Almost daily diary!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Rant alert!

I do try not to rant on here, and I have a self made rule NEVER to mention my job(s). However, sometimes one just has to let rip!

Perhaps I have been lucky in the past, but up to last September (in my old job, which I still do 2 days a week), when I walked into a classroom first thing in the morning, I was nearly always met with a smile and a sigh of relief. 'I'm so glad you're with me today' was usually the refrain from all the teachers that I worked with. It wasn't just me, any help in a busy classroom is nearly always a bonus, nearly always. 

However this year I am with a different teacher. She checks her clock when I walk in in the morning, even though I have usually come from working with another year group and, timetabled with lessons back to back, means there is not a minute to walk between one class and the next. She gives me children to support and then undermines me by taking over half way through. 'Support so and so' she said today, which I duly did. As I leaned over to look at one boys work and ask him to check his capital letters she pushes in front of me and says 'Lets have a look at your work so and so, I think you could just take a minute to check your capital letters'. I just said that, I wanted to say, I can do my job.

She never lets me use my initiative, she never gives me anything to do that she can't watch me do. For goodness sake I'm a grown woman and I have been doing this job for 6 years now. Not that I would be doing it if I didn't need a job that gave me school hours and holidays. I used to hold down a responsible job, where I was my own boss with deadlines to meet and contractors to motivate. I am a capable person.

Yet today I feel constrained and put down. The pay is poor and the job is stressful, no preparation time, no planning time, challenging children 1:1 for hours at a time, often with no work set.

To add insult to injury, as I finish up my lunchtime art and craft group, my line manager walks into the room. I've not seen her since the holidays and was about to use the statutory pleasantry of 'Did you have a good half term?' when she barks at me 'Leave that, X (a child that needs constant 1:1 support), isn't going swimming, you need to have him all afternoon' Then she walks off!

Well thanks for that, I think to myself, hope you're having a good day too! I do not 'leave that'. The room looked like an explosion in a cardboard factory, and it is someone else's work room. How could I leave it in a mess? I do the mental equivalent of a 2 finger salute and carry on clearing up, knowing the lovely (not) teacher I work with can easily manage him for a few more minutes while she does the register.

I enjoy the company of the children I work with, even the badly behaved ones who have problems of their own poor things. It's a shame the adults can't just be a little more pleasant.

 My new job, though stressful too, so far is ok. Yet the more I work in the school system, the more I despair with it.

End of rant. Bring on the weekend.


Steve said...

She sounds like the kind of teacher who, if ducked in water for 15 minutes wouldn't drown and would have to be burnt at the stake. Just as well it's bonfire night tomorrow, isn't it...? ;-)

Maggie May said...

Having worked in schools for years..... I can definitely relate to what you are saying.
It IS a very stressful job.
I am glad I quit my lunch time job. I was expected to do more and more things that I was not hired to do. There was constant criticism from *the top* and a great lack of appreciation. The dinner time job paid only the minimum wage. Before that I was an teacher's support and that also left much to be desired. Some teachers were absolutely lovely but some made you realise your position in the pecking order.

Thankfully the After School Club is a different kettle of fish altogether. I do feel appreciated there.
Hope you can hang in there as I did for years....
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Rob-bear said...

How horrid! You are a woman of care and good communication (not to mention valour, given all that you've been through).

This teacher person seems down-right insecure in her position, or is a natural bully; perhaps both (the two often go hand in hand).

I hope you can find a reasonable resolution to this situation.

nick said...

It's frightening how quickly a pleasant job can change into an upsetting one when a different person takes charge. And as Rob says, it sounds like she's a natural bully who just enjoys undermining anyone in range. I hope you can slug it out, find ways of subverting her and still enjoy helping the children.

Rose said...

I'm glad you ranted here, Suburbia; I used to vent to my friends who were fellow teachers all the time--it makes things more bearable, somehow.

Here in the U.S. your job would be called a teacher's aide, one that gets very poor pay, yet a position that provides invaluable help in the classroom. Most teachers would tell you their aides are godsends; unfortunately, you apparently are working with someone who can't seem to give up control. Maybe you'll get lucky and get transferred to another classroom where you will be appreciated as you should be.

Akelamalu said...

Having worked in schools for 26 years (albeit in admin) I know only too well what some teaching staff can be like. You need to stand up for yourself - the nasty ones will soon back down. Their problem is they're so used to dealing with children they treat everyone else the same. :(

Eternal Worrier said...

You sound like Lou, my other half. her teacher in the afternoons has changed and she hates her!

BS5 Blogger said...

Want me to call some Special Forces buddies? We could come in through the windows, loose off some flash bangs and leave her riddled with bullets? I'd need a clue about the building layout first please; ground floor forced entry is hazardous .

Furtheron said...

You have the same job as my wife. She has these rants.

I say... "You are not paid enough to bother about it. Just do whatever you are asked to do and always leave it at the door".

She is recognised as a hard, loyal worker by most of the staff and in more that one occasion has been singled out by offset inspectors in their reports commenting on the quality of the support in the classroom.

However she and you could earn more pushing pasta and ready cooked meals over a laser scanner at the local supermarket. It is a bloody scandal. But that is the world sadly - Wayne Roony get's a kings ransom to kick a ball about and real heroes to the kids who idolize him get bugger all.

My advice would be to have a polite adult chat with the teacher. She'll not get it as she is a clear control freak but try you can always only try to help the weaker amongst us. :-)

Finally - my wife's school changed it's timetable (to do with a shared canteen) however now there is no afternoon break and in effect my wife works 15mins a day extra for no pay. I told her to go to the union and kick up a stink but she won't she actually does the job because it matters. However another example of dumb management with no thought for the staff... wasn't like that when I was governor there :-)

mrsnesbitt said...

She sounds jealous and very insecure - demonstrating what we would object to from the pupils - a form of bullying for sure.
As an ex-deputy head I would want to know about such anindividual.


Barbara said...

I worked in schools while my children were young, one school was super the other - well I couldn't get out quick enough, it was so bad I had to leave without another job to go to. I fully relate to what you are saying.

Liz Hinds said...

What a cow!

Hang on in there, sub!

Working Mum said...

She does seem insecure and needs some training in how to work with assistants or she will find herself going through assistants like a dose of salts and that's no good for the children.

I would kill for an assistant in my classroom - can you come and work with me? I can provide great break time cupcakes! :)