We have an internal mail system in my school which I assiduously avoid. There will be nothing in the messages, I keep telling myself, that are going to make my life easier. On the contrary the only missive I have there entail extra work. I avoid going into my mail like the bloody plague. Anyone who cares knows my “proper” mail address and will write to me there.
I was tricked into writing an internal mail communication and I then happened to see the mail that was waiting for me. Even more stupidly I opened one of the messages. And, inexplicably, I opened the attached file.
To my utter horror and woeful disbelief I discovered that the unreal management of our institution has scheduled FIVE HOURS OF MEETINGS AFTER SCHOOL ON MONDAY AND TUESDAY.
There is no reason for my broken astonishment. It is not as if the institution has not done this sort of thing before.
We have had a new computer “platform” on which we have to enter all our term marks. We also have to write a comment for each child on the computer. We also have to write a class comment which has to be sent to the class teacher. All of this is extra work, giving extra information to the people who will ignore it all. And we have a longer meeting to say the same things that we have already written to people who are not listening.
So after a full day’s teaching of five or six periods we are then allowed a fifteen-minute break and then subjected to two and a half hours of a meeting. And then the same thing the next night. Unbelievable. And all in a foreign language.
I wouldn’t mind if these meetings were in any way useful, but they are merely talking shops for people who like to hear the sound of their own voices and any attempt to make a decision about the pupils who need a new approach to deal with their problems is brushed away. By late on Tuesday evening I will be spitting blood, if I can get that liquid past gritted teeth and a clenched jaw.
The system that we are having use is unhelpful and slow and crashes when too many people try and access it. It was a trying time using the system this morning surrounded by frustrated teachers breathing fiery threats of immanent destruction towards the inoffensive machines they were punching information into!
I have mostly completed the reporting that I have to do and hope that I can complete what I have to do in the free period I have tomorrow. If not. Not.
This week has been horrendous with people we cannot afford to be without being absent due to an increase in the amount of flu that has stricken our school. Who knows who might be absent tomorrow! And we don’t begrudge doing extra in our overcrowded week because it puts in the right frame of mind for the five hours of meetings that are going to make our lives just that little bit more complete next week.
I am getting all the bile out of my system so that I can adopt an unnatural serenity in the days to come.