The Times They Are A Changing.

I'm very excited about the next month or so. Well, excited and feeling a slight sense of disbelief that everything actually came together. As the previous entry suggests, I do tend to blame all failure on myself and all success on the rare and mysterious presence of 'good luck' or 'fluke'.

I've decided this is bollocks.

If I was advising a friend, I would tell them that if they're going to blame myself for the bad things they should also take pride in the good things. So, yay me, I got an awesome job and we're moving to a new flat and I'm getting a free weekend in Cardiff in return for talking about myself (yes, that would be more EU money).

All this self-congratulation does leave me feeling a bit uncomfortable, but I'm going to have to get used to it. No more wallowing in low self-esteem. It's time to stop. Stop relying on people to give me ego boosts and stop being my biggest critic.

(I'm scared.)

Why is it...

...that when things go wrong it's because I'm rubbish and when things go right it's because I'm lucky?

Hey, teacher!

Like teachers everywhere, I've spent the last few days speculating about this. Obviously it's all speculation, but even if it all turns out to be rubbish, I'm pretty sure that everyone who's worked in a school is aware that a teacher physically turning on a provocative pupil is well within the realms of possibility. And that's my justification for throwing in my two cents.

Contrary to most of the views I found on a TES thread, physically assaulting a pupil cannot be justified. Is it acceptable to glass a bloke in a pub because he's shouting abuse at you? No. Is it acceptable to fight back/retaliate to an abusive pupil (who, despite quite possibly being an irritating little shit, is still a child in your care)? No.

Case closed.

You do, however, have to wonder how an experienced teacher, widely regarded as a 'decent bloke', could be driven to such extreme actions. The fact is that any teacher who, for whatever reason, feels capable of hurting one of their pupils should not be in the classroom. Yet, for numerous reasons, many of these teachers are.


Perhaps they find themselves under financial pressure to return to work after sickness (stress-related or otherwise). Perhaps the stigma of showing weakness is too great in some schools, leaving teachers feeling unable to ask for help from their colleagues. Perhaps taking time off for 'stress-related illnesses' is looked upon with disdain by senior management. Perhaps there just isn't enough support for teachers who are good at their jobs but, for whatever reason, sometimes feel unable to cope. Perhaps the number of (also) unacceptable pupil assaults on staff is normalising violence in the classroom.

Isn't it time we stopped dealing with 'perhaps' and figured out why? If it turns out that the teacher concerned did, in fact, assault his pupil, I suspect that the inevitable government inquiry will conclude that what's needed is more screening, checking and monitoring of teaching staff (teaching MOT, anyone?). My fingers are crossed (in vain, I suspect) for a more sensible solution, one that looks at protecting the mental health of excellent teachers who are struggling to cope; let's face it, even though cases like this one are, thankfully, unusual, there are many teachers who could do with the extra support.

Extreme Makeover: Life Edition

This whole being back thing is completely surreal. I feel like I haven't really realised any of it's happened yet. That said, my life post-degree has pretty much felt like that so I'm hoping it won't hit me all at once.

Organising my thoughts into a coherent blog is, therefore, a bit difficult so I'm gonna go for a list of musings. I love lists.

On Monday I was unemployed with no real job prospects. Now (on Friday) I have two interviews lined up and I own a suit.

Two days ago I lived in Norway. Now I live in Rainham. The people are angrier and more racist.

On Wednesday I said goodbye to a girl I've lived and worked with for the last six months. She was the Austrian little sister I never had. This hasn't hit me yet.

I would love it if I could do my Norwegian job in London.

I really, really want to get one of the jobs next week. In terms of saving time and travel stress, I'd like to get the first one.

I feel quite proud of myself. This is a good thing.

If this entry confuses you, imagine being inside my head...