Saturday, 10 May 2014

"Early retirement"... :P

Daniela Pesconi-Arthur

      I haven't been here for a while... I've been exhausted with my "secondary school teaching job", and most of the days I would just come home around 5pm (had left to catch the train at 6am!), have some food, a shower and go straight to bed.
      First, about this cartoon... I used this cartoon a looooong time ago for a Classroom Management workshop in Brasil. I'm not sure where it comes from, but I found it again today on this website. I wish I'd come across it sooner though, and remembered that things in the classroom can actually be like that.
      Well, I have to tell you that I've "retired" from being a high school teacher. I know, I know... I was so excited on my first day (read here) and I really thought I'd enjoy it forever. I couldn't be more wrong. 
      We had a bank holiday last Monday, so my week was one day shorter. I was so glad for that. I was dreading seeing some classes for a second week... (not a very good thing for a teacher to say, right?). After  the encounters with my first, second and third periods again this week (years 10, 9 and 11), I've concluded that I must keep on getting "Young Tough Teachers" on demand and look for "Educating Essex" (which has an option for setting up a "parent control PIN"!?) on YouTube. 
      The school I've been going to is one of the best ones in the area, so I thought I'd be in Heaven with very well behaved pupils. I've always thought/experienced that boys often tend to be more disruptive and naughty than girls; but gosh, when girls decide to play up... Boys will mostly chat loudly and hit each other playfully (hopefully), being more immature than girls. 
      However, girls have an infinity of gadgets to keep them distracted. During the last two weeks, these are some examples of what they "entertained themselves" with in the classroom:
      - a nail file;
      - "thousands" of coloured pens;
      - mirrors, all sizes and types;
      - hair brushes (same variety as above);
     - mobile phones (of course, because taking pictures of one's eye is soooo educational and appropriate for an English lesson... I have to admit that the result is quite cool, though...);
      - Fifty Shades of Grey (yep, a 14-year-old girl! Shocking.);
      - super long and pointy fake nails;
      - a bag of sliced strawberries;
      - sending my direction: rolling eyes, nasty looks, sighs, mumbles and swear words which they thought I couldn't hear/understand.
       Effects these two weeks in class had on me:
      - many times I felt my face red and burning at the end of the lesson, so angry and frustrated I was;
      - have I mentioned that I was drained of my energy, and that I was going to bed before 8pm?
      - one day, right at the end of a stressful lesson with a year 11 class, I just walked to one boy, who was "doing yoga" (or whatever stupid thing he was doing stretched on the classroom floor) and say: "Now, are you taking the piss?"
       I don't need to tell you all about the commotion that it caused... "Miss, you said a swear word!"; "Miss, you are not allowed to swear in class, do you know that?"; "Miss, can I use this word in my essay?"... Aaaaarrrgggghhhhh....
Daniela Pesconi-Arhur
                                                                                (picture from Wikipedia)
       After two whole weeks I had enough. My so desired secondary school teaching career ended two weeks after it started. Luckily, my private student is coming back. I really missed her. An adult, super nice woman to teach and to talk to. I won't be teaching her any literature or any punctuation rules. I'll be teaching her my mother tongue, Portuguese. And the best thing: from the comfort of my home!  And THAT will be cool.... ;)


  1. I posted this on Facebook, Google, and tweeted it because I know several teachers (both retired, and just starting out). My Mom wanted me to be a teacher. I knew from an early age I wasn't cut out for it. I have great admiration for anyone who can do it, even for two weeks. (I think I would have lasted two hours, tops). It's one of the toughest jobs out there, and it certainly isn't for everyone. One on one sounds a lot nicer! Alana

    1. Hi Alana! Thanks for your message of support! :) And for sharing it. :)
      I had this "dream" that I would go there and everything would be as in "Hunky Dory"... How mistaken... I still love teaching, but a secondary school class won't see me so soon! ;)

  2. I understand! I can't teach worth a darn - no patience. And I am not a teacher. But I am retired! :-)

    1. Yeah, and I'm patient.... But still, that was too much for me... :P

    2. What can I tell you have described my life of hell...hahaha
      Thank you for sharing with us. Xx