Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I'm having a hard time with the kids lately. Any teacher out there knows that when there's only a few weeks left of term something happens to the kids - they go feral. Now, this would be okay except that towards the ends of term something happens to normal teacher workloads - it goes up. In my case - because I've been working on a little project for prin as well as doing the reports and other work my workload has literally quadrupled over the last month. I'm finding it incredibly hard to keep up with my work AS WELL AS teach.

I wish I could explain a teacher workload towards the end of term but I'll try. From talking to friends who are not teachers I have it on good authority that the amount of extra work I am doing now is eqiv to about a days worth of normal workload in an office job in a company of any description. That's fine except imagine that every single hour of your day ALSO involved 25 needy, sometimes incompetent, sometimes rude, sometimes lovely, mostly egocentric of your most important clients (ie: or 20 of your employers haha) coming to your desk and just demanding things all at the same time and they kept doing that for the whole day ...forever? You can't tell them to fuck off because you HAVE to take care of them first - BUT the clincher is that in terms of your boss and clients they NEED this OTHER work done pronto FIRST as well. You can't do two things first now can you? Just how much of that workload do you think you'd get done? Not a lot. Imagine if you were a head chef in the busiest restaurant in town AND the head waiter at the same time - plus you ran the accounts after hours? You have to do all three, no delegating - just how effective do you think you'd be?

So since it's impossible to teach AND get all our work done at the same time then us teachers are getting more and more frustrated as the term comes to a close. So teachers are frustrated and stressed and the kids are feral - great combo, huh?

My everyday workload is like the above scenario but lately because I've got so much other pressure on me the whole situation is magnified. I can't concentrate fully on my classes because I've got so much else to do - but I can't concentrate fully on my other workload because I have to teach my classes and get THAT stuff done. It's an impossible situation and I'm finding myself unable to cope with all the "extras".

Today there was an incident in the AR where a group of students were acting up. I was also hard at work and trying desperately to get things done and stressed out by that so a situation that might not have got the best of me a few weeks ago really DID tip me over the edge today. The thing is, I can't see how I could have been "better". I was overwhelmed by work and I will always be so, that is the nature of the job - but at the same time I realise that if I was not overwhelmed then I would have handled the situation better. It was a no-win situation for me.

Anyway, as it happened this group of students were misbehaving and after accessing the various routes of discipline (warnings, time out, send to prin etc) it wasn't getting better so I packed the whole grade up early, told them I was basically disgusted and made them all go back to their classroom for silent reading. They then received extra punishment at recess etc.

You know what? I *wish* someone would give me silent reading as a punishment though. It's a reward isn't it? I kept looking at these kids and WISHING I could pick up my book and settle into a hazy fantasy for a while. I just don't know how to make things easier while I teach but still get all this other stuff that I need to get done, under control? Should I be working instead of blogging? ;)

How does one stay on top of things AND crowd control at the same time?

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