I've been intending to comment on other peoples' blogs and update on here for a few days now. But the evenings have been filled. On Friday the Boy napped during the day for four hours, if you can believe it, and so he was up until 10pm with us downstairs and then took until midnight to get to sleep. This meant that I got no work done, Boy entertaining means no chance of doing any marking, nor did I get to pootle on the net - midnight is a tad too late for my standards. Not to worry, thought I, Tilly was out last night with friends and so once the children were off to bed I would get a few hours to do some marking plus a bonus hour online. Au contraire, the Boy nodded off for forty-five minutes on my watch and I was unable to rouse him. So, Tilly left just before 7pm and the Boy remained awake and in need of constant input until 9pm, when I attempted to get him to sleep. Sometime around 10.30pm he dropped off, whereupon I decided it was too late to work.
Not to worry, thought I, for tomorrow is Sunday and I shall simply get up a couple of hours earlier than normal and get some marking done then. Au contraire, the Boy decided that I was a security blanket at around 6am and so I wasn't able to move without waking him until 7.30am. I could have got up then, I know, but he would have got up with me and, to be honest, being with the Boy since 3.45pm on Friday nigh on constantly has made me realise that I am a bad parent and that I need some time off from the Boy.
Turnsd out I'm too bloody lazy to mark anyway. Which is why I'm on here.
Work-wise, there was a brief meeting with my Boss on Friday. She was nice enough but showed me some statistics that independently confirmed my worst fear: I'm not good at my job at all. They concerned progress, that is, how many of the students that I tutor get the grades they would get in the top 15% of educational establishments based on their postcode and results at the end of Key Stage 2. My stats were almost a grade adrift on average and, in the worst case, over a grade and a half adrift. Basically, if you have me to take you through the examination system you will likely enjoy the lessons but you will also underperform your peers, and indeed your other subjects, by at least a grade. This means I am as bad a teacher as I feared, something I've been dimly aware of since 2008/9. I've been trying to fix this problem since then. The fact that I still have this problem means two things: a. I still have it (duh) and b. I'm unlikely to be able to fix it.
I've always maintained that I am in my job because God put me there. Basically, I'm not cut out for educating and messed up a whole bunch of things from start to finish but I somehow managed to get into the training programme and get a job at the end of it. On the weekend away at Whitby there were some lecture-y study things that I went to a couple of. Here we were told about Moses and how he was chosen for some tasks despite being feareful that he wasn't cut out for the job. The point was made that as he had been chosen it wasn't really his decision to say he would be shit at things - the all-seeing, all-knowing ruler of the universe had a different, and much better informed, opinion. Obviously, the message from this was that if you were called to do something then you could be confident, despite what you felt your failings were, that you would be able to do it well enough and for all the right reasons.
This did not have the desired effect with me. Given that I already started from the premise that I was called to teach and since I already believed that this meant I would have to work through my failings because that was the plan you'd think I'd be receptive. But, for whatever reason, I still have the same failings that I did when I started in my job. If anything, these problems and failings have multiplied and got worse - I have not lost any of the issues that I had when I started (I can still rub students up the wrong way, for example) and I have gained more besides (lack of organisation, poor examination performance, poor people-management skills, poor time-management, basic laziness, poor time-keeping). Also, since 2009, I have questioned whether or not I am still called to the profession in which I labour.
Yeah, downbeat introspection, from me: who'd've thunk?
I did reward myself though on Friday morning, I was up early (close enough 5am) and so wore my skirt, boots and a top. Okay, I wore my dressing gown over the top because it was cold, but it felt lovely and nice. I liked being able to walk about the kitchen as I did the pots and I loved the feeling on my calves and thighs provided by the arch. I don't think I can adequately explain why that felt nice, nor why it felt more comfortable wearing a skirt rather than my shorts. The top was another welter of difficult to descibe emotions - I loved the straps on my shoulders and the tight feeling around my chest. I don't know why. It felt snug, it felt... like being held I guess. It felt completely unlike anything I own in my more masculine clothing. It's not like I wear baggy clothes or anything but they never seem to hold me the same way. All of it meant that I left for work that morning feeling a little better about life and my ability to do things. So much so that I actually managed to get a bit done in my free period before the meeting. Even the meeting itself didn't fill me with dread until the thirty seconds between my Boss sitting down and the meeting beginning. Of course, I wasn't dressed at that point, I'd changed before going for a shower that morning. I doubt very much that dressing would change my underlying statistical performance.
I can make excuses about that, of course, I wouldn't be an educator if I couldn't. One student in the lowest performing set was predicted the top grade and had never worked above a C grade (so four grades worse) since he had started the examination years. That's why he was in the bottom set with me rather than the top set. He, alone, accounts for a quarter grade under-performance for every student in my set. Then there was the girl predicted a B who failed to attend lessons, refused point-blank to do her coursework and didn't revise who got an E, accounting for another quarter grade per student. Or the other girl predicted an A who decided, and I kid ye not, that her hair was more important than the subject but less important than English or Maths. So, despite being disciplined and coerced by both current and old Boss never did anything in lessons. She got a D too, so just shy of another quarter grade per student in the set. Or the student who was rendered ill for eight months and so didn't attend any lessons, predicted a B and achieved a D (which was quite something, I might add). That's an eighth of a grade per student. So, remove those students, and I get a rating of around 0.7 below target. It's still shit, but not as bad as 1.53 below target.
But these are excuses. Excuses. Excuses don't wash. Nor should they wash. The fact remains that these students underperformed, that I did not intervene effectively. In my class you are likely to enjoy the lesson but you are not likely to achieve anything like your potential.
Words of warning and welcome:
This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. Obviously it started out as a blog about my cross-dressing but it has developed a great deal since then. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.
It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the New Readers' Page above this and the tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!