Saturday, 5 May 2007

my weak week

it's been a tough week at work
to be fair on me, i'm not the only one who broke down under the pressure, and two of the other people who admitted to crying weren't even female. not that that should matter, but you have to see them to be shocked at it!

basically to cut a boring story short, the college put in a bid for 15 million pounds and to test whether they deserved it, an inspection we were expecting next year was brought forward with only one week's notice. in the end,we passed the inspection, not as good as they wanted (they being the bosses and people who fund the college), but we got the bid. so while everyone else celebrated with wine and choccies on friday, i did the one thing i needed to do all week, went home and slept! and also reflected.
becuase this week has taught me a lot about my teaching. i did the two things you should never do, took things personally and stressed myself out!

why did i take things personally? i just expected a bit more loyalty from the students. the students in question are quite naughty. most of them are resitting because they either dropped out or got excluded from school(it's so scary how they can just do that, isn't it supposed to be illegal?? but i'll leave that for another day) i'm not saying all the resit students are like that, i'vve got three resit classes, and it's only this class that have behaviour.. issues. on wednesdays, i usually book the computer room for them, but on that particular day i had to stay in the form room as that's the room written on my timetable. basically, i had to do it just becuase of ofsted. the students were negative all throughout the lesson and complained how they were sick of ofsted and were not going to do things differently just because of them. they were playing up all lesson, i mean they got on with the work, but moaning all the way through it.

the thing that made me cry eventually? this is going to sound silly, but remmeber i was anxious and worried anyway.
basically, during the lesson, another teacher came in (the super sweet colleague from a few posts back) and asked if i could leave the stuff on the board for the next lesson, and they all heard it. so when i dismissed the class, and then remembered i hadn't locked the door, and when i went back this student was rubbing off the work from the board, and he just said "woops was i not supposed to rub that off?" and i got so upset thinking of poor super sweet colleague and how wanted all his objectives on the board in case ofsted came in and now he would have to write it all again and he might not come back form his dinner break on time, and so i stormed back into my staffroom, locked the door and burst out crying. actually i didn't even cry for very long, as i was sat near the computer crying and received an email asking for MORE paper work so thought i'd better be practical about it and get on with m work and indulge in crying later on!

anyway, the student in question apologised later on, and said he didn't know he wasn't supposed to rub it off, and something i didn't remember at the time was he came in late, so hadn't heard it. i know he shouldn't have been writing on the board anyway, and i know it he shouldn't have been late, but i genuinely thought at the time he rubbed it off to be vindictive, and i thought that is such a mean thing to do. really, i should have given him a chance to explain himslef instead of storming out of the room

the other reson.. i've been so worried about things like my paperwork and doing everything by the book i've barely had the time for the most important thing of all- interaction with the students. i've stopped stealing their crisps in the corridors(actually i think their a bit glad about that) and i usually go to lessons a bit early to have a chat about how they have been getting on, and didn't bother doing that. and in general i've just been too self indulgent, taking my anxieties and stress out on the students, when they don't deserve it. for example, when i ask a student how they are, i expcet them to tell me about worries and concerns but when they politely ask me, the answer should always be "fine thanks" not "my marriage is a mess/my dishwasher's broke/ i feel like commiting suicide"- all hypothetical of course, for one thing.....i don't have a dishwasher:) they don't need to know about all of your persoanl problems and really i have no right to bring them in to the classroom. i've noticed that most job applications now list it as essential that you have a sense of humour, which makes sense.you have to be able to laugh at yourself, as well as make the students laugh, in order to survive.

phew.. off my chest! i just really wanted to remind myself not to let things get to me like that again. at the end of the day teaching is a job just like any other and there are other jobs that are stressful too.

