10 Aug 2009

The Life of a Teacher

I wake up at 6 (ish) in the morning. I get washed and drink coffee in a bid to wake myself up enough to be able to drive. I count on a 50/50 success rate.

I get to school for between 7.15 and 7.30. I work until 8.30 when I have a meeting. After that I will teach for up to five hours solid. My lunch and break times are often taken up with dealing with pupils.

During that time I may have to break up fights, deal with late work, deal with parental issues, liaise with other members of staff, fill out paper work, mark work, plan, resource, coordinate my area of responsibility and take care of any pastoral issues that have arisen. Oh, and teach. The actual teaching bit is exhausting. You can't expect 30 kids to engage with Shakespeare if you sit at your desk and read it to them. So it's all about jumping around, doing voices, acting out scenes, being enthusiastic (because enthusiasm is infectious). Sounds like a laugh. And it is. One great exhausting laugh.

I then 'finish' with the pupils at 3.15. At this point I will sit at my desk and work until 6 pm. I then drive home and will work until 8 or 9 pm.

I do this Monday - Friday.

At the weekend I will generally do 3 or 4 hours work.

So the next person that says that teaching is a doss is likely to get fucked up.

Actually, I have a better idea.

Any half-witted cretin that decides that all teachers are somehow having an easy ride should be plucked from whatever job they currently do, given a fifteen minute 'orientation' talk and put in the classroom with a full teaching timetable.

Imagine the scenario as Dave Watkins, a corpulent and hirsute middle-manager from a consultancy firm is dropped in front of bottom set Year 10. See the terror sweep across his face as thirty pairs of teenage eyes glare hungrily at the fresh meat placed in their view. There will be that moment of silence where they gauge this 'new teacher'.

'OK guys' Dave says with the wobble of fear straining his now squeaky - almost pig like - voice. The pupils smile to each other as they note the scent of abject horror flowing unhindered from Dave's rotund body.

55 minutes later...

Dave crawls from the classroom in tears. He's covered in post-it notes all with profanities written on them. His shoelaces have been tied together. His tie has been covered in Lynx and set alight. He has a Pritt Stick inserted into his rectum. Someone has scrawled 'twat' into his forehead with a compass. Bizarrely, he is now wearing mascara and lipstick. An interactive board pen and sellotape have been used to make a rudimentary ball gag. There is a collection of Polaroid photos pinned to the lapel of his blazer showing him being spanked by a metre rule. It looks like the kids have been charging each other to 'Pwn the Prof'. The jokers.

Now imagine that Dave has been asked to do this four more times today and then work late into the night to get ready for the same again tomorrow.

Not such a doss now is it Davey my lad?

You see, I love my job (not too many can say that) but it is hard, hard work. The sooner people realise that teachers do an incredible job for essentially bugger all pay the sooner society will show them the respect they deserve.

Until that happy day teaching will be looked down on as a profession. Shame really because I really rather like it.


  1. hahahhaa nice post i wud love to hear some Pwn the professor jokes:D
    iwas a big time online pwner at one time on orkut.. but really if ur looking for a satisfying job i guess teaching is where its at.. by the way ur english.. so which club do u support??

    keeping my fingers crossed( red devils mebbe)?

  2. Hahahaha, this is amazing. I'm going to refer to this post every time someone makes those ridiculous "Oh, you get summers off!" comments. Grrr.

  3. Cheers Courtney, glad you enjoyed it. Hope the training is going well.

  4. I think dear, probably far too many jobs get treated like they are nothing. But teaching definitely falls on the top of that list.

    I don't know what kind of school years they have in england... but I think that may be all people see here. Its practically a 'half-day' and then a half-year too. They don't see how much love and dedication goes into working with children staying kind, sane, and getting the lesson across to their deaf ears.

    And even more parents think they don't need to do a damn thing if the child has daycare all day long, they are covered. Bravo to you and every teacher out there. You are so very important to our world and how it will evolve in years to come.

    So, not that I have kids, but thank you for all that you do. And for your fabulous shows of enthusiasm despite the exhaustion.

  5. Duke: As a teacher in the USA, I am struck by the fact that teachers are treated the same in the UK as they are here. I'm not sure if I'm appalled or comforted by that fact.

    Confessionsofmyconfusion: you hit the nail on the head when you talked about parents who think that they don't need to do a damn thing because their child is in "daycare"... I am a middle school teacher and I get that treatment from parents who don't take school seriously and liken it to a day care for preteens.

    Duke, I hope you check out my blog at confessionsofacocktailnapkin.blogspot.com