Saturday, August 13, 2016

Curriculum day. Another day in paradise. First world problems.

Warning: there are no educational tips on classroom teaching to follow. This is just a bit about my life at school and probably gives some insight into how I'm dealing with being the fourth eldest person on staff. (I was the youngest once when I began teaching aged 21. Let's have a cheer for me. I'm still teaching after 37 years. Raise your glasses and throw me another pile of marking.)

So, Mr Incredible and I have 'lived' in these two portable classrooms for nigh on 15 years. They are basically two grotty classrooms, a couple of storerooms and an office that we call home when we're working. This space is very important to both of us. While we're close to the admin block and the main staffroom, we're also in the corner of the school campus, not adjoined to any other building. Neither are we on a walkway. People don't interfere with us out in our space. We teach out there and can do our own thing without being in the fishbowl that comprises lots of the rest of the school. It's good. It's also our safe space where we say what we want to each other in confidence and let off steam if necessary. I admit to doing more of this than Mr Incredible. He's calmer than I. He's also a huge part of me staying sane in the workplace. We get each other and are good friends. Hence, he's my work husband and I, I suppose, am his somewhat old work wife.  

Imagine our chagrin, then, to have it announced by the acting principal, at the plenary at the beginning of a curriculum day, that when a new admin block is constructed, we will lose our rooms. There was no consultation about this. Nor any 'heads up'. We, and the rest of the staff, who, incidentally, couldn't care less, were simply told. It was just the acting principal taking the podium and unnecessarily sharing some 'important' news the purpose of which was to remind us that he is acting principal. Possibly. 

I was devastated. Mr Incredible was upset. 
"Pull yourself together, idiot," I rebuked myself. "It's a room. It's not that important. You can cope with this." (And you know, it is just a room, a person and a place and I can and will cope.) I was giving myself this little pep talk as I headed towards an English meeting at which my presence was required, it being curriculum day and all. On the way, one of the young male staff, who'd noticed my reaction to the news, decided it would be fun to tease me about the impending move. I'm normally a jocular sort of person, so I get it. However, I told him, very clearly, that I was upset and asked him to stop.  

"Can you not?" I pleaded. "I'm really cut about this."  

Somehow, this was red rag to a bull and he upped the ante.  

"We can have farewell drinks in your room when you retire," he joshed. Oh, he's hilarious. Not. "Invite your family and friends. It'll really be fun." Ah, he's a riot. 

At that stage, tears spilling from my eyes, I raised a hand in his face and withdrew, again trying to compose myself to tackle the sodding Victorian curriculum and year 9 language analysis.  

Well, I nearly coped. Sat up the back of the English meeting. Breathed deeply. Distracted myself by turning on my computer and finding the requisite documents so I could start my work. Then, unfortunately, the coordinator asked me what I'd be working on for the day. (Don't know why. She'd emailed me to tell me what I'd be working on. Suppose she was checking to see that I'd received my instructions.) Suddenly, I was tongue-tied and every bit my pathetic almost 60 year old self. (Fuck, yeah.) I started crying. At a meeting. In public. Grrr! 

Let's put it down to the emotional lability of the 'elderly'. 

And then I got over it. I mean it's not all doom and gloom on the week where you are given a brand new note book computer, courtesy of the education department.