Friday, 29 June 2012

Arse and Elbow

There's nothing like a couple of staff development days to put the cat amongst the pigeons.

(I apologise in advance for all the cliches that are going to make an appearance, only I am very tired, very stressed and very glad it's Friday because if it was a Thursday, there is no way I'd be going to work tomorrow, and thusly I am incapable of original writerly thoughts.)

Anyway, we've had two SDDs on the trot (2) and personally I'd rather have done ten rounds with Mike Tyson (3) rather than go through that rigamorole again (4). We've had the Maths Department throwing their weight around (5) because they think they are the most important department and want the entire timetable to revolve around them (6) and, to heck with it, be the centre of the academy universe (7).

The new government teaching standards and performance related pay documents have been published and let me tell you, it's going to be a dog-eat-dog (8) world out there in a year's time, not to mention every man and woman for themselves (9).

There are several middle managers trying to organise too many events for the last three weeks of term and thinking there are more staff available to manage these events which there would be if they were happening one at a time, but they aren't and I'm blowed (10) if I am spending time cloning myself this weekend in order that I can spread myself thinly next week (11).

And to cap it all (12) I am suddenly told that I shall be teaching English, History, Geography and RE to one class of newbie Year 7s for 8 hours a week! If I had wanted to work intensively with a single group of students I'd have trained as a primary teacher.

Now, I don't object too much to the History bit, because I like History as a subject and did a fair dollop of it in my degree, but Geography? Do they not realise that everytime I emerge from a building I turn left? And so will always end up going around in circles? (13) That I have no sense of direction? (14) That in matters of the map and navigation I have no real idea of what is going on and would make a lousy homing pigeon? Good grief! This'll be a laugh!(And cliche number 15.)

And also, we had a visit from a Fire Inspector Officer Type today who informed us that all the student work and posters we've put up in the English block corridors will have to come down because they constitute a fire risk!?

And that we have to keep our doors closed because they are fire doors?

'But,' I said, 'Senior Management want an open door policy.'
'Well, ' said the Bursar, who was accompanying the Fire Inspector Office Type,' 'elf and safety come first. Doors closed.'
'Arse from elbow,' I thought. (16)

Besides, I am on the top floor of the block. If I close the door, how am I going to get out and down the fire escape? So I have formulated an escape plan of my own. I shall open all the windows, chuck out a few children and then leap after them and they will form a safety cushion which will break my fall.

So I went out into the corridor and began to take down the posters and student work displays. I had to climb on a chair to reach the ones that were near the ceiling.

'Am I breaking 'elf and safety rules by being up on this chair?' I said to a passing colleague, adn doing a dramatic wobble for effect.
'Probably,' said she.
'Good, 'said I.

And carried on regardless.(17)

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