Time flies when you’re having fun…
…so they say. I must be having a whale of a time! Where have the last few months gone?!
I have regularly made notes about what to write about, and they invariably end up lost in handbags or on top of the microwave (where I tend to absentmindedly put bits of paper, and where my partner finds them and puts them in the bin!).
Temping in an office has been a blast. That may sound strange, but it has been a lot of fun. I’ve worked with some lovely people, I get to talk to lots of people on the phone all day, some of whom are very happy to speak to me, others who swear at me and my colleagues, but even those ones are the cause of much mirth in the office. But I’m aware that I’m getting comfortable with it. And that’s dangerous. So, I decided that I needed the ‘fear’ to make me look elsewhere for another job, perhaps even a ‘proper’ job?! I told my employers that I would be leaving on the 24th of May.
BUT, they like me. I have a pretty good idea about what I’m doing now. I know my way around the various computer systems.
They have offered for me to work part time. Hours to be dictated by myself… How the bloody hell did that happen?!
I have started tutoring a small person, helping them with their early reading skills. I’m enjoying spending time with a small person again. I’m exploring the idea of tutoring teensy tiny people, and their big people… After a few months I’m feeling like there may be a way to marry the skills that I spent years gaining with what I believe is right for young children, without having to sacrifice my principles. The plethora of resources that still take up half of the garage, ‘just in case’ I decided I had made a mistake, or wanted to chase the money and supply teach, are beginning to be moved to the loft.
Many folders have been emptied of their years of planning, the good ones went to the car boot, the knackered ones went to the tip. The man at the tip was most amused to see me throwing away folders with labels such as ‘Behaviour Management’ and ‘farms and Easter’.
Now, I’m not knocking anyone who does supply teaching when I use the phrase ‘chase the money’. I’m aware that it pays well and can be a more viable way for people to remain in the education system and reduce the stress of the job slightly. For me, I left teaching because the fundamental principles of the current Education regime had become so far removed from my own beliefs, that I no longer believed I was a force for good. I didn’t feel like I was making a change or being the change I wanted to be. So, to supply teach feels, personally, to be hypocritical. I don’t believe in what I’m doing, that it is for the best of the children, but I’ll put up with it for the money? That’s just not who I am, nor who I want to be. For many who do continue to teach, full time or supply, it is a fulfilling and worthwhile vocation, and that’s brilliant.
That’s why I had to think long and hard about whether to tutor or not. I came to the conclusion that I had to look at what my core beliefs are, what do I feel is right for children? I concluded that I believe that fundamental vocabulary and reading skills underpin so much future learning, that this is an area I feel happy promoting. But, I wasn’t willing to coach children in order for them to pass tests. Granted, those early skills should contribute to their ability to do well in tests later in life, but I’m not happy to hot-house individuals for that sole purpose.
So, the seed of an idea has been planted and I’m going to water it for a while and see what grows from it…