When someone mentions staff training, you think to yourself 'be open minded, you're tired but you'll learn something from it', or 'your time is too valued and precious for training that's not beneficial', however what I experienced unfortunately, didn't fulfil my optimistic outlook. I almost had to sit on my hands to stop myself from saying 'excuse me but' all the way through but the good old British values of respect kicked in too often and prevented me from doing so. However, as the uncomfortable audience continued to wriggle and squirm at some of what was said, I put my head above the parapet and questioned what was said. Not only was I distressed by the trainer's reaction of 'well, no...', but also by the growing anger and annoyance growing inside of me! I'm all for not agreeing, however if training is centred around practice in education, then at least alter what you've planned to meet the needs of the learners! Surely this is what teaching is about?! It's important that the small guy stands up for themselves, or has someone to stand up for them and as such, I'll be contacting the trainer to discuss this with them....watch this space!
There is something about Monday mornings but Mondays for a teacher are even more special. Maybe it's the Monday of an INSET after a holiday. Teachers are distinguished by their varying sized bags beneath their eyes (which no amount of touche eclat can cover) due to the varying degrees of sleeplessness in preparation for a new year/term. That panicked look that betrays the possible lack of preparation for the week ahead and the realisation that the timetable does not allow much 'in class' time. Mondays of SATs week are interesting. Staff bringing in their kitchenware, ready to greet Year 6 pupils with soothing smiles and healthy 'brain food'. Talk of how it's all about doing your best which means at least two levels of progress or die.... But it's Mondays at Family Von Crap's school that we find most special. Take the Monday view from the office of Mother Superior. It starts with the dark walk from the car to the front gate. Depending on the rise of the crime rate or the local partying, I'll get a 2 minute or 15 minute diatribe from the cleaner. Poker faced, I enter the building. Then my phone rings...again... In my best mother's voice, I try to sound sympathetic to the fourth person calling in ill. What is confusing is the voice that goes with the call - surely if you have a stomach bug your voice would not be all husky and nose blocked? Suddenly a hunched form appears at the door. It's the martyr that has come in, wants you to know they are at school but the exaggerated coughing is meant to encourage you to tell them how ill they are and they really should go home. Then there's the staff who close their eyes while they pass me in the corridor, hoping that they have become invisible. I still cannot fathom how just a flicker of a glance from the Mother Superior can turn people to jelly? Or the staff trying to pretend they are not photocopying a weeks worth of worksheets (forgive me) while attempting to merge in with the whirring machine. The 'after eights' begin to roll in. Cheery hellos. Another call. Supply teacher. Did I call a supply teacher? A quick walk around soon sorts who is prepared and who is not. Disorganised gatherings in one classroom are a sure sign of lack of preparation. So is frantic cutting and laminating at 8:15! Then there are office staff moaning about teachers. Teachers moaning about rude office staff. Caretaker moaning about dirty toilets. Parent gets past the front door to moan about another lost lunch box and demanding to know who will be paying for said lunch box. Bell rings. Eight thirty starters trying to rush past in the hopes I won't notice they are late (mental note to see them at break). Coat on. Time to cut the crap, we have children to educate!
Welcome to our new blog...and the beginning of a journey! The 'Family Von Crap' are writing a book! So far we have a blank notebook, a lot of brightly coloured Sharpies (obviously!!) and a heap of exciting ideas!!
The book will be for teachers, written by teachers. Watch this space...