Yesterday, the first day of spring, with the irony that confirms the existence of a cruel god, was positively wintry with cold gusts of wind and spiteful spits of rain.
This adverse weather has continued into the second day of “spring” and has created a day which illustrates the pathetic fallacy as the grey, cold, rainy weather reflects the feeling of depression which fills the hearts of teachers as they see a large substitution list for a colleague who has gone home to Australia for domestic reasons and has not, of course, been replaced by a supply teacher; the looming need to fill in the meaningless marks out of ten for our pupils on some cranky computer system; the chaos which is going to accompany the new approach to a week of project based learning, and all of this further exacerbated by the lack of chocolate.
Even the relatively near end of term (eight working days away) fails to give the fillip that it should. We are all too bone-weary to get excited about something like that. And it’s a much shorter a holiday than its equivalent in the UK.
I am now stuck in front of a Y8 class who are revising for a science exam; at least I only have to do half the lesson as my colleague who shares this class will be coming to do her part and I can escape for a few brief minutes into the tranquillity of the staffroom, where I have to replenish the iconic Chocolate Box in my cupboard which has become such an institution in the school!
I am now sitting in front of a Y7 class and, apart from the inevitable questions about the paper (this is Spain after all) they are working in silence. But before you think that this is money for old rope, I actually have to mark what these small people are writing. Furthermore, it has to be done in double quick time because the marks need to be entered onto the school computer system. There there are two long, long, long meetings at the start of next week just to make sure that we fully appreciate the value of the holiday that will begin at the end of it!
The marking of the papers is going to be difficult as tomorrow marks the beginning of the project based learning programme and people are already getting het up about it as it is (they assume) going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Ah well, another shining example of the sort of planned chaos this school does so well.
Personally, I think that everything will go quite well and people will be pleased with the results that they get and the response from the pupils. Time will tell.
The strike is on the 29th of March and I am more determined than ever to take part in it. I have said this to a couple of my colleagues and I have also pointed out that I expect them NOT TO TAKE MY CLASSES. They smile, because they have as much experience of being in and belief in a real Trade Union as the present chubby little dictator of North Korea. And I smile too because it would be too harsh to tell them that what they are smiling at is an action beneath which there is no lower action in the mind of a Trade Unionist. I have minor fantasies of standing outside the school with a placard, forming a picket line of one and screaming “Scab!” at every teacher who crosses it. I won’t do it. Probably.
But I am feeling more militant at each passing day!