Are you out of the gates at three o’clock?
That’s 3pm. Do you leg it early? Do you scuttle out, swivel-eyed, down the back alley to the boozer?
Come on! Hands up!
And some of you are asking for a pay rise? Well, you can forget it – according to Sir Michael “Well ‘Ard” Wilshaw. You “must work much harder” and go “the extra mile” – or 10. No dosh for you, unless you drudge until you drop. Yikes! Has he really seen a teacher leaving at 3pm? My chums work like billyho – like Shelley, say, in her West London Academy.
Let’s check a typical day.
She’s in school by 7, grabs a toasted teacake at the Breakfast Club and then it’s marking and photocopying and preparing the interactive whiteboard and an interminable Briefing with the Leadership Group and then her address to the 9th year Assembly on citizenship on why John Terry is a Bad Thing.
Then Pip! Pip! It’s three, whizzo, differentiating lessons to a rocking 7th year, a bonkers 8th year, a top 11th, a Sixth Form Resit and a ham roll and the bedlam of the dinner queue and then a double lesson on metaphor in Emily Dickinson and then a twilight workshop with the savagely dull management. Phew! Ring! Ring! A phone call from Charlie Johnstone’s distraught mum – he didn’t come home last night – and then an Oxbridge Statement for Lily the Genius and a detention for Dave Mania, who’s gone beserk in Mr Donut’s Maths and then the buffing up of folders for Review Week. It’s already 7pm.
Time to lug sacks of marking home and stand in the rain for the 52 bus and fall down the stairs and zip into Sainsbury’s for a Boil in a Bag Something or Other then cancel the boyfriend and knock out a model lesson for Mrs Loony, the perky consultant, who’s observing her 8th year tomorrow. It’s 3 o’clock! AM!
She’s quite wired, while Sir Michael is, doubtless, snoozing. Quick! Take a sleeper, collapse, up at dawn half zonked and back on the 52 for the toasted teacake and a yard of coffee and a broken photocopier and an even more distraught Mrs Johnstone.
She can’t go on like this. Wouldn’t she be better going Lindy Hopping or laughing at QPR with the boyfriend? Of course. And a much better teacher? My best teachers often legged it early. This cult of Conspicuous Toil damages both teacher and pupil. Perhaps it’s time to bring back the 3 o’clock dossers? It should be compulsory once a week.
So... sssh... go on! This Thursday afternoon.. off you go.