Today I feel really ill,not 'man flu' ill but weak and achy and a head that's stuffed like an overfull cushion. I was in work for 8am this morning worked a full day and left work at 4.30. Bar a fifteen minute trip into town (to grab a hasty and unhealthy lunch) I put in a full 8 1/4 hours of energy sapping teaching. Then I drove the 35 minutes home, grabbed a very quick bit of dinner and an even more brief chat with my wife, then I've been in my office since 7.10pm marking work.
I have had to turn away from marking because my head is throbbing by looking down at paper after paper. It doesn't actually hurt when I'm looking at the computer (a reversal of the normal state of things). I now have to go back about mark for another hour or so. Tomorrow and Wednesday are going to be pretty much the same and I feel thoroughly worn out and demotivated.
I'd like my life back please Nicky Morgan. Teaching is my job, not my life and I have no shame in saying that. I know that there is a stereotypical mantra about teaching being a life choice and that we don't do it for the money. I'm well educated (a BA (Hons) and an MA) so I wanted to use my education to educate others. Some call it a vocation, which in its historical definition is a divine calling; though one can hardly call current conditions in teaching divine. For me it's a job. A job I work hard at, mostly for little thanks or gratitude. Well then, I get paid to do my job, just like lots of other people get paid to their job. I'm not a saint, just an educated, hard-working person. Workload across our profession (a better and more precise word than vocation) is reaching unmanageable proportions and we need to look towards the model of Finland's education system where teachers are respected and they are given the time to carry out their work and to lead varied and interesting personal lives as well. For now it's back to marking and feeling increasingly ill.
All this and I'm being told that I will have to work like this until I'm 68 in order to get my pension. Everyone should have the right to a sustainable work/life balance and teaching is a mentally and emotionally draining job.
It is time for a teacher fightback over excessive workload.