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 :)