I wonder if they know?
Sometimes you do think quite lucidly about death, and about how you might be remembered. Well, I do. Its odd, placing yourself outside everything to try and think about how others will ultimately see you.
And I wonder about my daughter - how she will recall the days months and years during her childhood being put through the crap we get put through as teachers. Will she recall the days I shut myself away when I got in from work due to the weight of stuff being asked of me. Are those days when I was sweating over OFSTED inspections, lesson observations and the like going to stick in her mind as they stick in mine.
I know for a fact that I forget how much this job has taken over the years. How tired I get, how mentally drained, how distracted I am. I forget that its not just me that lives with the reality of teaching, but all my family. The dreaded Sunday night has been a night to stay away from mum - the night when I'm turning all the next weeks tasks over in my head, and finishing planning, and marking and other stuff. Weekends include being utterly shattered Friday night, getting everything you can't do through the week done on Saturday, and then Sunday the stress starts again, getting planning and marking done. I always laugh at those telling me how lucky I am with all those holidays. - the ones where you spend half the week winding down, before spending the next half turning over what's coming in the next half term.
The longer breaks are great - but sooo bloody needed. Christmas is an absolute blur, spent running up to christmas, then New year, and suddenly you're back to the grind. Easter has become my favourite, time for a break and going back with the knowledge its just one term to summer. And summer is respite in its purest form - I get to know my house again, see the world during the day, truly escape it all for a while.
I feel like I've probably just leapt from summer to cherished summer for my whole career. Which is all of my daughter's life. Never took her to school, or saw her at Sports day. Didn't take her to the docs or dentist.
Through all this, I truly wonder if the powers that be - Heads, or higher, politicians and the like - really know what its like to teach. More and more, it seems there are things on their agenda that cut into my mental wellbeing immensely. And more and more, it seems some of those things are there for the sole purpose of doing that very thing. So I wonder. I wonder what terrible misdeeds teachers ever did to deserve the seemingly deliberate undermining of their professionalism, their day to day grind and their value as people.
Or is it that they just don't realise? No, that's ridiculous. How can they fail to spot the dwindling morale of an entire profession, and continue with the onslaught of politically driven ill judged initiatives that make things ever more desperately depressing in education.
Sadly, I feel a little too battle weary these days to turn to other things, or make a noise about it. I think I give enough of myself to it all as it is. Weak, I know. But its the reality.
I bet they do bloody know. Shame on them.