The Guardian has an ongoing column titled Secret Teacher. It is a series of blogs by anonymous teacher-insiders revealing what really goes on in schools. This week the anonymous contributor wrote a short yet powerful piece on returning to the classroom after years in administration and remembering how tough teaching is. An excerpt from the essay on the contributor’s move from admin back into the classroom:
I was certain that my move would buy me more time; no more endless piles of admin, no more mind-numbing meetings until 7pm, no more grim governors’ reports to write, no more dour disciplinary panels to attend. But I had forgotten that the windows in the ivory tower are obscured by pot plants so tall that you can’t see the stressed faces of the teachers as they race past. If you do chance to look up from your paperwork, your rose-tinted glasses made their lives look quite romantic. Oh, how the students adored them! How much fun they had together in their teams! I remembered those days …
I had forgotten that my multitudinous leadership tasks were generously accommodated by my timetable. Yes, I had a lot to do, but I was given a lot of time to do it. How did I forget that it’s impossible to plan adequate lessons in five non-contact periods a week? How did I forget that as I reluctantly sat in meetings, angry that I had failed to see any daylight for the majority of winter, my main-scale colleagues were marking and planning in their classrooms or at their dining tables? How did I think that I had it harder than them?
To read this essay or others from the Secret Teacher series, click here: http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2015/oct/17/secret-teacher-school-leaders-quickly-forget-how-tough-teaching-is