I do talk to them about 'how can we do it?' but the plain fact is, they don't WANT to do it! Problem solving is not the strength of these lower ability classes and self discipline is right out. Put them in groups (and believe me I've tried) to do anything and they climb the walls. These are the times I end up with profanities carved into the desks.>:-(
But you have some good points regarding setting a goal for the future. Now what I would reaaaaally like is to get back into school management but I feel a bit of a charlatan in this regard as I currently cannot manage my own classes :-)

Suzer said...

Well now, to be honest, it sounds like you're talking yourself out of it. Take #4 out of the equation (because it's never as bad as it seems) and trust your gut. Give it some time and see how you feel next year. When it's really time to leave a job, I think we know. Just my 2p;)

P.S. I watched my mom come home from a job she hated all through my teenage years and now that it's over, I'm sure she's happy she kept her pension (she was a teacher) but I still think she should have made a move and restarted, even if it meant she had to work longer.

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Yeah well...I don't particulary want to brush my teeth either, and yet I somehow manage. :-) :-) :-)

Anyhow, I figured you would have tried problem solving with them, but it just SEEMS like by that age they should be able to come up with something! :-0

Then again, I remember thinking that when my kids learned to talk, that would mean I would actually get to know what they were thinking. And in reality all it meant was that the sounds coming out of their mouths were formed into words...

Arizaphale said...

How well you put it!!!

A Free Man said...

Your sister is right, as you know. It's in your power to do something about - so do so. There's nothing wrong with a good whinge, but at some point you've got to - if you'll forgive an old southern expression - shit or get off the pot.

little sis said...

Hi Sis. I feel a little bit sheepish too for being such a nag! It's easy to give advice to others isn't it but I am hopeless at making my own decisions as you know! :>) I will keep hoping that other things will come up (but you DO need to look - sorry couldn't help myself!!! :>)