Friday, 13 February 2009

4am blogging

Oh, yes, it's the middle of the night again and here I am, snot dribbling from my nose, sneezing at the screen. I broke up for half term today, but the stress of my job has still not left me. I was awoken after two hours' sleep by a dream of trying to control a class of unruly children and having no sanctions I could give them to make them behave. Not unlike my day job.

The snow last week is still on the ground where we live, though it has gone from most of the lower lying areas near here. Other parts of the country are getting more snowfall, but here it is just icy. We had 5 days without heating fuel during the worst of the weather. The tankers had trouble getting round all the houses that had run out. We hunkered down and barely left the house because the roads were so treacherous.

I only worked one day that week, which meant that I had one day where I was not at work, but the school was open - ie last Monday. It would have been madness to try to drive the 23 miles to work, and certainly not worth risking my life for, or even risking crashing the car for. Unfortunately, the evil headmistress I am bound in servitude to, decided to dock the pay of everyone who took a snow day. Having checked with the unions, she is apparently legally allowed to do this. It doesn't surprise me that she took this decision. I have honestly never met anyone so poor at managing staff as she is. What surprises me is that I didn't see it coming.

Consequently, many of the staff are now refusing to carry out the extra-curricular activities that they voluntarily do. These are the clubs and trips and revision classes that give a school its richness and bind it as a community. It was already a school on the brink of academic failure. Now it has lost another resource: the goodwill of the staff.

On top of that body blow, Tuesday was a really late night, because of a school event that all staff had to be present for. I got home at quarter to ten at night. Donny, Saskia and Eartha had come with me (Mel was at cubs) so they were really tired for the week too. Then Wednesday went on forever. I did a day's teaching, and had an unproductive meeting with the head. She agreed that I was sensible not to have driven into work last Monday, but still refused to pay me because apparently the school has so many hundred thousand pounds of debt. I sort of lost the thread of her argument at that point. All I could think of was: claw your debt back from somewhere other than my salary.

From there I went directly to a job interview for GoApe. It went really well, and if I don't get offered a job, at least I know it was nothing I did to stuff it up. I should know tomorrow.

Without pausing my stride I then headed off to parents' evening for my kids. Fortunately my wonderful kids are all much loved by their teachers and got glowing reports. Saskia and Eartha are making good progress, and impressed their teacher by being such loving sisters. Donny and Mel are also doing very well. Donny is gifted and talented for her literacy, and has a reading age three years ahead of her own. Her literacy is pretty well at the standard expected for the average 14 year old. Not bad considering she's just turned 9.

Mel, on the other hand, is top of the class for maths, especially mental maths. He is also exceptionally good at science. His literacy is still improving. He has a specific learning difficulty with reading, writing and spelling, which frustrates him a lot. It has fooled previous teachers into thinking he's not all that bright, when actually he is a very acute thinker.

By Thursday, after all the late nights and hard work and lack of rest, I was developing a cold. This has now expanded to fill my whole head. I have also become run-down enough to get an infection in my old Caesarian scar, which is bright pink and sore. The doctor gave me some antibiotics today to try and clear it up.

Lastly, my aunt (Dad's sister) and uncle arrived today from Holland. They are staying with Mum for just over a week. It will be two years this Saturday since my Dad died suddenly. It is good for Mum to have some company in the house this week and it is lovely to see them. The kids talked solidly at them for three hours this evening, and made them play rock-scissors-paper with them.

Oh, one more thing: I have an interview for the state maintained boarding school coming up too. That will be in March, for a start in September. I shall give it a good go, and see where life takes me.

1 comment:

  1. When it rains it pours it seems! You are up late!! I hate when I get sick. I can't do much of anything well when I don't feel good. Your job interviews sound great!


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