Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

What Keeps Me Awake at Night - Ceasing to Care Is the Only Way to Survive: Opinion

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

What Keeps Me Awake at Night - Ceasing to Care Is the Only Way to Survive: Opinion

Article excerpt

I'm failing. Six weeks ago, I took up my second post (in my second challenging inner-city school) and every day has been a battle.

Behaviour is so rough that some students have made no progress in anything other than paper-plane construction. The ensuing phone calls home eat into my evening to the extent that my planning has become rushed and repetitive. I am in my teaching nightmare and, realistically, I'm stuck here until the end of the year, unless I want to recount the awful experience in all future job interviews.

I am trying to make things better. In between going to cry in the disabled toilet, I am seeking advice. Aside from the stock suggestions of calling for department support (already doing it) and simply walking out (dreaming of it), two peers have independently offered a more unusual approach: just stop caring.

After four years of offering my heart and soul to this profession, I have taken this advice, and I love it.

To be clear, this is not the same as "stop working". I will, of course, plan and teach lessons, mark books, set homework, track progress and attend meetings, along with everything else that makes up my 60-hour week. …

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