Monthly Archives: September 2013

Done.

Application for the local job done and emailed, next up is the online portfolio and the US sites.
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Semi-Applying Myself

This evening I started the process of setting up an online portfolio of work I do with the kids at school, in the hope that alongside my actual portfolio it will boost any applications I might make over the next wee while; I am signing up for a few US teaching placement companies in the (slim) hope that someone at an independent school takes a shine to what I do. And wishes to sponsor me for a visa.

Yes, haha and all that.

Even if it lends itself to naught, it helps me at least feel like i’m being proactive on the getting Stateside front.

Additionally, there’s a much more realistic post that’s come up at, lo and behold, my old secondary school- The very department that encouraged me to become an art teacher, because the teaching made me feel like a fucking stupid loser, with no ability at all. The result of being made to feel so inadequate was to make me determined as a teacher to try and help kids find value in all forms of art they do; everyone has something they are good at.

It’s a Head of Department role, which as usual i’m not sure I want, but the idea of dropping an art bomb on that fucking place is appealing enough to give it a shot. Kids that transfer there from my workplace tell me how terrible the place (still!) is, and how old-fashioned. Some of the most gifted children i’ve taught dropped out when they saw how utterly shit the department was, how limiting and enthusiasm-sapping and generally dire.

Application and online portfolio should be done over the weekend I think. Yay.
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Who, What?

Droplets Petrichor: Setting a new personal best for length of first non-date dates, we got on like a house on fire pretty much from the get-go, and were stuck to each other like lovesick teens for the last seven days of my holiday in Colorado.

Yes, he’s the guy of the moment, who yet again happens to live on a different continent to me.

Petrichor’s very different from past objects of affection in some ways: He’s younger (or at least there’s a bigger age gap between us), he’s still studying, has astonishingly poor/brilliant home decorating ideas, and is super affectionate and demonstrative.

However, more familiarly he’s outgoing, well able to sling me over his shoulder and ferry me away from danger (for example when I get just that bit too excited in front of the ice cream cabinets at the supermarket), is well-blessed in the manfur arena and is really, really fucking smart. And lives just a little bit out of my postcode. So my type it would seem but then totally not.

What are we doing? Where is this heading?

We’ve not come to an agreement yet.

My approach is to chase Good Things like he seems to be, as I know they are uncommon beasts and giving my all to make things happen seems appropriate. He appears to be happy seeing how things go, whereas I’d appreciate some clarity and would like something to work towards. Most of the time I am fine and dandy, but i’ll admit that this causes difficulty for me on occasion, and periodically I feel very down about the situation, the uncertainties knocking me off balance.

Aside from the minor fact that he lives across an ocean, Petrichor might not wish to see me again, because of the geographical distance and time between hugs, nor continue what we had going on back in the Summer, continuing to see other people with no desire to move towards anything of permanence. Simultaneously we have a weird chemistry that seems to be industrial in strength and each think the world of the other. Oh look, here I am over-thinking yay! :/

After Coppell I am acutely aware that what appears to be awesome ain’t necessarily so, and I am trying hard to keep any anxieties under control – trying hard = deep breaths, distraction and long, hot, scented soaks in a darkened bathroom. Like I say it doesn’t always work, but until things are more settled, it’s the best I can do. I am hopeful that the Wellbeing Project might help me out with some of the stresses :D

Droplets – Image by me – Lost Gardens of Heligan July ’13

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Wellbeing

Help Yourself First Before Helping Others At work this past week i’ve started on what will hopefully be a year-long course that seeks to implement Cognitive behavioural therapy and allied treatments (mindfulness etc) in a way that specifically targets teaching staff.

Being a teacher fucks you up it would seem. Appalling drop-out rates for teachers accompanied with not insignificant mental and physical health difficulties seem to be par for the course (working ’til 68 is going to be sooo achievable), and things don’t seem to be getting better – no surprise there with all the changes in education courtesy of the ConDems.

The therapist who is leading the sessions took an interest after seeing increasing numbers of teachers coming through his doors; one of the Heads of Department at work was treated by him after suffering with work-induced depression – whilst an immense amount of pressure was being put on her from management, mind – and together they are piloting the project.

I know that the coming weeks will take hard work, and I am unsure as to whether my lazy-arsed self will step up and actually do something. CBT takes commitment and effort, which are things I do not shy away from in some areas of my life, but struggle with in others.

There have been times at work where i’ve felt terribly overwhelmed, persecuted, misunderstood and generally at the end of my tether. The worst time was a couple of years back after things ended with Coppell; looking back now I can recognise how deeply unwell I was, but it was only through time and distance from my job that I began to realise just how unhappy I was.

I regularly get pissed off with my superiors, management, education trends etc. and sometimes letting things roll off my back rather than getting it up would be a bonus. Though there’s a part of me that wonders whether that’s just giving up. Hmmm.

Much as teachers have a reputation for going on the sick at every opportunity, my experience has been that everyone at work drags themselves in when they really, really shouldn’t. Putting our needs first and helping ourselves without feeling guilt at not sacrificing our wellbeing to that of the kids we teach should take much higher a priority than it does currently.

I have a tendency to over-think things, worrying and ruminating on stuff that for my greater happiness I should not. This is literally the habit of a lifetime, so getting and then using tools to help with this is a positive thing. I can see how this will help at work and personally, whether that be in relationships or dealing with family issues, so it is more than worth the two hours a week i’m going to have to put in for the next few months.

David DidauWhy do so many teachers leave teaching?
Labour TeachersAtrocious attrition: why do so many teachers leave?
Howard StevensonTeachers on strike: a struggle for the future of teaching?
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