Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Going Potty

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Going Potty

Article excerpt

American comedian Chris Rock does a bit about how you know you really hate your job when you will happily spend time locked in the toilet as a ploy to waste a few minutes, rather than doing the work that you are being paid to do.

We all have hours, days and occasionally weeks where the job seems like too much hard work for too little return.

It was my last session of the day and there had been a behavioural incident. Nothing remotely traumatic, but I was irritated and it left me exhausted.

I returned to the staffroom and slapped my files down on the desk. "Good class, was it?" asked my cheery office neighbour. "Well, no one learned anything and we're all a bit cross, so not one of my best," I snapped.

It had been an overwhelmingly busy working week where I'd traipsed all over the country in the name of further education. This day of teaching was supposed to be my port in the storm: instead it was just another tempest.

As I drove home, I dwelled on how happy I would be if I were to jack it all in and have a life like the mothers of some of my son's friends. They don't go out to work, they attend school concerts in the afternoon and casually call their children's teachers by their first names (I can barely remember their surnames).

I thought back to when my son was little and I stayed at home for a few years. I adored being with my boy but I didn't exactly take to life as a stay-at-home mum like a duck to water - more like a plugged-in hairdryer to water. All things considered, a return to housewifery was probably not a sensible option. …

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