I am still somehow getting covers that take me up to 5 lessons a day ( the maximum ) from 4 lessons when other people in my year group hardly ever get asked to do that and extremely hardly ever do the people in other years groups who have 2 or 3 lessons get asked. Its really fucking me off big time having to do all these extra lessons while other people get away with a far lighter workload. Unfortunately there is not a lot I can do about it, I have already spoken to management and nothing has really changed.
It seems that every year I am unlucky with the timetables. The first year I had 22 periods a week and was teaching the last period of every day so I never had the chance to get away early. Almost everyone else had a day or two that they could slope away early. One teacher only had about 14 periods – you know who you are you jammy sod. The second year was much the same although the number of periods each teacher had was much the same give or take a couple. The third year was the same and so it continues this year.
Another guy has a full morning off each week. His absence is very noticeable as he always in the staffroom on every other morning so presumably he is getting someone to swipe in for him – which by the way is damm near a sackable offence as far as I can tell for both parties or swiping in and going home.
Out of the 20 weeks teaching so far, off the top of my head, I have had 4 or 5 that I have done the regular hours. Every other week I have had one or two extra lessons to do. By now I reckon I have done 30+ extra lessons – all unpaid ( they sneakily put in the contract that we teach 22 hours, so they can nab you for an extra 2 each week and they don’t need to pay you ) whereas others have only done about 3 or 4. Why? Well, the extra lessons are forced on you, you have no option, you are just told you are doing them. In theory, who gets the cover lesson is logical and fair. Its worked on the number of lessons normally taught in a week - most people have 20 but others have 18 and 16 - then the number of lessons taught that day and whether you are in the same learning group.
Unfortunately it seems that this is mostly ignored so people who teach less hours than me get fewer cover lessons, when others teach the same hours I tend to get picked. I even got picked once because they couldn’t find the person who was supposed to do it, he had buggered off for a smoke and because I was in the staffroom I got nabbed. See me, see lucky white heather, pah!
The headie is always saying that he will not give anyone with four lessons an extra cover – yeh right, its happened to me 4 times now. But this has the effect of the guys who do 4 lessons every day get virtually no covers.
One reason our teaching group gets so many covers is I think Prathom 1, 2 and 3 teachers have a more stressful job and consequently get sicker more or get “sicker” more. That unfortunately means more covers for people within the group. I have no idea about the actual numbers but it feels like this is the % of which group needs and does the most covers.
P1-3 40 45
P4-6 30 30
M1- 3 20 15
M4-6 10 10
Any time the imbalance is mentioned ( and remember its not just me, a couple of others are in the same sort of boat ), a common response is “well, I am doing 4 or 5 lessons today, so whats the big deal?” The big deal is that they are including the after school lessons that they get paid extra for. Another is ‘well I did lots of extras last year” but this isn’t last year is it? This from a guy that has probably done 4 covers all year.
At the start of the year, we were told we could do this, do that in the sense of getting the kids to behave and the way to control the classes and collect the classes from outside the classroom etc. Well, that soon started going by the wayside. A few of the other teachers basically took the point of view of either it was too much work or thought it unecessary. At the end of lessons, they just let the kids run back to their class, went part of the way to their classroom and so on. One of the first things that went is timekeeping.
There is one guy that is late ( and by late I mean 5 minutes after the lesson is due to start I reckon about 50% of the time – partly because he overruns his lessons constantly and also because he cant stop his breaks on time. He is always appearing with bottles of water or cans of drink or even still eating. For a school that takes so much “effort” in being proper, I would have thought that would have been deemed proper. Last year, eating in the corridors was a big no no and eating while collecting a class was ust not thought about. Ah well, so be it. I soon realised that it was a fight that it wasn’t worth fighting as it was never brought up in meetings that it shouldn’t happen. So I just started doing the same – although in my view not quite going as far – turning up lateish sometimes, letting the kids run out back to the class and so on. On that subject, there is another teacher that is constantly complaining that his kids wreck his classroom and he is always having to tidy it. Yeh well no shit mate, he leads the kids out at the end of the period and hasn’t the patience to wait for the tail enders before he goes and collect the next class. No wonder they wreck the place, they are just left to their own devices.
Its all about the show. Don’t ask questions, don’t try to hard, don’t care, just look good and smile at the right people.
You try and break the mould, you try and install independent thinking in the kids, you ask questions, you care and some things are guaranteed. The kids wont like you and neither will a lot of colleagues or employers and or you will go crazy with the sheer frustration of it all.
Oh yes, if you are thinking, this isnt all that dark then you would be right. I re-read everything and decide to self censor a lot of it. Strange I know but I a few folk at work have found out who I am and so discretion and valour and all that.
And anyway, I am feeling a little less depressed than last week so that helps matters, especially since I have booked my school holidays and today is the start of the staffroom makework nonsense.
I will leave you with a couple of happy words. Jolene Blalock. Grrrrrrrrr! :)