Well I suppose it was the chance to engage in some proper no holds barred chat about everything I love and get frustrated about in education. So many people think that being a teacher is like the programme “Teachers” or maybe a cross between Educating Yorkshire and the programme about Teach First.
Certainly not in my experience – but to be fair it has changed tremendously in my 14 years as a teacher and that has only brought benefits to us as professionals.
However, the last term reduced me to my knees, and not just me, but all the mad squad who work with me and who are part of my support network. Or as I like to call them, Friends. The fact that I managed to June without doing a murder is nothing less than a miracle.
I remember after delivering some saturday sessions, a few of us had met up to have a blether and all of us talking about it’s ok to cry in the shower as no one can see you.
Ta daaaaa! It’s ok to care that much about what you do, as you are not the only one.
Believe it or not, most of the time when teachers go out together, they talk about the funny stories, but more often than not, we talk about the chances we missed with children, or when we were too busy trying to push paper when we really should have stopped to listen to a wee story. We talk about the hours we spent wondering if we could have done something better or how could we have missed the fact that a wee one needed more than a smiley face in a jotter.
Term time involves a wee support group we like to call wine-club. An eclectic bunch of teachers, community education workers and education support staff who gather chez moi for a few hours to chew the fat, blow off steam, have a cry and if you are lucky we’ll sing as well. One of the gang describes as the best way to unwind into the weekend, one describes it as therapy….
Our own wee support group.
This summer brought me the chance to really spend some time with pals- teachers and sensible people to have the no holds barred chat. The last day of term was indeed a classic example. A nice sedate gathering of teachers and we managed to eat….then the body snatchers took over at 1130pm when we all knew better but still went out. All I’ll say for that one is, Beyoncé hen, look out. Teachers unleashed and it certainly reminded me of a lovely Spanish saying, “I’ll just dance till it gets better…..”(Although I was in flats) and so I did.
I had the joy of meeting up with an old friend who teaches in another city and we spent the night chattering over changes to the system, work/ life balance (not getting it right) being a mammy and desperately wanting to be a mammy, and if we had a magic wand….not very Sex and the City but more Teach in the City.
Some outings were coffees and blethers that inevitably turned into “oh what a brilliant idea for a class” and “I’ll send you that” with the caveat – when we get back to work…..
One of my favourite days was spent sitting on a comfy couch with the shoes off talking non stop about weans, work and what if…. If ever there was a proper example of professional dialogue then this was it. No computers, no email pinging (ok – I confess to having a 5pm deadline for a journal…to which my friend graciously let me finish in 20 mins) no phone calls and the quality of chat was inspiring. I can’t help thinking that the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow is the ideal place for any teacher to have their PRD. Especially when the mixologist (barman (-:) appears to our table to ask if I remember him …..taught him many years ago…argh! We did eat which is a rarity among us, with our slogan being “eating is cheating” (only now and again!)
That night ended up once again with the body snatchers….#whitcanyedae I had kicked the heels off earlier but they were definitely back on to visit a few old haunts, yes, still talking about teaching and how we really must teach our young people to get served at the bar.
Walked into an old haunt of mine, 6 deep at the bar-to say it struck terror into the heart of the entourage is an understatement.
Watch and learn, SJP coming through. 5 mins + 6 drinks and the comment ” I was coming here son when you were a twinkly star in the sky – be a poppet and pass those drinks back….oh aye, I like the Stone Roses too but I liked them when they came out the first time….this is the one….”
Confident individuals, successful learners….
Mammy points – oh yes because everything I think about and discuss is exactly what I would want for my little lady.
Methodology points – yes, because it was all about the T & L
Manolo points – full marks, dancing in 4 inch heels (they were pink – what can you do?)to Groove is in the Heart with my Strictly Come Dancing partner ( ok so I took them off for the walk to the taxi……)
I don’t know….teachers on holidays……