Thursday, July 25, 2013

A teacher's work is never done.

Here I am, slogging away on my holidays, reading War Horse, our class novel for next school year.
I wonder does this count as one of my Croke Park hours?
For my non-Irish readers, the Government brought in the Croke Park Agreement with teachers as part of austerity measures. One of the conditions is that we do an extra 36 unpaid hours. I have no objection to this, as a sizable percentage of teachers would be doing that anyway. But I do object to the fact that we can't use those hours to do useful things like preparing lessons or even take the kids for extra-curricular activities such as football or drama- things that would directly improve their learning. Oh no! We have to spend  those hours writing policies, many of which end up in a folder, on a shelf ,gathering dust. Political rant over!
Next dark and dreary winter, we will be examining this novel as the rain pelts off the classroom window. My memory will be cast back to the first time I read it-
the sun beaming down on the sand, the azure sea gently lapping against the shore and my lunch being delivered to my sun lounger by a bare chested, toned and tanned waiter,
and I will say
"Class, continue to read the next passage silently. Teacher is going to have a little time out!"