Pressure bursts pipes

It’s the day before GCSE results day and for the last week I have had a little trouble sleeping. I have also had a lot of contact with other heads of science and know that I’m not the only one.

Teaching is such a strange job as you are often herding cats. Running a dept is even stranger because you are often helping the herder’s to herd the cats, picking off the cats who refuse to move, dealing with the angry cat parents, putting cats in detention for not doing homework (think the metaphor might have broken now).

In the world of performance management linked to outcomes (which I hope is a passing fad) there is a palpable pressure on teachers to perform. This unfortunately is not healthy and tends to shift the responsibility away from the students and on to the teacher. I believe this constant pressure is the actual workload issue. The physical time marking etc.. is nothing compared to the constant weight of responsibility felt 24 hours a day from sept until June.

So how do we as professionals manage? Well it might seem like a flippant response but on my phone lock screen I have written “JUST DO YOUR JOB”. I have found it a useful subtle nudge to remind me not to get caught up in the performance management aspect of the job and focus on the things that really matter, the people.

Tomorrow will come and go and I will still be here (*touch wood) trying to do my best for my students and staff.

Good luck for tomorrow 🙂

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