As usual, I've opened up the laptop with something important to do and have got distracted. I'm supposed to be writing my resignation letter but I've ended up here instead, it's been 9 months since I wrote anything but now it feels like I should, it's cathartic, it'll help me write my resignation.
I never set out to save the world, but I guess it was always in me. 10 ish years ago I started working at my eldest son's school as a learning support assistant. I hadn't intended on lauching a career in education, in fact I was far more interested in moaning about teachers, strikes, holidays blah blah, but I was asked to apply as I had been helping them out with exams so I did, pocket money that fitted around my kids, happy days. I never thought that I'd end up in the big heap of despair that greets my darling partner every day. There's been tremendous highs and some bitter lows, but today is the day I say goodbye to education.
The pupil referral unit I worked in broke me and although I was put back together, it was never the same. I expect you'll think it was all the kids fault, but it wasn't. Managers unable to manage in an environment that was already brittle is a dangerous combination, several members of the teaching staff were broken at that place, some continue to teach the reluctant, some don't. Such a waste of talent. If only the people at the top could see that kids that had failed in mainstream school were achieving, results were excellent, kids were attending and some were even re-integrated back into their old school, ready to try again.
I meandered into another school job, although desperately looking for a way out, applying for anything in the hope that something would come up, it didn't. The grammar school way was how I was educated but today it's a tight, robotic, frightening thing. Ok, so the school was outstanding but we weren't 'educating', the kids passed exam,s sheep like while the outstanding teachers sat alone in their classrooms sobbing.
It wasn't all doom and gloom, I loved working with the boys at my first school, the kids were witty, fun, honest and most of all willing to believe....they trusted me, that's a great feeling. Their often complicated lives shared with me, I'd provide a shoulder to cry on, I'd stick up for them, I'd be their voice and offer a listening ear, a mutual trust.
I miss that.
When it was good I could see the students opening up, understanding how to think for themselves, develop opinions. Laughter was the key, great banter before banter was a throw away hashtag.
I miss that, but it's gone.
It's all changed, everything. I no longer see the classroom as a place to enthuse, inspire, invigorate, it's a padded cell. I arrive at 8.30am and am locked in for the day, with small humans who are no longer able to learn with their minds, they are furnished with iPads, barely looking up from the screen that craves their attention, I am invisible, the battle is too great, my time is served.
So that's that then, I guess I better get on with my resignation letter and look to the future. I have another job to go to, no marking, no preparing lessons, no coursework, no parents evening, no education....its a job, you turn up, you do the job and you go home....bliss
Will I miss it? Yep, but not enough........