One of those days

Today is just one of those days…

I probably should have guessed that it wouldn’t be the best of Mondays when I woke up disgusted with myself for not dismantling my 5:30 alarm on the weekend. The subsequent dash to get dressed correctly and remember all my things because it is, in fact, Monday after all didn’t help matters.

I probably should have guessed that things weren’t going to my way when my first few steps to the train station were greeted with a downpour of rain and the realisation that my trusty umbrella was safely tucked away in my bedroom cupboard.

I probably shouldn’t have made the crazy-lady run from the tram stop to the bus stop when I saw my bus pulling up even though I knew the next one would be 5 minutes behind it.

I definitely should have turned around and gone home when my bag of freshly marked books spilt all over the floor of the aforementioned bus whilst I tried to hide the frantic, dishevelled look and as I spent 5 minutes digging around in my over-packed purse in search of my Oyster card (which was safely in my pocket the whole time)…

In teaching, we often talk about the highs and lows which accompany the profession. In TeachFirst more specifically, we talk about the hills of happiness and valleys of death that the journey of becoming a teacher is inevitably packed with. If my morning began with the hint of death valley despair, the day quickly turned into not a valley but a grand canyon of doom. Ok, in hindsight (and after a calming glass of red wine), this is probably a slight exaggeration – but lesson after lesson cascaded into drama and I became the monster teacher I’ve always vowed I won’t be!

I can’t put my finger on what exactly was so awful; but 7 weeks into term everyone is tired… The kids have decided that it’s time to restore chaos and overturn the well thought out and newly implemented behaviour policy which has been ruling the school since September. They also all appear to have attended a rave over the weekend which has temporary (one hopes) affected their hearing which means their usually dubious volume control has disappeared completely¬†and everything must be communicated in tones which even the deafest of grandparents would be able to hear perfectly. I had my speech on expectations, appropriate classroom behaviour and the meaning of independent work so well rehearsed that by fifth period it literally rolled off my tongue. I had ten separate pupils “accidentally” explode their pens all over their work and the desks, and an unwanted number of paper airplanes, bits of eraser and red play dough soaring freely through the air. I had the entire inner contents of the classroom’s electric sharpener, which was probably last emptied several years ago, dumped across my desk by a well-meaning (?) year 7 pupil. And by the end of the five period day, I had enough broken stationery and general debris covering the floor that the vacuum cleaner got clogged and I got told by the lovely cleaning lady, “I think the kids are taking the mick out of you.” Not something you really want to hear – ever.

Needless to say, phoning parents with grumpy messages simply wasn’t going to cut it today. Luckily my commute home takes me past Marks and Spencer’s – the prospects of a shopping basket full with red wine, prawn chilli pasta and chocolate cheesecake were the only satisfying thoughts all day. I’m not sure planning lessons for tomorrow is going to be too productive; curled up on the couch with comfort food, warm blanket and the next episode of Glee might be the only way to turn things around…