Thursday, 8 January 2009

What happened to working mum?

My 'have it all' resolution is suffering already. Especially on the work front. I went back to school this week to find that all duties have been changed without warning. I'm now doing a different duty at a different time and have had to adjust my other lunchtime commitments accordingly. (Lunchtimes are never lunchtimes, they are two extra time slots for meetings, extra-curricular activities, duties, extra tuition for pupils, etc).

However, duties are not the only thing to change this year.

The government have, of course, introduced new syllabuses this year, (I don't think I've had one year in 16 years of teaching without a new GCSE or A level syllabus to contend with). Senior management have introduced new processes and systems. IT gave us Office 2007 (with no training). And I've got a new Head of Department this year who has brought in new initiatives which require a lot of work, but will pay dividends in the long run. And, to add to the mayhem, our department is being internally inspected this term!

All necessary and useful stuff (with the exception of new syllabuses), so "what is the problem?" you ask.

Well, to put my problem in context you need to know a little bit more about me: I have always been a very organised person bordering on perfectionist (well, I am a Virgo), my school reports always said "conscientious" and I've worn the label as a badge of honour in my working life. I am the person who knows what has to be done when and does everything on time and to the best of my ability. I am that person with the tidy desk, who knows where everything is when you ask her. (I know you are starting to hate me, but I can't help it, it's just the way I'm made.)

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

See, this is me being conscientious in the school library.

However, even I am struggling to manage everything that is being thrown at me this year. I'm not averse to change. I am willing to learn and always happy to make changes that advance the education of my pupils, but I can only cope with so much at once.

And now, to the crux of the matter:

Recently I have realised that I have started to adopt the "if I've missed something, someone will tell me" approach to work.

And that just isn't me!!

What happened?

Where I have gone?


The Dotterel said...

Oh, how it makes me shudder! This time last year I was pulled out of a lesson for a meeting with the (new) headteacher to be told (yes, so much for negotiation) my job description was being changed completely. I think I knew then that the end was in sight! I'm a virgo too, but by the end I was personally meeting every deadline (i.e. getting things done) but deliberately not submitting them to whoever had requested them. You'd be amazed how many people didn't notice.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

you ARE in there assured cos l'm sure l'm in here somewhere...over the rainbow perhaps?
office 2007 is quite different to the old one..and the layout is the main thing taht has changed and if youve havent had any training doh!!

breathe slowly and deeply an dif that fails swear!!!

feel for you!!

Rachel Pattisson said...

Aarghh! I know just what you mean! There is only so much a teacher can fit into the week and your time was already more than full up before, right?
Much sympathy. Do what you do and fake the rest, as someone once said.

Suburbia said...

That is a lot to contend with all at once. Try not to be so hard on yourself!

Mummy Cow said...

Is it any comfort to know you're not alone? Sometimes it's hard to remember why we love our job - because of the kids. The kids - who are out there somewhere, under the pile of marking, reports, admin and bureaucracy. Don't lose heart - you're under there somewhere too!
PS - we've got an internal review this term too... HELP!!

gigi said...

Maybe it's the medicines you have been on for the yuck. What else could it be?? Could it be that you are expecting a little sister or brother for Lizzy??? Are you trying to tell us something?

Maggie May said...

Sorry to hear you are being so messed about.
Things are not always easy for *perfectionist* types of people. perhaps everyone has their limitations and you sound as though you are going into overload! Take care.
Hope it all goes well.

auntiegwen said...

Our school wants our teaching to be more creative in our teaching !

God help me, if we weren't so exam driven/new initiatived/drowned in paperwork of course we'd be more creative, we'd have the bloomin time to be !

Don't worry, you're a Virgo, you'll find yourself again x

Polly said...

You will be back. One too many people telling you, you missed something will jolt that one out of you, I should know - I think we may have a few similarities!!

Claire Sutton said...

I think that we're (by that I mean our age group) finally realising that "having it all" isn't all it's cracked up to be and maybe we don't have to do everything perfectly all the time.

Maybe it's called being mature!!!

scrappysue said...

it's a total bummer when people keep moving the proverbial goalposts!

Working mum said...

Dotterel - your doing everything but not submitting it made me laugh! It appeals to the virgo in me, our own brand of rebellion!

FFF - you said 'breathe deeply' bit difficult with bronchitis!! But again, it made me laugh

Rachel - I need to learn the art of faking

Suburbia - wise advice, I must remember, it's not me!

Mummy Cow - Yes, the kids. Must remember the kids.

Gigi - sorry to disappoint you, but it is just this job!

Maggie - I need to let go of my perfectionist attitude, I need to find a 'good enough' attitude, don't I?

AG - I so identify with what you are saying, I would love to be more creative and research, design and deliver dynamic lessons, but that takes soooooo much time. Need to do the urgent admin stuff first, so the creative stuff never happens.

Polly - I'm wondering if people will bother to tell me I've missed things, I think everyone is as confused as me!

Claire - that is the conclusion I am reaching.

Scrappy Sue - moving the goal posts? Not sure anyone knows where they are to move now!

Anonymous said...

I revere teachers, because all it takes is one good teacher to change a childs life. I don't revere the pen and paper pushers who think up new schemes to justify their inflated salaries. Of course every work-place needs adminstrators, what we don't need is to change what aint broke.

Lakeland Jo said...

I wish I could be like you describe- I am so absent minded these days folk have to ask several times for everything

Anonymous said...

Doing the 'going past the deadline thing' really does work. Be prepared to feel tense and anxious but that will pass and you will feel proper great when you smugly hand the atuff back in time that reflects your burden not one that reflects your willingness to put yourself out. Good luck with all the changes - I say to myself - this will pass - and then shout or mutter at something or someone who isn't to blame.

cheshire wife said...

You are human. There is a limit to what you can do!