Sunday, 4 December 2016

Workload thoughts on the side of a mountain.

It's the weekend and I'm in the hills. Right now. In the beautiful, raw countryside. In a minute, I'll set off and hopefully walk these thoughts out of my head but for the moment they hang like a cloud in a windless sky, refusing to go away.

I've got quite a lot to do. I'm sure you do as well. I don't know any teachers who don't.

I need to work tonight and initially I felt fine about this, a bit of planning, sorting some resources to put online and tidying up a bit. Then I remembered another thing, and another thing, and another thing. Now I don't want to get the laptop out at all because I've got a stark choice, either choose one thing and don't do the other things or try to do all the things and do them badly.

See, it's not like I've been taking it easy recently either and I'm hovering on the edge of being ill. I'm probably a bit 'ill' in a mental way to be honest at the moment though to be fair, I feel no worse than I usually do generally, I just notice I'm more emotional than usual and I react badly to anything unplanned happening. So, what I'm trying to say is that getting a good night's sleep is also important to me.

Therefore, the third option, stay up past midnight to do all the jobs 'to a standard' seems like a bad idea.

As a teacher, I yearn for a bit more simplicity, a bit more focus. A bit more time to reflect and breathe. An opportunity to do a good job on one thing, not a bad job on six.

I'm tired of having no space in my head to think about other stuff, of being cantankerous and stroppy at home because my family seem to have about 10% of my focus.

I'm tired of working with 8 other exhausted people who in all likelihood feel like me. I'm tired of the dark mornings and dark nights. I'm tired of never having an 'easy' day, of never cruising and always challenging, questioning, motivating and pushing.

I'm tired of feeling like I'm behind, even though I've worked to point where I'm yawning all Saturday and in a foul mood most of the weekend. Even though I've no discernable life and think about teaching virtually constantly.

I'm tired of academies and faith schools and pay disputes and pay scales and learning walks and making every second count and no hands up starters and purple pen marking and learning journeys and evidence and inspection readiness and everything else. 

So I'm going for a walk and I'm not going to think about it at all.

I hope these thoughts resolve themselves into a plan. They often do. The best ideas tend to happen when you don't try.

Now, out with darkness and in with light and air.

Nearly the end of term.


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