Sunday, 14 December 2008

Change of pace

"If you’re lucky," says Nick Morrison in this week's TES, "you’ll be in a job you enjoy and perhaps get promoted over time. But what if you don’t want to climb the ladder?" Well, a matter of months ago, that was me; somehow word reached Nick, hence the interview about downshifting (which you can read by clicking on the title of this post). I'm glad - in the words of Bing Crosby - that he accentuates the positive. Of course there were many sleepless nights and much agonising at the time. The credit crunch had not become a full-blown, serious recession then and there are people now with no choice but to leave their jobs. But so far, I've got no regrets. To be honest (don't tell Sarah!) it still feels like something of a holiday. I'm dog-tired every evening, far more so than if I'd been in front of a class. But for the first time in over twenty years I'm not being bossed about by bells; I've no timetable to follow. Anyone in a 'real' job might find it difficult to understand how liberating that feels. Just the thought of deciding what to do at different hours of the day, the flexibility to continue doing something if it's going well or else abandoning it if not (how I would have loved to abandon my Y10s many times last year!) is incredibly, well...liberating. Apart from summer jobs and university, I've either been at school as a pupil or a teacher for far longer than I'd care to remember. You get used to what you do, of course, and the way you have to do it. That's all there is to it. But then, when it stops being what you do, you realise that there is a whole range of alternative ways of doing something - working - than the one you've grown accustomed to. So here I am without a timetable for the first time in many years. No bells to summon me from one class to another; no meetings mapped out for the year ahead. Just me and my little boy. Oh, and the shopping and the ironing and cooking and the cleaning. Did I mention dusting? Oh, and just a little bit of blogging!
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