teaching is in my blood now or soemthing, i don't think i would be able to give it up even if i wanted to. it's improved my self confidence and i'm proud of the fact that i've survived in the type of college that even i didn't think i was cut out for! and i don't usually complain about my students, they are generally good at this time of year especially. i mean, it's a good job i didn't have access to this blog at the start of the year when the college decided to infill students from a young offenders institution...
in general, i like the fact that my students are "interesting".i taught on the access course (adults) and asked to be taken off it, becuase it was so boring, they just wanted me to tlak to them all lesson and were prepared to sit and listen. and i do not like to talk a lot! (you probably don't get that vibe from reading this post though!)

one of my students said to me on friday "are you back to normal now?" i answered by "confiscating" her crisps :)

16 comments:

Snowdrops said...

salam

haha...its kinda funny you know, its like, getting to know a teacher...a TEACHER?!...wow amazing how they are at school...all cool, calm, relaxed, collected and every other word that gives a cool aura around them...lol...But hey, I still pray that Allh makes you teaching life easier for you sis :)

wassalam

iMuslim said...

Assalamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullah

Mashallah, i really admire you and your work. Teaching is such a great profession, just because of the positive impression that one good teacher can make on a roomful of kids, who really need guidance. I'll never forget my favourite teachers; i'll also never forget the ones that i didn't like. hehe.

Teachers have such a great influence. For example, the subject i liked the least at A-level, was Chemistry; however, it wasn't because i found it difficult, i just didn't like the teachers. Maths was a lot harder for me, as i am not a logical person by nature (heh), but our teacher was so cool, i really enjoyed the class, and worked hard at it, mashallah.

Anyway, congratulations on winning the bid, Alhamdulillah! Don't spend all that dough on a new teacher's lounge... hehe.

Wa'salam
xxx

Unique Muslimah said...

loool! (hides my crisps...oh wait, I'm on a diet lool).

You were stressed out huney so it's natural to just burst out, I know I would. Especially with ofsted coming. I helped at a school when ofted was arriving the following day, they were all freaked out and they freaked me out too although I just volunteered to help! lool.

It's a great reward and I pray Allah rewards you greatly for teaching these "interesting" kids something. I'm sure you will touch their lives and they will remember you years from now for giving them the benefit of the doubt and for helping them out. I still remember my teachers who touched my heart and helped me, although that was decades ago! They will always be in my duaas.

Enjoy your weekend, treat yourself huney, to shopping or a nice warm bath or just sleep, you deserve it! :) xx

Samia_DK said...

WOW hema... this post have shown more about YOU than any other of your posts, even your secret ones.. your writing was so intense that i felt as a part of your mind while reading it.. I SIMPLY LOVE YOU and the way that you think and act. and i sincerly wish that i had had a teacher like you, really!
its funny coz i remember in high school we had theese 3 soon-to-become-teachers :o), who did their last year of their education at my school. i had one of them in gym classes and another one in danish, filling in for our regular/form (or whatever you call it- lol) teacher who was away for a period. and when they had to do their final eksam, they behavied more or less like you have described yourself in the last week.. i remember there not being any time for jokes or slacking of work and its funny now to understand how they must have felt.
(ha ha... thinking of it i think i always have a story that reminds LOL :o) )

what i in fact want to say is keep stealing their crisps in the corridors and show up early to pay interest in their everyday life, it has such an influence on a student when they have a teacher that actually cares about them, as the email also showed you, a great bond of confidence.

wish you luck with your little rats :o)

salaams
ps. i've missed you on msn :o(

hema said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hema said...

muslim, unique, thank you for the kind words, they made me smile.
and unique- it's not a diet. healthy living remember! lol

snowy- well, you can think of this post next time you feel like moaning at your teachers when they give you a hard time. with that in mind, get off the blogosphere and do some revision, your exams are only a few weeks away!

and samia, "the desert princess", the question is, would i have wanted you as a student! just kidding, i enjoy reading about your high school escapades. and i meant it when i said i won't lose hope in some of my ..cheekier kids if they end up like you:)
i wanted to put this entry on this blog to show the ups and downs of teaching really. i sometimes think i paint too rosy a picture of it as i enjoy it so much. and now, the people who are claiming they have never seen me cry know that i don't have a heart made of iron! lol

ps.i've missed you on msn too, in fact i was looking out for you yesterday as i felt like one of those late night intense conversations.

