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NQT blog: I was told the last few weeks would be relaxed, calm and easy

As term winds down, Lisa finds herself busy with unexpected tasks such as UCAS forms and fixing the school telescope, plus she still has to tame her Year 9s. Given the choice, would she rather be a stay at home mum?


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End of year exams marked, check. Reports written years 7 – 9, almost check. UCAS references written, nobody told me about those, so not even close to check. And this on top of normal lesson planning, diagnostic homework marking, preparations for the all important open day, preparations for activities week, rewriting the year 7 & 9 scheme of work and associated home works and tests. Sigh.


It is a Friday evening, my little girl has been nicely asleep for a couple of hours and I should be sitting in front of some girly chick flick with a big glass of wine. Instead I sit behind my laptop, thinking I ought to be doing some report writing as that deadline is most imminent. But I cannot think of a way that X can improve, and my thoughts seem to wander: could I take all my A-level students to university next year for a physics day? How can I best advertise the astronomy club? How, where and for how much can I have the school’s telescope fixed? How sad is it that my thoughts wander towards work related items? Probably because these are nicer topics than: when was the last time the bathroom was cleaned? Have we got enough clean bottles to get us through the night? …


At work, I was told the last few weeks of the summer term would be relaxed, calm and easy. I find them the opposite. There is so much additional work to be done that isn’t timetabled. And neither does that take into account that I only work part time. My mood is probably also not helped by the warm weather and the short nights as my darling daughter is desperate to rise with the birds at 4am, and similarly refuses to go to sleep much before the sun does.


The husband had a pay rise the other day, and kindly offered that if I wanted to, I could become a stay at home mom. Was the offer tempting? Not even for a second. I moan occasionally, as every human being does. But I do love my job, I do love teaching, and I even kinda enjoy teaching my annoying year 9s as I’ve challenged myself to build a decent relationship with them before the summer. Just in time to start all over again next year, as I only take my AS groups forward next year. There will be quite a big change over of staff next year, and out of the 14 science teachers I will be the only physics teacher on roll that actually has a physics degree so I am top heavy. Just when I started to really enjoy teaching the little ones!


The biggest challenge for the next year is to see if I can persuade my Head of Physics to embrace mess and noise. He has vetoed every ‘fun’ experiment I suggested for the open day due to either mess, noise or smell. But that is the entire reason they are fun!


Ah well, time for sleep. I shall endeavor to write a few more reports tomorrow. Or I could clean the bathroom.