Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Working Mum definitely on the verge!

At the moment my department is being internally reviewed. This means that the powers that be are checking that we are all doing what we are supposed to be doing, or, that the powers that be have to be seen to be checking that we are all doing what we are supposed to be doing. I'm not sure which. Either way it has been very stressful for the last 10 days and we are only half way through!

Yesterday it was my turn to be grilled by two managers. Oh, my lessons were great, my ICT skills were the best in the department (must be all that blogging!), I'm the most qualified teacher in my department (BSc, PGCE, PGCert, PGDip, MSc - more letters after my name than I know what to do with!) and my room is beautifully decorated with children's work and an inspiring place to learn. So far so good.

Then came the "professional development", otherwise known as "what are you doing with your life, woman?!". Where are you aiming? What promotion are you going for? Where do you want to be in five years time?

I murmered something about having bronchitis for four months and just wanting to be well again. Something about having a four year old daughter that needed me. Something about only just having enough time in the evenings to mark pupils' work and then sleep (didn't mention the hours spent blogging!). But they continued. As soon as one stopped to draw breath, the other started........ "You need to be seen to be on some committees" "You need to take on a project and manage it yourself from beginning to end" "You need to develop something within the department", "You don't want to reach a plateau", blah, blah, blah............

They meant well. They said they don't want me to find in five or ten years' time that I am no longer happy in the job, but haven't the necessary experience to move on. They don't want me to become one of those teachers trapped in a job I hate and just waiting for retirement. I know that they are right, but I wasn't in the right frame of mind to think about it. Especially as I am going back to hospital again today for lung function tests to see if they can sort out my breathing difficulties.

What I should have said was, "Actually, I'm quite happy here on my plateau admiring the view, for now. I'll think about it."

Instead I fought back the tears and made some excuse about having to go to pick up daughter.

I came home and cracked open the Chenin Blanc.

"You never used to drink during the week" said husband.

My reply?

"I'm a working mum on the verge"!

13 comments:

rosiero said...

Don't you just love those people. They mean well, bless 'em, but they don't live in the real world. Am worried about those breathing probs, though. Hope you get some satisfaction from the hospital soon.

Maggie May said...

Aw....... That was a dreadful way to finish an otherwise brilliant review.
Why do people have to put others down so easily!
They could have said that you'd done wonders keeping going after a long illness.
They could have said that you are a dedicated person.
They could have said lots of things to make you feel better.
Why didn't they? I had the way the World is going these days.

gigi said...

That is just to much stress right now with all you have been through with your health. I'd get that straightend out before you let them push you into anymore projects. Good luck at hospital today. Get better.

family affairs said...

The verge is a great place to sit with a glass of cold wine and admire the view. "Keep calm and carry on" - that's my message of the day! Lx

Expat mum said...

As an ex HR person, I wish more employers (and local government types) would realise that some people are quite happy on the plateau. Not everyone wants to conquer the world; some want to stop and smell the roses, have a life outside of the job etc. Just look around for the easiest committee (if such a thing exists) to pacify them.

auntiegwen said...

It's sad that it's not enough just to be a great teacher anymore.

I bet parents would so much rather have a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher than one overwhelmed by committee and project duties

A Woman Of No Importance said...

And those 'experts' just don't understand that there are times in our lives when we just want to tread water for a while, wait while our children go through a challenging phase, deal with a family crisis, or just be content with our lot...

Hang on to all the wonderful positives and store away what they've said, perhaps for the future, when you feel fully up to it.

May all go well at the hosp for you x

Suburbia said...

People can be so thoughtless can't they? Perhaps they don't have a fulfilling life themselves outside of work!

Hullaballoo said...

Sorry, but what a bunch of total fannies! Poor you, fighting back the tears is such an awful way to feel. I hope the Chenin Blanc has softened the hard edges.

cheshire wife said...

Hope that now the weather is improving that the bronchitis will clear up. Are they going to sack a good teacher? No. I don't understand why we have to be constantly moving on and changing things. Some of us are happy with things as they are!

rosiescribble said...

They mean well but they can't create an extra day in your week! In my experience, join the committees so you can tick the correct boxes but make sure you don't actually take on any additional work in reality, that way everyone is happy!

Mummy Cow said...

I agree with Auntie Gwen - I'm a senior manager at school and I always tell my staff that it is what you are and do out of school which makes you the teacher you are - and that is more important than anything. You have plenty of time to exhaust yourself with 'projects' and committees in the future - you're not old!!!

scrappysue said...

i would leapt across the table and ripped out their throats!!!

they should be happy to have you there...