A striking apology….
I’ve been debating whether or not to do this post as I know that I am in a split mind about the effects striking as a teacher has on the learning of children, and the disruption it has on working families compared to the outcomes of what it will achieve.
I am currently in my 5th year of teaching and although I feel things have eased slightly in the sense that I now have the experience with which to manage the everyday challenges that teaching brings, other aspects of my role are constantly changing making work loads difficult to manage in my normal working time, which then eats into my family life.
By all means I’m not saying I cannot cope with the pressures of my job, it’s more since having NOM I’ve become more resentful of the time I spend at home working, when I should be spending it enjoying my family just like any other person once they ‘clock off’ from work. But this extra time is necessary in order to ensure I am providing the best for my pupils and tailor my teaching to their needs.
Now don’t get me wrong, please don’t think that I am whining about the profession I chose. I love my job! No day is the same and I get to spend my day doing something I love – there is nothing better than watching a child develop as a person , knowing that you had a part in that.
Sadly though, decisions have been made that affect our profession in a negative manner that have been decided upon by people so out of touch with the classroom, you wonder how they ever even got their job in the first place (Michael Gove being one in particular)!
Over the last few years, my pension has been cut, my pay is now performance related, I have to work even longer to retire and they are now saying that we don’t work enough with our 9-3:30 working hours and 13 week holidays. I have accepted that some changes the government would have continued to do anyway but to attack the dedication we give to our jobs, saying we don’t work long enough and that we basically have too many holidays is one step too far!
I can hand on heart say that my usual working day starts around 8am and usually finishes no earlier than 5pm (bearing in mind I am only paid from 8:30am-3:30pm), and I never not go in work during my holidays, roughly spending at least 2 days during each one trying to catch up with the never ending lists of paperwork. And then I’ve got the various evenings I work after NOM goes to bed! So where can they say I am not dedicated to my job, giving up hours of my own time to make sure that I am being the best teacher I can be.
Therefore I have decided that enough is enough and I will join many other teachers on strike this coming Wednesday as a stand up to the changes they feel are needed to be implemented in our profession.
I want to apologise to my pupils for the disruption it will have on their learning and the burden it will create for those working parents as they have to find other child care arrangements, but I am hoping you will understand my need to do this.
My need to stand up for the profession I love and those I work alongside.
My need to stand up for those future people considering joining our profession.
My need to stand up for my own work-home life balance and my family time.