At the risk of seeming predictable, it’s not been a great week. Here’s why:
I’ve had an extra strength dose of man flu and, in all seriousness, it’s been pretty harsh.
I coughed so hard I wrenched my left side. I didn’t get much kip as it was so painful to lie down and was also sporting a shocking headband headache which was making me dizzy.
Lessons were a struggle. Felt like I was doing cross-country in concrete boots
However, just on the horizon lurked my four day holiday. Keep going, I thought, you’re nearly there. Then, if I want to lie on my bed doing sudoku or idly juggling my bollocks, I can do just that.
Aaah, four days.Yes!
Which brings me to my second point:
10 Green Bottles
Four days had soon become three. Turned out that I was down to teach in a teacherless school twice that month. Not, as I thought, once. Never mind I thought - 3 days is still enough time for serious juggling. Number juggling obviously.
Which brings me to my third point.
Just The Fax, Ma’am.
Neil, one of the SHANE management bods, phoned me on the Monday
Neil : Yeah............just wanted to check you’re OK for training on Friday and Saturday
Neil: Have you not received the fax?
Me: Received a fax? What year is this -1987? No I haven’t received a fax.
Neil: Ok....sorry about that. Well, yes there’s follow-up training on the Friday and Saturday.
Me (now getting angry): Neil, are you aware that this month I will have worked three 6-day weeks AND given up two days of my holidays for “training”?
Neil: Really? Yeah.......really sorry about that..... not ideal, is it? So see you Friday?
Neil: Before Me.
As it happened, I was meeting Neil the next day to discuss my lessons.
Actually, Neil is a thoroughly decent chap and getting stroppy with him would have been counter-productive. I get the feeling despite his loftier management position, he has just as much chance of influencing the SHANE “policy makers” as I do.
In fairness he listened to what I had to say and claimed that July and August were some of the worst months he could remember for workload - 7 teachers had done the off in July, leaving them with a chronic shortage.
Consequently, new teachers (eg me) had been given a few rounds of ammunition and a tin hat and pushed straight out into the warzone.
“Don’t worry” he said “We have a load of new teachers arriving next month. It’ll get easier”.
The message was clear: sit tight and wait for reinforcements.