The Blackboard Jungle

days spent beating back the seeds of doubt

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Two of my favourite British education bloggers:
A new beginning in the online anatomy of Mister Grey.

And, Bloom has captured perfectly what it is to be an inner city teacher at the dog end of exams term:
I finished school yesterday afternoon. After a bite to eat and a couple of glasses of wine, I trudged up the stairs to bed at 8:30pm – even though My Name Is Earl was on later. I came back down this afternoon at around 2:30 pm. I don’t even have the mental capabilities to work out how many hours I actually slept.


I now have two weeks of recuperation, rest and time with my wife and son. For the moment I want to celebrate in the void: the teacher’s paradise – silent moments lost in non-thought. I want to pour myself into this paradise of idleness, drift within the oceans of indolence, bath in the pleasure of nothingness. For a day or two.

Brushing the school, the students, the work, the issues, the noise, from your consciousness is difficult. The Place seeps through your every pore. I think since I started teaching, my genetic make up has changed. Flecks of that incredible environment have altered me utterly. Indeed, as I slept last night and even today, every dream, every second thought concerned a student, a class, an essay, a poem, a play, a novel, a remark, an opportunity, an idea, a fleeting glance at inspiration; every other breath was full of expectation, frustration at a failure; every other breath contained the warm glow of pride at a success, of a job well done.

And I realise: this is not a job. This is a vocation.