You know what they say, be careful what you wish for.  Luckily I wasn’t fired like I was worried I was going to be, but there was a sudden shift in what I’m doing.  (Or rather, I was left to worry for a week and then it felt like the decision was made quickly.)

Not entirely my fault

I know, I know, “of course she’s going to say that.”  But it isn’t.

No one came to watch me teach until 5 weeks in.  By which point there had been at least one complaint.  With the second complaint (the day after said watching) they made what felt like the snap decision to pull me out of teaching and subject me to watching/assisting.

Fair enough.  If there are complaints, there’s something wrong, and I don’t want that.  But at the same time, if the watcher had made the effort to watch earlier, I could have improved and been watched again and the second complaint might have been avoided.

The thing that makes it worse? Mr Watcher has Fridays off.  Unless he lives far away (which he might) I’m not sure why he couldn’t have taken half an hour out of his precious long weekend to do what should have been done.

Even worse? All talk and no do.  “Yeah, you’re right, we should have watched sooner” etc.  So have they already watched the new teacher who’s been there a week? Nope.  Have they told me to stop teaching and sit and watch him? Yep.   Do I know that I haven’t just wasted a week watching rubbish? I do not.  (He doesn’t seem rubbish, but as we’ve already seen, I’m not the best judge.  I thought I was doing okay.)

Bright sides and silver linings

While my initial reaction was “but I don’t want to spend four hours a day sitting watching someone else work”, I didn’t say anything.  It’s always stupid to walk away from a job, especially when it’s only for another month or so – light at the end of the tunnel – or if you might gain from it.  I’m essentially being paid to shadow, something that too many people do for free.

And it paid off.  For one, it wasn’t as bad as I expected – while I mostly watched, assisted, played photocopier-monkey and coffee-maker, I also had a ‘proper’ task of helping someone else with all things activities.  Or rather, all things trying-to-get-them-to-do-activities-and-them-refusing.  Oh well, at least we have a blank piece of paper as proof that we tried.

For two, I won’t be spending six weeks watching.  I’ll be spending four weeks watching and two teaching.  While the thinking might be “these are the two weeks there’s only one kid, we can risk giving her one kid”, it doesn’t matter.  I’m getting to teach, and teaching one on one is what I think I’d like, so it’s some good practice to find out for sure.

Waiting game

All that’s left to do is see how this week goes, and try and make sure it’s a brilliant week in case Mr Watcher comes back.  Beyond that, I’ll soon be finding out what my new salary is, and later I’ll see if they still want me back next year.

I do hope it works out,  I’m not quite ready to consider up on this line of work yet.  While I realize kids’ education isn’t something you mess about with (read: stay in if you’re no good), no one can fix what they don’t know is broken and even then it’s hard when all you get to hear is “there was very negative feedback.”

So not entirely my fault, not entirely not my fault, it just would have been nice if my first ‘proper’ job hadn’t gotten so messy.  Although to be fair, it was pretty decent of them to ‘demote’ me rather than fire me, I can’t ask for much more than that.


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