Monday, August 10, 2015

When Changes Come... What Have I Learnt/ed

Well clearly I haven't gotten a handle yet on when to use learnt or learned!

I alluded to changes the other day and now I shall elaborate.

Two weeks ago I finished my regular teaching job. The Atlas' job has changed and he has stepped up into more responsibility which means that going in later after dropping the boys to school 3 mornings a week and being definitely able to collect them from after-school programme on at least Tuesday, isn't something he can't do anymore.

So, I stepped out of my working woman role and back into my sometimes-irregular-working-homing role. We've had visitors constantly through the holidays and afterwards so I haven't really had time to reflect on this new non-working thing.

However, I am never one to shy away from having something to say!!!

Working - the bits I didn't like

1. 6am alarms - I hate early mornings. I know those chipper - just get up early and have time to start your day right people. I am not, nor ever shall, be one of them. Also in a house where the rule is no one up before 6am I am never going to have silent time to start the day right anyway. Ask me again when my children hit the teenage years, but for now, not getting peace in the mornings!

I was leaving for work at 6.30am on the bus and arriving to work at 7.05 ish. This meant time for me to do the stuff I needed to do because in the afternoons I had staff meeting one day and another day I had to leave immediately to get into the city for something I volunteer for there.

2. Missing Out - this was a big one for me. Inevitably, the week I started work one of the boys got an award in assembly, I also missed another assembly award, a class performance and several school events. Every working parent knows what that is like, and it feels sad.

3. The Load - teaching, like many jobs, is never ending. There is always more to do, more coming up and the tail end of things that need sorting. As soon as you feel like you are getting somewhere with one thing another thing happens. The beginning of every holiday is shrouded (for me at least) with the thoughts of all I need to do in that holiday to be ready for the next block of teaching.

4. Being New - being new in a workplace is hard work - the stuff everyone else knows you don't. It's like the load thing but with more added in that no-one remembers to tell you. Also you are the new one, relationships and dynamics are established/ entrenched and you have to find your fit in the system.

5. Bringing work home - the point should be work at work, home at home but those lines blur rather easily. Because there is always more to do in teaching it means the 2 days off a week were more like one day off and one day working from home.

Working Regularly -  the bits I like

1. Clothes - let it be said, shallow as I may appear, working means dressing up, for me anyway! It's nice to have a reason to put on something you feel good/professional/smart in. When you are going to spend most of the day in the company of your home dressing up seems a little pointless.

2. Competence/Achievement - no matter how many batches of bread I make by hand or cookies I churn out there is something deeply satisfying about being in a place where you are valued for being competent and you can reflect on a job (mostly) well done at the end of the day. It's also nice to look back at the end of a 9 or so hour day and feel a sense of what you have achieved that day.

When you are at home you really don't have a full day at home - you have 9-3 by the time you have added in exercise (hardly), getting of children to and from school, sorting of general detritus, making of food, checking of computery things and lunch you can realise you actually only have 3 or so hours of your whole day. When you work you get a whole day 7-4.30 at least for me, sometimes more, you get stuff done - measurable stuff that feels proper.

3. People - I love the school environment because I am energised by interacting with people. That doesn't mean I'm not tired at the end of the day but I like other teachers, colleagues, children, families... all of it. Being around people and in front of people is good for me. I like it. Days all by myself are nice now and again but regularly it's too much quiet and quite draining.

4. Money - It's nice to be paid on a regular basis. It's good to be able to buy a really nice mixer (ahem, yes I did) from money you have earned. It's nice to feel like you have skills that are valuable and your work is worth something.

5. Efficiency - I'm not a massive routine person but having only 2 days during the week at home I achieved as much as I would in 5 because I didn't waste a minute. Those spare days were worth more because I had them less. I think that we all achieve more when we have less time because we don't have the luxury of putting it off.

So..... where to now?

Short answer, I have so many things I want to work on - there is enough fabric and craft projects and writing ideas to keep me busy for the rest of the year - but - the people thing is still a big one for me, I will miss the people contact immensely. So there might be some volunteering or some study on the horizon for me.... no straight answers yet.

How about you? Do you work in paid employment? What do you love and hate about it?

Also, what do you think I should/ could be doing with my extra hours? Do tell!

love you more than a great outfit and a paycheque xxx