The Tourist

It’s been said before, but bears repeating, that there are many parallels between myself and Justin Bieber:

• We are among the top search terms on the web – porn trends in UK revealed that ‘teacher’ is the top term (I was young and needed the money)

• We have both decided to ‘retire’

• We both regret buying a monkey

What I didn’t expect when I handed my notice in, was to see grown women sobbing, flailing their arms around hysterically and grabbing my legs to stop me leaving. This is good, as it didn’t happen. In fact, when I arrived with resignation letter pressed nervously in my palm, there was…no-one there.

It turned out that the Head Teacher had temporarily left for unknown reasons. The now ‘Acting’ Head informed me of this in the same tone that was used to tell me that Daddy was gone and I’d be seeing a lot more of Uncle Godfrey.

Like Stormtroopers, I’m easily bamboozled and I was fed enough rhetoric to leave me confused about where I stood. I left with my resignation letter unopened and with everyone doing a lot of nodding and supportive smiling. The only thing I remember was being called the ‘soul man’.

I was surprised to discover this was my nickname, and used my best jive to return the compliment. I referred to her as my favourite ‘shit dawg’ and a ‘crazy ass coochie’. It was only once I’d been forcibly removed that I realized she meant ‘sole’ as in ‘only’.

The previous evening I’d drawn up a list with reasons to stay and go;

Reasons to go

1) The knives were out for me from day one. I spend so much of my day biting my tongue I’m concerned I might one day swallow it.

2) The job is aging me. During a Science lesson I asked the class for an example of an ‘irreversible change’. One suggested my greying hair.

3) I want to leave before I become one of those blokes who chases ducks in parks

Reasons to stay

1) I live within a stones throw from the school (I know this because local children often throw stones at me on my way home)

If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad (the name I’ve given to our class teddy bear) I may have to find other reasons for them to fire me. An enforced change around in my classroom means people can now peer through a window to see if I’m there. I feel like I’m in a monkey enclosure and this has given me the idea to ‘monkey see, monkey do’ and start throwing my shit at visitors.

Another idea emerged when one of my year group piranhas dropped by complaining of a neck ache. I thought to offer a move I’d seen in a film. What I didn’t mention was the film was a horror and had resulted in the person receiving a mild decapitation. I could at least argue at tribunal that it stopped the neck ache. Another idea was to give the worst offenders, dolls of themselves labelled ‘(In) action figures’.

We’ve been asked by the school to be ‘walking thesaurus’ and my last idea to get fired can’t fail. I just need to wait for a serious playground incident;

Me: Johnny you seem to have a disgusting, revolting gash on your forehead

Johnny: Yes it hurts

Me: Mmm it must be very troublesome and distressing

Johnny: …it hurts so much

Me: You seem to be bleeding profusely

Johnny: the pain…

Me: what do you think profusely might mean?

Johnny: I…I don’t know… (Collapses)

Me: Ooh, you now seem to have lost consciousness. What do you think consciousness means? Johnny?…these children never listen

8 thoughts on “The Tourist

  1. Elizabeth

    Hey hope your attempts at extracting (extricating?) yourself become more successful, quickly. Wonderful feeling: having escaped from a rotten teaching situation. Slowly… sanity, creativity and energy return!
    PS though if you found a boring job in another field we’d direly miss your blog.

    Reply
    1. timlondinium

      Thank you Elizabeth for your very kind comments and support. My leaving is becoming something of a protracted experience but I’m hitting my stride teaching-wise so that may not be a bad thing for the meantime!

      Reply
  2. Steve

    Can i just say that i had thoughts of becoming a primary school teacher… but reading your blog as put me off lol…. Obviously it wasn’t meant to be! Sorry if you’ve already said but are you quitting teaching in general and moving to a totally different profession ?

    Reply
    1. timlondinium Post author

      Hi Steve, I hope to stay in education in some capacity, I’m undecided as to what though.

      And apologies I didn’t mean to single-handedly put you off teaching! I’ve a tendency to exaggerate for comic effect it’s not as bad as I might have made out. In fact, I have generally experienced positive working environments, made some good friends and enjoyed valuable experiences, as I hope this blog testifys.

      I would recommend for you to give it a go. Maybe even start your own blog?

      Reply
  3. cdrummersteve

    Yeah don’t mind me Tim I probably took it all too literally haha. Good luck with whatever you end up doing.

    Reply
  4. steevbeed

    After 25 years (yep, 25!) as a male primary teacher I so recognise the things you are writing about. There is a surplus of ill-thought through changes and badly organised management with endemic institutionalised bullying. You have made the right decision to step back for a bit, do it before it does you.
    Good luck for the future, love the blog, keep us posted.

    Reply
    1. timlondinium Post author

      Thank you so much for your comment! As a teacher of 25 (yep 25!) years, your approval of my decision completely validates it! Wishing you all the very best too, I will be following your own blog with interest :)

      Reply

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