Unique Muslimah said...

I know hema hehehehe, it's just the word diet is quicker to type than the words healthier eating or living loool (how lazy am I?) :P

mishy said...

I love the way you nick peoples crisps too! Its only a little thing but any money the students you do it to really appreciate it. You're going down to their level and it makes you more of a person they can connect and relate to. I had a teacher in college who would take sweets (she'd ask first though!) from us and it was really cool because it made her more normal rather than a lone figure at the front of the room who preached to us about protons and bonds and things.

Did you really only get one weeks notice?? Thats mental! Congrats on surviving.

Btw I've been meaning to ask, you know when school/college get summer holidays, well how many of those weeks do teachers get as holiday? I presume you have INSET weeks/days and whatnot obviously but on average how many holidays do you get at summer? (Be honest now... :p)

Caged Bird said...

SubhanaAllah! wow, that account like took us to the mind of a real teacher! masha'Allah.

You're allowed to take crisps of your students? things really have changed......i thought calling teachers by their first name was a friendly thing, but nicking crisps is whole different level!!
Anyway, sorry the focus being the stressed you. masha'Allah you got through. Ofsted is a scary thing, but we've had a couple and now im like 'oh ofsted are coming.' masha'Allah, make sure the plans are there. as for teaching, just keep doing what you normally do, cos your students obviously love you anyway. Ofsted can see the rapport, happy students tell your story, can't fault you then.
oooohhh Hema you deserve a hug. awwwww. lol!!
*cringe, cringe*

hema said...

lol, don't worry caged bird, i shall stand by our non hugging pact!
my students don't have to give me their crisps, but most of them know to hand them over by now he he. i heard one of them muttering "does she ever by her own food?". hey, i'm busy during dinner, running around for them! alhamdulillah, my students are very loyal. in fact it was their loyalty that got me into trouble in the lesson i was inspected. the inspector asked one of the students "why do you think you don't have assessments more often" and she replied"oh we have a mock exam every week". the inspector looked sceptically at my scheme of work and then suspiciously at me. afterwards i asked the student why she lied for me and she said " i was trying to make you look good". it got me into a LOT of trouble, and i wasn't laughing at the time!

mishy, it was three weeks notice including easter, i've just remembered. but still.
as for the holidays, it depends where you work really. in a college, the students have study leave in june, so we use the time to plan for next year, so don't have to do it over the summer. but then again, we have to come in during results day, clearing etc in August "voluntarily" but it's often when the students need you the most. i tend to avoid results day (i'm no help, i'm more nervous then the students!) and come in the day after for clearing help, as i went through clearing for both my degree and my pgce so know how they feel.

basically, you get the 6 weeks though.are you still thinking of teaching? i'm glad my rants over the last few days haven't put you off. lol

AnonyMouse said...

As-salaamu 'alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatu,

Awwwwwwww, now I know what a REAL teacher's life is like!
And now I feel guilty about moaning about the Madrasah kids... after all, I'm only with them for 2 hours, and actually teach for around half of that... :P

hema said...

wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatullah wa barakatu.
mousy, thanks for visiting. i love muslim matters, especially the interesting post they have at the moment on evolution. i'd link it in IF I KNEW HOW TO LINK IN THE COMMENTS SECTION (imuslim, will you please teach me)
working at the madrassah carries its own trials and, of course, rewards. i can't do it, anyone who manages to teach kids under the age of ten has my respect. i mean, how do you talk to them for one, do you ahev to get down to their level?

iMuslim said...

I've e-mailed you about the link-e-dink. :)

hema said...

thank you imuslim

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