Thursday, May 11, 2006

My naïvety

At work: we are going through a review. Essentially, a team of people come to critique us. Getting a good review is essential, as we are a "good" school and a poor review would look very bad. Management (the headteacher and depute headteachers) is shitting themselves and that's all they can talk about.

Yesterday, we got the schedule for observations. Just do what you normally do, we were told. Then why are our schedules so fucked up -- people having to teach literacy in their maths period and visa versa? People having to teach a science lesson when they aren't even doing any science? We'll be spending the rest of the week coaching the children -- "Remember on Wednesday, we're pretending that we are very happy people and that we have inquiry-based, child-centred, hands-on lessons every day!"

I, however, wasn't at all on the scheduled to be observed. I don't know how they got away with the resource teacher not being observed, but what do I know? Talking with a colleague, I made a remark about the omission. "You know why you aren't getting observed?" she asked. No time in the schedule? I ventured. "You're a rogue element. They don't know if you'll 'say the right thing.' You haven't been trained yet."

We chuckled, but her comment got me thinking. And got me steamed. Here I am thinking that I'm actually making a contribution to this school, to these pupils, but my bosses don't seem to think so. I have to be trained in what to say to observers? Good practice is good practice anywhere, transcending cultures.

I interviewed for this job with the idea that I didn't want it, so I didn't have to particularly impress. Meaning I didn't have to try and figure out what they wanted me to say, from their body language or what they said to me, because I didn't even want the job. But I took it because I was impressed with the headteacher. He seemed like he read my CV (he quoted it back to me on many occasions in the interview!). It seemed like he dug what I was saying about my teaching style and even implied that is how the school was too! What a fool I was. If I was willing to say what people wanted to hear to be hired, why can't it work the other way around? Looking back, I have to assume that I was probably the best of a bad lot and that's what got me hired.

But substantiation of unworldliness continues. Within the same conversation with my colleague about the review, she revealled a secret. It was somewhat relevant to the discussion, but not really; I could see she was getting a bit of joy in sharing this with someone finally. Yes, it was that kind of secret -- two of our colleagues are having an affair. I know this sounds mad, but the devastation I feel is only short of finding out it was my own husband. I held one of the two in such high esteem (I barely know the other), almost like kindred spirits in a way and now, this.

Is this what adults do? Cos if so, I don't want to be an adult. I'd like to be like my dear Trondell, completely clueless and simple about things. But unfortunately, this happens and I have to know. There's a serious culture of nepotism and it's not even considered inappropriate. I have to know these kinds of things so I know who to keep on my good side, else I get the shitty assignments and the constant cold shoulder. At least I'm not totally naive.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Amah said...

I say wait until you actually know personally that the two are having an affair. People have been know to pass "news" when they haven't substantiated the truth. Once the word is spoken, if an untruth, it can have devastating consequences. Only the one with no sin can cast the first stone. I know I couldn't cast it.

Sorry they didn't think you should be observed and that they had to mess up the schedule to impress the observers. Yah wonder what else they are doing because of the observations.

Being naive is not a detriment, but sometimes God's blessing.

Friday, 12 May 2006 at 22:59:00 BST  
Anonymous a.t.w. said...

Rogue element, huh? I think that rather sounds like a good band name. Shall have to remember that. Hadashi and I had a long rant the other day about how absolutely underappreciated good teachers are. In the end, you know you're doing it for your kids, but I simply can't understand why yall don't get more respect. In the end, I think it's good that they didn't 'observe' you as you don't have to play some ridiculous part that you wouldn't feel right about anyway. Still.

And I think it's a lovely thing that you still have the heart and humanity to be devestated by other people's unfaithfulness... it's when we're totally jaded that we should worry about what sort of alien we've become.

Tuesday, 16 May 2006 at 07:18:00 BST  

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