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The Saga continues....
red hair
So, work has been interesting over the past couple of weeks. Under the cut ar some of the incidents that are assuring me that, no matter how awesome West Side Story is (I'm actually considering re-training to do drama with older kids at some point) my school is not somewhere I wish to stay long-term.

Where: KS2 staff meeting
What: Show of general apathy and lack of knowledge of staff and practice

Two weeks ago we had a meeting on maths planning. When the Head of Primary said "Last year, there wasn't much differentiation going on, but a lot of whole class teaching" and I glared at him in a semi-joking way, instead of saying something like "though we know it happened in places" he said "don't get me wrong, there was some great whole class teaching!"

This was compounded by a speech on how "great" teachers would take the Abacus maths plans (the scheme of work the school has bought, a bit like Ginn but we teach and chn do specified exercises, they don't just start at page 1 like I did at school!) and change the order, substitute lessons they had used before and the like. But of course we don't have time for that at our school. I was livid. What he described was not only what I do habitually (I know, I know thus making me a "great teacher") but it is basic good practice. Bearing in mind a lot of schools don't buy schemes of work and so have to come up with their activities/exercises themselves. 

So this rolled around in my head and added to what became quite a public outpouring of emotion last Thursday.

I went to see him on Sunday to discuss how I felt and the simple thing (ask for a sharing of experience) that he could have done to avoid it. I got a pretty comprehensive apology and this week I do feel a lot better.

HOWEVER, not one to just move on, the Primary Head made a show of complimenting me not once not twice, but thrice in this weeks meeting (and not particularly on my practice, but once on the fact I looked up when he started speaking...he does like to patronise...) and now checks that I'm OK in possibly the least sincere way possible in the halls *sigh*

Where: Primary briefing
What: A sickening lack of empathy, respect or consistancy

Many of you know Felix was bumped down to a TA position (and salary) a third of the way through last year. The excuse was that he was unqualified for supply in Primary (true) and that for our accreditation we were not allowed to have unqualified teachers in teaching positions. However, they knew this when they hired him and gave him no support in the classroom.

This year, one qualified supply teacher and one unqualified were hired. This time the unqualified teacher is a qualified Uni lecturer. This was bad enough. 

Last week, the fiance of a member of staff came in and did some volunteer work, TA'ing in Y5 and 6. He is a very good TA. He put a lot of time and effort into making our fund-raising thermometer this week.

Yesterday morning he was announced as joining the pay-roll as....(you guessed it) a supply teacher. We have already had enough people leave this year that the qualified teacher is on long-term cover until they can find a replacement. Now I have nothing personally against the guy joining the payroll, but he has no teaching experience at all. And managment just announce this like it's nothing. 

I had tears in my eyes I was so angry, and I'm not the only one. 

Where: Year 5 classroom/Security office
What: Gross negligence

BUT both these pale in comparison to the fact we do not have a working, automatic fire alarm system. 

After National Anthem yesterday, my class and I arrived to find the room opposite full of smoke. The fire, something electrical which had caused blackening of the wall and bits to fall out beneath the air-con unit, was out but no alarm had gone off. Luckily, the teacher who had found it has fire fighting experience and was barely even phased!

Now that you mention it, I don't think there is a single "break in case of emergency" box in the building.

What had happened was the smoke had set off a sensor and a light was flashing in the security office. There was no one there to see the light and therefore no one to take action. 

You know that episode of The West Wing criteria where the anti-nuke missile gets 99% of the criteria right, but still misses? Mr Ahmed Kamal was like Leo. The rest of us were like the President. 

Welcome in Egypt!

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Wat. I do not envy you.


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