21 June 2009


It's been a while now since my nasty little operation. I have been off work ever since. There has been pain and there has been blood but fingers-crossed, things are feeling rather better now. Last week was a first for me - my first doctor's note - giving me licence to be off work for a further seven days. I may as well take it. I owe the school where I work no favours and I will be leaving there in less than a month anyway.

I saw a job in the Times Educational Supplement. It's about promoting global understanding through school-based activities - developing resources, trialling and evaluating them. It would be so different from what I have been doing for the last thirty years. I have completed the online application form but then hesitated. I am not sure it's what I want to do but it would bring in decent money. Maybe I should just click and send it. The likelihood is that there's somebody lined up for it anyway. Who knows.

There aren't many pictures of me connected with the job of teaching. I have always been a keen photographer but a very reluctant subject. I came across two photos that other teachers snapped of me - both of them around twenty years ago. In one I am holding a homemade sign linked with the school's annual cross country run. Perhaps it is an instruction to drivers to slow down because of runners crossing or perhaps - and this seems more likely to me - a declaration that the children who are about to cross the road are intellectually challenged.

The second picture shows me behaving like the Pied Piper of Hamelin on the school's annual sponsored walk. I am leading the slow children into the cave. The entrance will magically close behind them and I will be left with a crippled youth called Hans or maybe Herman. I think of that workplace - the hours I have put in , the weekends, the sleepless nights, the times I have gone the extra mile and I wonder - will this be all that's left to show - two photographs from twenty years back? Work. It's a much over-rated activity in my view.


  1. Two or two hundred photos wouldn't be able to capture all of the behind the scenes stuff that makes a good teacher. That is why you should submit the job application just to see what they say and you should start to gather your thoughts to write a book about all your years of classroom experience. I wish my dad would have written one about his years of teaching kids with drug/alcohol problems. Your own children will thank you and I'd love to read a book about teaching on your side of the pond.
    I know it is quintessentially an American thing today, but Happy Father's Day, YP.

  2. I enjoyed reading about you, YP. Seems like recently, due to that European bot and this op, you've had the first chances in many years to really sit down and think about 'what's it all about'.
    The possible job sounds interesting. Why not give it a go? Like you say, you may not get it. And if you do, and it doesn't suit you, you don't need to stay long...
    I'm glad you're mending up nicely. Or should that be 'mending down'?

  3. Looks like the nostalgia bug is spreading ...Be proud of what you have done & try sending that application, you can always turn it down if it is not for you, but it would not hurt to find out more about the role. Glad to see you are on the mend.

  4. At least you look happy in the photos, YP. Focus on the good times. It's too easy to get sucked into all the negative stuff.
    And send in your application.

  5. I just returned to civilization from darkest Alabamistan, where no banjos were in evidence, to find that you are (a) contemplating a job change and (b) on the mend from your operation. I will be sending good thoughts your way to help in both endeavors, and there's not a thing you can do about it.

    Keep your chin up and your powder dry.

  6. I think that you should get some of your students to take photos of you, teaching, before you leave. I love photographic records of such everyday events and suddenly they're over!

  7. Reading your post about the possible career change -- is it what I really want to do? They probably have someone lined up for it already -- reminded me of one of the best bits of advice a friend ever gave me: Don't make a decision until there is something to make a decision about. Send in the application, I say. Ya never know ...

  8. MS GEORGE Thanks for your thoughts and by the way, along with Coca Cola, Pizza Hut and McDonalds, we have also imported Father's Day from the USA. What are you going to send us next to enhance our tired old culture?
    KATHERINE European bot? Don't get it. But anyway thanks for your encouragement.
    DAVID Thanks also for your kind words of encouragement.
    JENNYTA I have always tried to avoid overindulgence in negativity and cynicism. You're right. There are lots of good times to remember but now I want to be looking ahead.
    RHYMES Thanks for your kind thoughts.
    DAPHNE As I say I like being the photographer but not the subject. You on the other hand are quite a star in Silverback's sidebar. photo albums!
    GODDESS Food for thought. Thanks. It had occurred to me that there might already be somebody in the frame even though they went to national advert. Is it really what I want to do? Not sure.


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