From the forums - Mad workload, bad heads and a few home truths

29th October 2010 at 01:00
Days of drudgery, no thanks from the boss and dwelling on how your living space says it all

Schools in England may be getting more funding, but teachers on the TES forums are still worried about cuts. Prove yourself indispensable by working longer and harder, comes the invaluable advice from certain quarters.

theguru already is - 12 hours a day to be precise. He just about finds the energy to ask, "Is this normal?" "Perfectly normal," comes the disappointing reply.

allenwater works from 7am to 6pm at school, then from 7pm until 11pm at home during the week - and most of Saturdays. "I didn't become a teacher in order to stop at 3.30pm!" she chirps.

Fellow forum users say allenwater must either be very new or very mad - maybe both. "That is an insane amount of work," says gemmiepie26. NewStrings goes further: "You have ceased to exist!" she cries.

"You can't have any self-respect to let them (the SMT) walk all over you like that." Yet it would seem allenwater quite likes being walked over. "All the work I do informs my teaching," she says primly, before returning to her lesson plans.

At least allenwater may get some degree of thanks for all her hard work. That is more than Marena21 has had from her head. For the past four years she has never had any positive feedback outside lesson observations.

"For heaven's sake, get out," says crezzl, a more understanding head. He spends his whole time thanking and apologising to staff, he assures us - and still finds time to address staff "by name" and "get to know them as people".

If only all school leaders had such people skills, says meonia. Even if heads start off "normal", most end up as either "mad or bad" in her experience.

If you really want to know what your colleagues or boss are like, take a peek at their home, says Celticqueen. She is fascinated by what your house says about you.

In her case - she has an English-style cottage in Germany - it perhaps says "deeply homesick". But what does it mean for Pinkflipflop, who has landed "a shit-heap on the outskirts of London"? She would like her home to be "urban, edgy and contemporary", but in reality people would be forgiven for thinking they had walked into an Ikea showroom.

Still, this is a better outcome than for her friend, whose house was burgled. The police gently reported that the bedroom, in particular, "had been completely turned over". Needless to say, the bedroom was the one room the burglars had not touched.

That would not happen to BelleDuJour, who lives in a converted barn, including converted coach house and stables. Her son's small friend thought it was three different houses, she chuckles: "When he found out it was just one his face was a picture!"

One imagines fellow forum users - beset by debt and fears of redundancy - were laughing less heartily in response to that one.

That includes tod sal, who admits his house "represents me fine" - "messy, disorganised and mismatched, with a slight hint here and there of how I would like my houselife to be".

One day he vows to get them both sorted. But not today ...

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