So it begins… or ends…

This is the post excerpt.

So, been thinking about doing this for a while… I’m a primary school teacher. I won’t be able to say that for too much longer. And that feels weird. I mean, defining myself weird. I’ve been able to say that I’m a ‘something’ for a while. Nearly 15 years in fact. When people ask “what do you do?” I don’t say what my job is, what the job is that I do. I say what I am. I am a teacher. For now…

When I started this job, it was a bloody hard slog to even get through the training. Hours of work, assignments to write, college to attend, placements to complete, and all to a high enough standard. Because educators should be working to a high standard right? Yes. Yes they should. And the level of dedication I have seen throughout the years of doing this job has been second to none. People who give up their evenings and weekends, because they love what they do, because they love their children. And that’s the weird thing that I learned quickly. Every child in my care has been called ‘my kid’. They are my kids. They are mine for 12 months to worry about, to care about, to pick up when they fall, literally and metaphorically, to soothe woes, dry tears, make smile, make feel valued, make feel loved (when sometimes they have no adult in their world who does that for them), and lastly, to educate. To teach them new things, skills, knowledge, or just fun stuff!

I thought that the system wasn’t good, it didn’t work. And I thought that I could make the most difference and change from within the system. I could topple it from within. Ha! My naivety was huge! I write this now as a cynical shell of the teacher I was when I started. I believe in children having a strong start to life. I believe in making children resilient, happy, confident, risk takers. I always have. I always will. But I’m tired. I’m so fucking tired. I’m tired of the bureaucracy. The goal posts of where I should be getting the children to changing year after year, government initiative after government initiative. I’m tired of being constantly told by education ministers, people who seem to have never had contact with a small child in their life, how I should be providing them with the best start in academia. Please!

It breaks my heart to say that I haven’t effected the change I wanted to when I started out. It breaks my heart that I have had to become hardened to the shitty situations some children live in, and that whatever I do, I am not single handedly able to break the cycle of depravation that some children exist within. It breaks my heart…

So, here I am. Saying “I quit”. This weekend I worked until 11pm on Friday (I started school at 7:50am), I worked 5 hours on Saturday, I worked 3 hours today (Sunday), and this is just to keep my head above water. This isn’t classed as going ‘over and above’ to most of my colleagues. This is ‘normal’. Schools are run primarily on the goodwill of the staff within them. We spend hours of our own time, hundreds of pounds of our own money (Amazon Prime loves me!) This is without any overtime pay. This is without any acknowledgment from parents. All they say is “where’s their jumper?” or “they’ve lost their water bottle”… is it named? No. I’m supposed to memorise everyone of the cherubs bloody belongings like Derren fucking Brown! And that gets tired, and tiring, after a few years.

I shall try to keep you posted about the thoughts, fears and musings of leaving teaching as I enter into the last phase of my career. I finish on December 19th. A career I thought I would have until I was too creaky to get up off the floor after being at a child’s level (turns out that that’s 41!). I’m sad. I’m tired. I’m done.

What’s scary is, there are many more like me who aren’t able to quit, and they are the ones who are caring for your children. Think about that when you next demand from the woman who is dead behind the eyes “where’s their (un-named!) jumper…

Look at me in the picture… smiling! It was summer. The well earned summer. And I’m happily trading 6 weeks ‘off’ (what a joke that is!) for, well, I don’t know what. But it has to be better than this…

 

Lou. x

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Author: disillusionededucator

A primary school teacher on the edge! Of what, I'm not sure!

2 thoughts on “So it begins… or ends…”

  1. Utter rubbish. I would have suggested you spend more of this time on the kids rather than self-indulgent, over dramatic, whining. However, I should congratulate you for removing yourself from the pool of competent and conscientious teaching staff of which you clearly do not belong.

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    1. For the attention of D Round, and your nasty reply…You belong in the outdated bin!! Wow, what a bitch. It’s because of emotionally stunted half wits like you that the profession lacks that team approach. Gone are the days of supportive colleagues, or a culture whereby it is safe to make a mistake, or complain because you are having a tough time. It’s okay to feel, we are all entitled to our feelings and that is the message we should be promoting to our children. To me the incompetent teacher makes generalisations and judgements, despite having no perspectives of an individuals journey along their teaching pathway. Wow, I’m only relieved that I don’t have the displeasure of working alongside you and your aggressive keyboard warrior antics. You have no rights to accuse somebody of not having the relevant skills or capacity to do this job without the relevant perspective. Key word there, PERSPECTIVE! Try taking into consideration others thoughts and feelings, without these, positive change remains stilted. Now, a reply really isn’t necessary as you’ve already made yourself appear the incompetent one!

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