A good working week

Posted: November 9, 2012 in Teaching and Education
Tags: , , , ,

A month or so ago, I found myself stumbling absentmindedly through a patch of nigh-on debilitating apathy and general contempt for the world at large.  From the minute I returned to teaching after our summer break, it appeared I was performing a daily wade through a cesspool of irritations and idiots.  I’m not fond of people who moan and make the worst of everything so I tried to keep it low key but am not sure how successful this proved.

In my vague defence, the day before we returned to work, a friend who was really quite young died of alcoholism.  It was very strange as I’d only known him a short while but he was a very important person.  Like most people in my town, the response to death (I’ve seen four people die in the four years I’ve been here: all lifestyle, primarily drinking-orientated) was to…drink.  You know it’s the worst possible thing to do, you know it’s the very thing you should be shocked out of doing…but it’s the very thing you are going to do, no doubt about it.

From there, I didn’t really curb the drinking as I typically would when returning to work (nor the smoking) and I had one too many Monday mornings arriving not hung-over as such, but grumpy.  Very grumpy.  And not enjoying my job at all.  There were other factors – the morale at my school is slowly deteriorating, some would say plummeting.  My Head of Department (a fantastic person!) has just got a job at a different school.  She and I were talking about how many people are sidling up to us and congratulating us both on our timely departures.  Not a good sign.

Anyway, we’ve just had our half term break and I delivered to myself a stern talking-to which saw me return to school this half term in a much more positive frame of mind.  My natural ‘let’s-get-healthy-stop-all-that-drinking-and-hanging-out-in-pubs-with-drunks’ frame of mind finally kicked in and I had that (previous blog) lesson observation to plan for which gave me a bit of a push.  Consequently, this whole week has been a relative delight: recapturing some of the gems of working with good old British teenagers.  A highlight…after a lengthy discussion detailing (and detailing again…and again…and again) the arrangements for some coursework re-take sessions with a group of ‘disengaged’ and often quite disgruntled teenage boys, I inhaled deeply to mark the imminent end of the conversation and completed with ‘See you next Tuesday’.  Not intentionally meaning to brandish them the insult that some like to disguise as the phrase ‘see you next Tuesday’, one lad – particularly fond of the ‘I know my rights, you can’t speak to me like that’ routine, said ‘You just called me a c#!*  to which his mate (who hasn’t always been on my side) replied, ‘Oh pipe down, you know Miss didn’t mean it like that…now stop talking so I can learn something!’.  Job done.

 

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