About Me

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Worcester, Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Born in the year of the Coronation, I'm a Baby Boomer. In April of this year I decided I too would have a Diamond Jubilee celebration and completely change my life and that of my Husband's in the process

Saturday, 15 October 2005

The Joys of Children

Another week and I seem to be going backwards!

School has taken most of my time this week, various issues with children with problems and teachers who seem to find places to go, other than our school. I taught for 3 and half hours on Monday and I'm only a teaching assistant. If you ask me the world's gone mad.

I'm a reasonably intelligent woman but I'm an Insurance Broker. I never trained as a teacher. When I started part time work as a Learning Support Assistant, I did not realise that in three years time I would be taking whole classes for IT, or covering Maths and Literacy lessons for the SEN group, of which we have many.

It's mostly down to the goverment idea of teachers having Planning and Preparation time during school hours. What twit thought of that? It's like having a bus driver that doesn't drive!

As usual there doesn't seem to be adequate funding to bring in a supply teacher to cover and remember, in our school of 11 teachers that amount to 22 hours extra cover a week. So who does it get dumped on? Me and my other TA colleagues and because we now do PPA cover they seem to think that it's OK for us to cover for teachers on courses or at hospital appointments. 

Anyway that's just my rant for the week.

The other thing is the Head of the infant school, which is on the same site as the junior school is retiring and so the powers that be want to make the school one.

I don't actually have a problem with that, I think it will lead to greater continuity throughout those vital early years and I might get to find out why so many children come up to year 3, still unable to read.But the meetings we have to keep having because people are worried about their jobs. There is so much uncertainty.

Thursday afternoon we were all told to attend a meeting which the 'Big Knobs' would be at and they would make everything clear. There's one word that sums that up. B****ks!

Three turned up for the start of the meeting and waffled. Any difficult questions were met with the answer that so and so would be the best person to answer that but they hadn't turned up. One woman arrived about twenty minutes late but the HR (whatever happened to Personnel?) man turned up an hour and a quarter late.

Now I must say he didn't do much for English/Welsh relations, even though he was the person to answer most of the questions asked there was no apology for turning up 15 minutes before the end of the meeting and he then proceeded to belittle people with very genuine concerns, in his Tom Jones accent. I was squirming in my seat hoping no one remembered I had Welsh relatives and one of the poor TA's, a lovely girl  from Merthyr and as Welsh as you like said later that when he opened his mouth to speak her heart sank.

The upshot of the meeting was, our jobs are ringfenced (?) and all our jobs are safe, unless of course they are not, in which case, no one will be made redundant, as they don't like to consider that option until the end. So if you lose your job they will 'support' you to find another, which could be anywhere within the area, therefore miles away, as we know there are very few vacancies inWorcester.

I have never heard a bigger load of TWADDLE in my life.

I shall just carry on as usual and wait for whatever happens.

The little boy from our school who was found on fire by the canal in the summer holidays came to visit. He's still bandaged on his body but thankfully all the visible bits are untouched. Considering his was in a coma and in intensive care for a couple of weeks you really have to wonder at the miracles our hospitals can sometimes perform. He looked really happy and well, I hope he continues in the same way and his experience doesn't leave too many mental scars.


It's now Saturday evening.

Children can be a joy, they can also be a pain, or a huge worry.

On Sunday before my son left, to drive back down to London to his girlfriends', he let something slip. It was another of his classics, he really shouldn't lie as he always gets found out in the end. No, not gets found out, but blurts it out. I'm not sure if he does in to clear his conscience, or just forgets he lied.  

This revelation was to do with car accidents. He only recently passed his driving test, so when he was at college in Gosport, would often have a lift with one of his mates back home to Worcester.

I am a bit of a joke amongst his friends as I always say, drive safely, in a 'you'd better while you have my son aboard' sort of way.

About a year ago he mentioned something about when Carl wrote off his car. Oh! says I, (Mother's Radar working overtime here)  when was that? (smiles sweetly, in a Cruella DeVille sort of way, to encourage confidences). That time when we were going back to base one weekend and we hit a lamppost. Smile rapidly disappears, AND WHEN WAS THAT? Son realises mistake and tries to back track but had to admit that at a roundabout they had been pushed, ever so slowly into a lamppost by some idiot driver who pulled into the side of them. Hmmm! Mother is almost placated and is assured she wasn't told for her own good. It wasn't Carl's fault and he is a safe driver.

Well, last Sunday, I have no idea what was the reason but the accident was brought up again and now he's forgotten the edited version he'd given me. Let's hear the truth shall we?

