I am currently wearing two teaching hats and I'm not sure if they fit. You see, I work in 3 primary schools and one university. This week I remarked that this stark difference was actually a blessing, one soothes the other's wounds so to speak but there are definately things that aren't so rosey about either situation.
Take the uni for example, I am not a permament member of staff, a vacataire if you want to learn a french word. This is cosy as I get paid tres well for the honour but has annoying consequences too. I go in every Tuesday to photocopy my lessons for the Wednesday. The photocopying department comprises of one lovely man, but he's not always there. Not so problematic if you work there permamently, you just go have another coffee, go back to your warm office, but poor old me, nowhere to go except home. This is just what I've done. Walked to uni, the man with the photocopying power isn't there, back in an hour was post-it noted on his door, so I've had to walk back home and then I'll have to make the trip back later. I could have stayed there and hung out with the coffee machine, but it's such a waste of time. Either way I've wasted time. It's annoying!
The primary school job is far from being cosy in any way. It's exhasting and frustrating, with only tiny glimmers of good moments. i have this one class where if I died right in front of them, only 4 or 5 would notice and only 2 would care, such is the lack of respect/enthusiasm. Their main teacher seems to have totally given up on them behaving in my classes and he just shrugs his shoulders. They were so bad last lesson that I wanted to cry. I've had much better success with another class in the same school where there has been a real turn around in their behaviour and yet it still isn't good enough. They were being partiularly rowdy during a game recently but it was because they so totally engrossed in the game. When someone won the game everyone went crazy - yes, i've won, oh pants, i only needed one more card etc etc..... and the teacher comes storming in thinking I can't control the class. He was really cheesed off with me. So, the one class where i need his help, he can't see the point, and the other where they are very motivated but noisey, he thinks i can't control the class. I can't win. The oily thing that works with the terrible class is the idea of competition. If they think they can beat the other team, it's serious business. But I think I've already mentioned that they are evil about it and they pick the weakest members of the opposite team to play against. Oh, and they cheat something awful. It's just not nice and spoils it for the ones that genuinely want to play.
Having said all these things, I am enjoying the uni work, and the primary school work has it's moments. Like watching a school prepare for the christmas carol concert today and hear them sing 'jingle bells' and 'we wish you a merry christmas' that I'd taught them. :oD