Yes folks, that’s all it has taken for the shine to be muddied and my frustration break through. Both Steve and Caroline got a blast of hot air last night as I released the steam that had been building throughout my day’s training. If I am honest, it was there before yesterday but I was determined to laugh it off and not allow it to cloud my little world. I am far from letting it devour me, but on my 22nd day of being back in the world of work, I have awoken still digesting, and still mad.
In a nut shell (I don’t wish to bore you with all the ins and outs), I feel as though I am being treated like the children we are aiming to teach. I appreciate I have not been teaching all that long in the grand scheme of the world, but I do know what I am doing. I spent the last few years fighting to make paper work etc more efficient (and therefore effective) allowing teachers in my school that additional time to actually be able to teach in a similar way. Certain pieces of paper are vital and must be completed and that I accept whole heartedly. But when you are being re-taught those old, long winded, impractical methods that insist on duplicating (and in some places threefold) information across multiple pages instead of them being on one workable document then you start to feel a little patronised! And breathe. I am back to the point of wondering if this is how it has to be, when exactly do they intend me to actually teach a child?
I did try, in my most diplomatic of tones, to suggest that perhaps some of the duplicating was unnecessary. I showed my own methods and asked if that would be suitable. I followed this up by asking why it was not suitable. The only answer available seemed to be that I ‘just have to’ do it in a certain way, appearing to be of no one’s benefit. At this point I had to temper another beast that sometimes surfaces and which I do despise; arrogance. I wanted to explain to the people around me that there are better, clearer and more efficient ways of documenting our teaching, that I have been told by a variety of authorities that I am a ‘Good-Outstanding’ teacher and that believe it or not, I know what I am talking about! But thankfully, the fact that I was getting peculiar looks for simply challenging in the first place, made the arrogance subside.
But that is just another frustration, am I the only one to see that what we are being asked to do is not just onerous but ridiculous also? Why does no one else challenge? (Erika, Lisa, you have no idea just how much you were missed yesterday – a little intelligent back up could have gone a very long way!)
I am still very ranty, I am very sorry, but this is what really gets to me. We are supposed to be there with one focus, providing children with the most effective learning environment and engaging education as possible. Yet there are these daft hoops to be jumped through implemented by over paid people who as far as I am aware have not been within a classroom for a very long time. The people I refer to in this instance are the ‘creators’ at a certain northern university.
But on top of this, I have now regretfully taken on two further afternoons tuition for older children. I am struggling to get in my writing time and it is already starting to make me miserable. As I always say, the teaching is never an issue – I am good at that and it makes me happy to know I make a difference. But These three weeks have confirmed the suspicions, I just want to write!
Last night while Cie and Steve chatted about other things, without even realising, I blurted out ‘I don’t want to be doing this job’. I was’t even sure where it had come from, I didn’t notice it sneaking up on me. Of course it was tainted by the day and the memory of fun I had over the last twelve months, but obviously my mind is made. At this point in time, there is no option, I have to find the balance of the two until that day comes that I can afford not to teach.
But then Steve told me off for procrastinating saying for some reason I appear to be putting off sending my manuscript to publishers. In my mind it is still not ready, there are too many gaping holes that publishers would pull apart and use to throw my work away. But this argument didn’t hold up either – Caroline being an editor (sadly not in the area I need!) pointed out that there is no such thing as a finished manuscript. In fact, in her experience editors sometimes prefer one with potential but needs work.
It is sometimes hard to realise everyone else is right.
The balance seems a long way from being found (especially when I come home so utterly bewildered with the world) but I have to find it and I have to find it quick. I want to be a success in something that I love from the bottom of my heart, and something that is a challenge. I want to tell stories. There are so many stuck in my head and on scraps of notes scattered through the house. I want to have fun.
So, here it is. I am, with luck, by this time next week going to have my letter and synopsis information written (or re-written, any long time readers will realise I sent this book once before in its previous incarnation to one or two agents); no more messing about and getting frightened about the unknown. I know to who I wish to send my manuscript, I just have to think of how to sell myself to them!
And in between times? I shall focus on the children I teach, what they need and my purpose for being there. But if I get lost under the mountains of pointless paper, please send out a search party. Thank you for listening, I feel so much better already.