They'd just left a dual carriageway and were heading down a sliproad to a roundabout. Carl was going to fast and didn't make it, the car  overturned and ended on it's side up against one of those giant lampposts you get at that type of junction.

Carl said what shall I do and son said, turning of the engine might be good. They weren't hurt but couldn't get out, as one side of the car was under them and the other was up in the air.

They were justdebating how to get out when son spotted something happening and said' shut your eyes'. The lamppost slowly toppled onto the front of the car, shattering the windscreen in the process. That solved the getting out problem.

Then there was the difficulty of continuing their journey. Carl had Relay cover but that didn't apply to accidents, however he phoned his rescue service and gave his location saying his car wouldn't start.

When the man turned up he took one look and said 'Well of course it won't start, it's on it's ****ing side!!!'

I had phoned son whilst they were getting it all sorted out and asked why hadn't he rung to say he was home. He told me was. Well in that case why could I hear cars in the background? That's because we went for a drink at the bar on base and we're just walking back through the car park.

His best foot in mouth episode is still a family favourite.

When Mike and I married, son was only four. There was a bit of male rivalry for my attentions in those days. We had very little money and were doing our best with a little Vicorian terraced house. Mike, who is the first to admit is no handyman, bought some pine shelves to put up in the alcove by the chimney breast, a place to keep our books. They weren't quite level but he was very proud of them.

At bedtime son was fiddling about with his pocket money, rather than getting ready for bed. Mike took it off him and put it on the shelves, which were now sporting a  large array of weighty tomes.

Later, we went to bed, we'd just slipped into the land of nod, when there was this awful noise from downstairs. I really thought we had been raided by the police and they'd kicked the door in. We all rushed downstairs to find Mike's shelves had collapsed and the large books were now all over the sitting room.

Mike was not a happy bunny! He went into a huge sulk over it for days and that is really not like him.

Several years laterSimon let slip to me, as he does, that after we went to bed, he'd climbed up onto the shelves, which were above an old cupboard, to get his money. I felt this was something that never needed to be disclosed, as did the rest of the children so it was never to be spoken of again.

That is, until a family dinner a couple of years ago when he decided to relate the tale. I wish I had a video of the moment. Mike was open mouthed, son was bemused and the rest of us became incontinent and incapable of speech.

If ever you have a secret, don't tell my son, not unless you want everyone to know about it.

Another of the delights of working with children is head lice, we have an outbreak at the moment and although I can't find any, I am convinced I keep feeling the marching of their little feet through my scalp. I spend ten minutes under the power shower every morning in the hope of dislodging any possible visitors.

We had a lovely day out today and yet another of those strange coincidences that follow me happened. I'll write about that next week.




wobblymoo said...

Yes our school has employed another teacher to cover the planning time, so I guess we are lucky. I think I would be inclined just to sit back and see what happens, no point in getting het up about it.

andrewfrnd said...

Sounds just like the railway, we have reorganisations of reorganisations just to end up back where we were! I suppose thats life these days. Lets face it life would be dull without all this pettiness when what really matters is the end result, ie giving children a good education.

tillysweetchops said...

I have a few friends who are Learning Support Assistants but despite their title you'd think they were teachers! But then you know all about what a fabulous (underpaid!) job they do.

I don't envy your exposure to whole brigades of lice though! It's quite shocking how lax a lot of parents are at dealing with them. I have a policy in my house where "Friday Night is Nit Night! - that means that each child gets a quick comb through with one of the softer lice combs (if any are found then it's out with the really sharp but very effective one). Actually, lice are very easy to deal with these days but you do have to do the manual labour bit of combing through every couple of days for at least 10 days (and that's after the chemical bomb not instead of!) Fortunately we've only had lice a couple of times (& then only 2 of 6 children) so we're holding some sort of record bearing in mind how rampant they are these days (all this fits in rather nicely with my entry don't you think?!)

Tilly xx

chasdingle said...

That sounds like the joys of things to come for me ! My son is 5 yrs old, so I have all this yet to come, oh the joys of motherhood lol Love your blog by the way:)
Janz x

donnathomas42 said...

Hi Linda Ü,

My name is Donna and I come by way of "Tilly's" Journal. I have spent the last hour reading every entry you have posted. I was laughing so hard at most of your life's antics and adventures! I am definetely adding you to my favorites and alerts. It's so nice to meet you. You sound like a wonderful lady Ü.

Hugs, Donna

sarah2412 said...

absolutely fantastic, hilarious and so much like my life. i have to go to work and get a fellow parent check my head!!!