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!

28 comments:

  1. Sounds great, and the right way for you to run your life. I hope to enjoy a 'working on my time' existance from now for the forseeable.

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  2. I can see tghe attraction myself and it has been considered in our household on a number of occasions. It's never been removed from the list of possibiliies either and, yes, I am secretly pleased about that.

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  3. Been there, done that, ironed the T-shirt.

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  5. Comment deleted was me. I was impatient at the tardiness of the computer and clicked again.

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  6. Having taken (forced) early retirement earlier this year, I'd recommend it to anyone.

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  7. Ooooh the bells!!!

    I know what you mean!

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  8. So...back to Frodsham High, if you were a teacher to the beloved Gary Barlow (I remember him when he was a kid on a songs for Christmas contest and my cousin saying, I go to school with that lad), well then you taught both my cousins too. I won't say their names here, but one was in the same year as Gary and is now a teacher and my other cousin was two years below and is now a female vicar! So, you must have taught them well! ;o)
    Always nice to have a change of pace in life. I personally found it a bit difficult to adjust to the stay at home mum role to begin with, now the thought of returning back to work horrifies me...!

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  9. Well I must have taught the female vicar - I'm now wracking my brains to think of who it could be! But I've a confession to make - Gary was never in any of my classes! No! But I breathed the same (ICI polluted) air! Oh, I'm sorry CTTF - you're probably more confused than ever now! Btw did you know FHS is closing?

    The fact that everything you do is governed by a harsh metallic sound generates it's own peculiar stress, Suburbia!

    Glad you think so, Dave - there's a lot to be said for it!

    Hope you did the ironing correctly, DD!

    Well so far I can wholly recommend it, Steve, should you need to take the option.

    I know that feeling SPD and I'm loving it!

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  10. It must be a breath of fresh air for you. I know what you mean by being able to continue doing something when its going well, 'on a roll' I call it!

    The 'bossed about by bells' bit made me chuckle!

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  11. Congrats!

    Also I included you in the best of the British Mummy bloggers list (don't let the title fool you)... you may want to put your two pence into the debate...http://tinyurl.com/5ueo9t

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  12. Yep, it's nice to be in charge... though sometimes I forget what I'm doing...
    Sx

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  13. That's the phrase, Soo - on a roll. I'm on a roll at present!

    Don't be, DJ. Think of the nappies!

    Well, Susanna - I don't know what to say; I'm on my way to check it out. Thanks!

    I'm not kidding myself, Scarlett - I'm not really boss here, Charlie is!

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  14. I always think I love teaching but am having a tough time of it at the mo, I think that himself is maybe getting a tad frustrated with my stories of how I'm feeling as he's made a New Year's Resolution for me to apply for at least 3 new jobs. There was a non teaching job that had my name written all over it, himself looked at the job spec, worked out the hours, route, how long it'd take me and did just about everything but fill the form in for me and I think he was disappointed in me that I didn't apply.

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  15. Yes I suppose I downshifted and so did hubbie...hopefully we haven't downshifted, though, to the basement!! Here's hoping that 2009 gets us to the mezzanine level...

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  16. I'm sure it will, Hadriana. It's going to be your year!

    I sympathise, AG. I often had a love-hate relationship with my classes. It was only when I moved into a role that involved supervising other teachers that the problems began! Give me the kids any day.

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  17. I'm rather afraid that my imminent change of pace may be to get work and drift away from this full time mother lark. Damn, damn, damn!

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  18. Well, you have guessed correctly!! What a small world, eh? She actually got married in Frodsham church and then had another wedding in Paris. I may have to mention you in my Christmas card to her! Although she doesn't know I blog...
    I spent many a holiday in my youth either doing the walk around Frodsham following the big wooden cross at Easter, or at Frodsham market...

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  19. It sounds idyllic, Dot, it really does. I just tried to buy your book again but was told that I was using "a bad connection" or some such rot!

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  20. Congratulations on your new life! I'm sure you'll never look back.

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  21. Bad news, Catherine, bad news!

    I had a bit of help from Martin Smiddy, CTTF. Mr Frodsham High School - great guy!

    Face it, Gadj - you're not meant to have it! (Seriously, let me know if you have any more difficulty and I'll sort 'em out!!)

    Only in anger, Google Mummy (what a good name!)

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  22. Oooh I'm jealous! There's nothing better than your time being your own. I can't wait until I've got my time off work next year when I can do outrageous things like - shock horror - eat lunch outside of the hours of 1 to 2! Heavens!

    Enjoy it!

    J

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  24. Now then my good man - about some supernumerary singing at the cathedral... You must have abundant time now - so no excuses!

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  25. I've been my own boss for many years and appreciate the flexibility. But the more successful you become, the less time you have to yourself.

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  26. I know exactly what you mean but some times, some of us have to go out to work to earn a few bob or two.

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  27. Good heavens, Jade, there's not need to go that far!

    Well, maybe CB1. Depends what's on.

    At the moment it's still a novelty, Robert. I've never felt so free!

    I know, CW. I still earn a bob-or-two as well. But I'm managing to do it from home while Charlie has a nap.

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