Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hilary Term Review

Desk cleared, cookery room sorted, pupils despatched off home....the Easter holidays are here.  The Hilary Term (term after Christmas as it is called at Trinity College) is always the most demanding.   Mock State Exams and preparing 3rd year students for their practical cookery and craft exam usually has me in a heightened state of stress.  I have high ambitions for my pupils but increasingly, they resist the work required.   It is madness that I find myself in a position where they think they are doing ME a favour if they follow some instuction that boosts their marks at the test.  However, I do find it difficult to stand back and watch them make terrible decisions i.e. not to do their work.  I teach at a school where most students clock out at 3:30pm and do not think about school until assembly the next morning.  Homework is largely not done; notes that you carefully copy for them are casually lost.  I like teaching.  I always enjoyed my pupils but I have learned that this is conditional.  Conditional on them having some interest in interacting with my subject.

I have been asking myself how I could manage if I decided to take a break from teaching.  My life would be quite full even without a full-time job.  I know that family life would benefit enormously from me being at home for a while.    I actually want to be at home myself.  No1 will not go to the childminder as he wants to play with his friends after school. Fair enough.  No2 thinks now that he is too big for the childminder and increasingly is whinging about why I have to go to work.  No3 is still small enough to be quite happy in her routine.  So 2 out of 3 are unhappy about me in the workplace.  My husband is away so much that I have no time to myself so being at home would give me the mornings to exercise, to do some home crafts, meet friends.  Live a little.  My students think that I am cranky and over-zealous despite the many hours that I put into school work.

What keeps me in the work-place is money.  There would be absolutely no spare cash and we would struggle fairly severely if we were living on just one income.  Is this a good enough reason?  Quality of live versus quantity of income....and I am afraid to take that leap.....