It's funny (and sad) to think that this time last year I had totally lost confidence in myself as a teacher due to lack of support over discipline in the school i was teaching in... i really thought i just couldn't do it any more, and as teaching had been such a big part of my life for over 20 years it hit me hard.
It's a coincidence that there have been the reports of the court case this week of the experienced and well liked science teacher who was made so ill by his job that he attacked one of the pupils. Although I was nowhere near as ill as this guy, and was able to return to work within 3 months successfully, I recognised some of the elements of the lesson where he' lost it'. The kids were organised in their disobedience and disruption, it was planned, and worse for him, they filmed it. I recall standing in front of classes of upper school kids last year for the first time ever in my teaching career, with a large group of kids totally refusing to do anything I asked them to, using foul language, telling me i was a "f****** crap teacher" to my face.
I knew I could do nothing about it, as the Head had told me the week before that I was 'too harsh' with my classes (something my unsupportive Head of Department had told her). I probably would have gone off sick after Christmas if it hadn't been for the help of a friend of mine who was an advisor, and my colleagues within the department, which helped me to hang on until March.
I haven't really spoken about the whole episode publically until now, to be honest i was worried i wouldn't be able to work in teaching again, as i would be relying on the Head for a reference... now i'm officially 'good' again that's not the case. So, where is this post going.... I think many parents would be totally shocked if they saw the way their children behaved in many of our Secondary schools, and yet others continue to back their children despite the most extreme evidence about appalling behaviour. We cannot continue to ignore the effect this minority of children is having on the education of the rest who want to learn, and on the health of a large section of the teaching profession.
Who else goes to work to be defied, abused and belittled on a daily basis?......... for some of us this has been our every day working experience.
Nuff of this heavy stuff... craft tomorrow.