Sometimes it is difficult to ascertain if I work in an educational establishment at all. And, it is becoming increasingly difficult to actually call myself a 'teacher'. I think I referred to the building as being a cross between a young offenders institute and a mental asylum at some point last week...
My role at work seems to be everchanging. Socialworker, parent, babysitter, prison officer, psychologist, counsellor, administrator, secretary... none of which I am, have been trained for, or am being paid to do.
Imparting knowledge to young people is a welcome addition if and when you have time for it. I'm sure this is not how it is supposed to be. It wasn't like that when I was at school, I hear myself saying on a more frequent basis, then screwing up my face at the thought that I may just sound like my parents did to me years ago.
70% of my day was in meetings. Meetings with parents, students and other members of staff. Meetings that had no real outcome whatsoever. Let me give you an example of part of one of the meetings...
Teacher: 'Do you accept responsibilty for your behaviour?'
Teacher: 'Do you understand why we are having a meeting?'
Teacher: 'Do you think it is acceptable for you to tell a member of staff to fuck off?
Student: (no response)
Teacher: 'As you have a large number of behaviour incidents on your school record and we have had several meetings with you and your parents, we feel that you may require additional support in adapting your behaviour within the school environment.'
Parent: 'Thank you for your support. I think that is a good idea'
Student: 'I ain't doing it, I ain't speaking to no one. I ain't done nuffin wrong. Is it break time? Can I go now?' (Student walks out).
What was the outcome of the meeting?
Nothing that we didn't already know! Brilliant! Another hour of my time wasted when I could have been dealing with the other 2 students that think it is ok to punch each others lights out!
The other 30% of my day was actually teaching... thank the lord!!! It is my sanctuary, my refuge from persecution. It is what I remember being trained to do. It is what I remember enjoying. It is what I am first and foremost employed to do and therefore paid for!
I also had somewhat of a dilemma today. It was whether or not I would stay awake at the second meeting of the day. It was in a different location, one of which I am familiar with, which was why I was having a dilemma to be honest. A hot, stuffy, noisy and cramped room is what I knew was waiting for me. So, should I, or should I not, have some additional chemical stimulation (other than the 4 cups of tea already consumed) in the vain attempt to make it through this two hour meeting without falling asleep. Red Bull or no Red Bull?
The thing is, I fidget. I fidget ALL the time. With a zip fastener, necklace, my hair... whatever I can get away with. If I consumed a can of Red Bull prior to this meeting, I know that the consequences may be a little difficult to explain to the 8 other professionals that I will be sitting with. Mainly those sitting next to me. I am not so sure that the foot tapping, fiddling and sighing, at a slightly faster pace than normal, will be looked upon favourably. However, it may be looked upon slightly MORE favourably than actually falling asleep...
The good news is I managed to stay awake without the use of Red Bull! Amazing! But, what was more amazing, was the absolute bullshit that was discussed at the meeting, which was so astounding, no stimulant would do the job of keeping me awake any better!
Another two hours wasted!
Cannot wait until tomorrow...