Sunday, 20 September 2015

My first proper job - in Mum's (RIP) old school. - Episode #78

Well I have now completed my first few weeks as a proper teacher! It feels strange to be working where Mum was working when she and Dad got killed.  

It looks like Fridays are going to be my easiest days so I might try writing by diary and blog then. When you are a student teacher colleagues are quite careful about what they say in your hearing but once you are a member of their team they feel comfortable saying what they are really thinking. I have been quite surprised how many of them don’t like teaching in the 6th form (years 12 and 13) – some prefer the youngsters in years 7 to 9 (generally fewer behaviour issues and less pressure from external exams) while others relish the challenge of years 10 and 11 where pupils can be much harder to manage (especially the girls!) but where exams give a focus to what is being taught and where high quality teaching is more easily demonstrated through exam results. 

One of the reasons that I have more than my “share” of 6th form work is because more senior colleagues don’t want to it and so it is just a lucky co-incidence that it is my favourite type isn’t it!  

There is quite a strict dress code for the pupils that is strictly enforced at the start of the school year and a fairly strict dress code for the staff that isn’t enforced but should be. Some staff show too much boob, belly or bum and I don’t think it creates a good impression that senior staff just sigh and then say nothing. Of course I just keep these thoughts to myself.   

I found myself using one of Dad’s phrases yesterday. I mentioned “stirring up a hornets nest” which would have made him laugh. What happened was that the ladies county cross-country champion got a brief write-up in the magazine that goes out to the various athletics clubs. She has won 21/24 races in the 12 months which is good but what wasn’t mentioned was that all three of her losses were all to a certain Sally Ellis. I mentioned it casually in the club house at the weekend and by Wednesday the County Commissioner was involved, oh dear. 

Our elderly neighbour is still in hospital. They want to discharge her but without a “Care Package” in place they are not allowed to. So her cat is living with us and if I cannot find the cat at meal times I have to wonder along to her proper home to find her. The cat seems happy enough, providing she gets food and a bit of attention everyday she should cope until her owner returns. By chance I noticed some people moving into one of the houses in our street. This happens a lot but what made it unusual was that one of the helpers was a girl who shares the same adult mentor as me. The last time I saw here was in Kidderminster so it was rather a shock to see her so close to my home.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Sorry but Facebook and Facebook Groups are not helping me move on!

I am trying hard not to sound passive-aggressive here but sadly, despite all the hype, Facebook and the associated Facebook Groups don't seem to be what I want or need in my life at the moment.

Most of the bereavement related groups on Facebook are, unsurprisingly, dominated both numerically and in terms of messages posted, by people who live in the USA and who are both older and more openly religious than me. I don't seem to have much in common with the typical group member and perhaps that is the source of my problem?

Recently I asked the members of all the bereavement groups I belong to for information on blogs that might be helpful for me - nobody bothered to come up with a single suggestion. Yet when I posted the same question to a much smaller UK based group I got 7 ideas from three different people. What makes it even stranger was that these 3 were complete strangers to me, none were my so-called "Facebook Friends" 95% of whom never comment on anything I post to Facebook or write in my blog.

I have made a few friends via Facebook and I am pleased and grateful for that but overall my experience has been deeply disappointing.