Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Back to work after the long weekend ...

The past weekend should have been restful ... but it wasn't. I seemed to spend quite a lot of my time visiting my father and father-in-law, and this required me to drive along some of the UK's most crowded roads when the traffic levels that they were carrying were at their greatest! When I wasn't doing that, I was doing some of the household chores that have been piling up recently. As a result, I was tired before I even began work today ... and today, like every other Tuesday, began with the weekly Staff Briefing.

As you can probably guess, any meeting that starts at 8.20am (when normal starting time is 8.45am) is not going to be well attended, and today's was no exception. So to call it a Staff Briefing is a bit of a misnomer when a large number of the staff are not there. In addition, it is never Brief, which is another reason why I would argue that it is misnamed.

Of particular interest today was the section of the Briefing that related to the future of the school. It appears that the level of the school’s debt has risen … again … and that redundancies cannot be avoided. I know that my contract is not going to be renewed and that natural wastage will reduce the staff numbers as well … but it appears that this will still not be enough to bring the overall costs down to a level where the debt will not increase. In addition, the target number of students we need to recruit in order to be financially viable is over seven hundred … but achieving such a high recruitment level is going to be very difficult.

So I started my day tired, and disheartened … and things did not get much better as the day progressed. I am currently sitting in my office waiting for some students to arrive so that I can put on an additional, unpaid lesson to help them catch up. They should have been here thirty minutes ago … but so far only one has arrived. At the end of the year it will be my fault that they failed, not theirs because they could not be bothered to make the required effort.

It is only ten more weeks before I am out of a job … and probably out of teaching for good. There was a time when I would have hated that prospect; now, it cannot seem to come too soon!

10 comments:

  1. When I retired in 2009 bob, I thought I'd miss it terribly. To be honest there are still parts that I do. BUT, and it's a big one; the utter nonsense put on a teacher by the 'good intentions" of the administration made my leaving that lunacy behind, very enjoyable.
    today, I can paint and plan my hobby and everyday is a Saturday afternoon!
    i'm looking forward to your eventual release :-)

    Don

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  2. I trust your week gets better...
    Staff meetings are the bane of my life too. A feel of Stalin adressing his generals at times I feel !
    Alan

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  3. Keep at it Bob, the end is in sight!
    Mike

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  4. Bob, If they called it a "Staff Longing" wouldn't that would be even more misleading than "Staff Briefing"?

    -Ross Mac

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  5. Tradgardmastare,

    The Stalin analogy is a good one; he set impossible 'norms' for people to achieve, and then got shot of them if they did not achieve them.

    Just like a lot of school 'leadership teams'!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. Mike,

    I can just about see it ... if I stand on this step laddder and use my telescope! (Only kidding; its a lot closer than that!)

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Ross Mac,

    Not really as most of the staff are 'longing' not to be there!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  8. Brigadier Dundas,

    Thanks for your kind and very helpful words.

    What you have written about the way management deal with their frontline staff is very true, and that is one thing that I will not miss.

    As to painting and planning ... I cannot wait to do more than I do at the moment, which is a lot less than I would like to!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. As someone in the same profession I would say "fail them, and be damned" :-) it's probably the best lesson they can learn.

    10 more weeks to endless gaming time.

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  10. Anthony,

    Whilst I agree that failing is a great way to learn a lesson in life, my current 'bosses' do not see it as an option.

    As it was, most of the ‘missing’ students had actually stayed behind for the lesson, but had gone to the wrong room, not found me there, and gone to the Learning Resource Centre (the library ... which also has lots of computers) to work there instead.

    We met as we were all leaving at 6.00pm ... so I was probably wrong to complain about their lack of commitment.

    All the best,

    Bob

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