Monday, 4 February 2013

How do you make yourself go to a job you hate?

I hate my job.

I don't hate it like other jobs I've done before, where I get an impending sense of doom every morning and feel physically ill. I know I can do this one, it just doesn't fullfill me in any way.

Physically I'm teaching lessons back to back without a lunch break 3 days a week.

Emotionally I don't get any rewards from the students because I only see them once a week so they don't see me as one of their 'main' teachers. No Christmas gifts for me.

Mentally I'm not stimulated. I teach 3 subjects, and teach the same 3 lessons all week long, to different groups. This means I teach the same GCSE English lesson 8 times a week. On Thursday I teach it 3 times in a row, without a break. Satisfying? I think not. By the end of the week I can read the poems out without looking at the book and I'm sick to death of them.

Stress-wise my levels are through the roof. If it wasn't enough to be organised to teach lessons across different campuses, also allowing for planning and marking with a full timetable, and trying to create resources as you go, I'm also observed every couple of months. These are advertised as 'developmental' but end up either being a critique of your teaching, in a negative way, or the person observing you doesn't take it at all seriously and your hard work shows for nothing. If you don't get 'good' or 'outstanding' then they give you one week to change your ways and becoming amazing (as well as needing the time to get over the stress of being observed last time, and to plan another week's lessons) and then observe you again. If you're not better by then, they take disciplinary action. Then they hire in people from external agencies to observe you again, as well as dropping into your lessons whenever they feel like and then holding meetings with you to tell you that the students looked a bit bored.... it's maths  with childcare students 3:30-5:00 on a Monday, what do you expect?

Financially I earn enough, but not enough to allow for the fact I can stand the position. Other people around me are miserable too, the whole college is sick of the perpetual threats of observations. Redundancies have been happening left right and centre, so people are applying again for jobs they don't particularly like anyway. It's the people who live locally or have worked here for years who want to stay forever, but clearly can't stand the job. I imagine most of the staff who live further away are checking the job sites daily.

But, the upside is, in a year or two I will have left this place. I will look back at it as a time of my life I withstood, and would never go back to. I can imagine all the people here, still beavering away, still being threatened with observations, and I can smile. Let's hope my next job is much more fullfilling.


Anonymous said...

Duty, I guess. Duty suffused with the satisfaction that you stuck it out. There's much to be said for those who do their duty when it's so distasteful - those are the encouragers - the fighters - the doers.

Praying that your situation improves.

Lucinda Harrington said...

Thanks for your comment. I think duty, and often a fear of not being able to pay the bills! My co-ordinator was talking about quitting yesterday. You know it's bad when the people above you who have been there for 20 years can't stand the job either!

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