"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Friday, August 06, 2004


I had been dreaming when I woke up this morning. I don't usually remember my dreams but this was one of those dreams where the feelings you experience during it stay with you when you wake up. I was dreaming about leaving my job at the end of last term. I dreamt there was a big cake in a room but I couldn't go in. The headteacher and governors were conspicuous by their absence and everyone else was going about their business as if it were a normal day and wouldn't say good-bye to me, so finally, I left the building on my own.
So how close to that was the reality? Well, I was adamant that I did not want any fuss, presents, presentations of any kind when I left and this wish was respected. There were 2 other members of staff leaving as well as me but parents were not informed about any of us going until the last but one day of term, when there was one short sentence referring to us near the end of the newsletter. OK, so I had requested no fuss - the others hadn't.
12 months ago, I had decided to give up my deputy headship and revert to class teacher, which I did. I had been in the school for 15 years, deputy head for 11, including a spell as acting head teacher but I finished my time as deputy without one single word of thanks or appreciation from head teacher or governors - (They didn't even thank me for getting out of their way and making room for new blood!)
Last year, as this year, I wouldn't have welcomed any fuss, all I wanted was one simple expression of thanks and I got nothing.
On the last day of this school year, my last day at the school, the head teacher said not one word to me and, yes, the dream was accurate in this respect - I did walk out of the building on my own...............and boy was I glad to go!
Oh and, by the way, last year the school got the Investors in People award!


Terri said...

Teaching is so hard. And, so often thankless. I taught part time for almost two years (Art in elementary grade) and it was hard. I work more hours now, and harder, BUT I'm not as tired. Teaching can feel like it just sucks the life out of you! Thank goodness we have people like you. For all the teachers I never got to thank, thank you!

Shrub said...

I had a similar experience back in 2002 when I left my job due to stress-related health problems. I was manager of an adult education project. I'd had to take a lot of flak from the FEFC inspectors and it just got too much for me to cope with. As I recall, only one member of staff took the trouble to say good-bye. Anyway, that's all behind me now!

"Investers in People" should be renamed "Investors in Paper"!

Jennyta said...

Thanks for your comment and I'm glad you have put that experience behind you. That post was just me feeling sorry for myself. Truth to tell, it never ceases to amaze me that senior management can treat people like that in education, although I should know by now as this is not my first experience. It's probably similar in other jobs, but in teaching, you put so much of yourself into the job, it becomes a lot more personal.


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