Really, really miserable

I’m really, really miserable today. I feel utterly gutted. I’m trying my hardest not to just wallow in self-pity, of course I’m blogging this so it’s possibly not going to go that way.

So, I applied for a position at a SCOPE Further Education school. I applied to teach Art. Didn’t get it.

A few weeks later they rang me back to offer me a job lecturing in Performance. I haven’t had a regular job (you know that I needed a real P45 for and with a pension plan and everything) since this time last year when I was working as a life model. The last time I was offered regular work I went in for three days and got told they didn’t want me (January). The last time I got supply work through the agency was June. It’s November. I took the job. I finished the training today, I’ve been going in on Tuesdays and Thursdays to get a feel for the work. At lunchtime today they told me that they didn’t feel I was getting involved enough and that they felt that this class was a bit beyond me.

The worst bit isn’t actually that they were probably right, the worst bit is that this morning, during the training I was beginning to think that maybe I could really get into teaching this group of kids.
I keep wondering how I ended up a teacher. Whenever anyone actually sees me teach, that’s when I get fired… ok so I haven’t actually been fired since I got made redundant during Sixth Form, but thats what it feels like. Whenever someone sees me teach, thats when the job ends. Didn’t even make it to the end of the training for this one, last one I did three days and that was it.

When did I decide to become a teacher? I know exactly, I was fourteen and needed something to tell people I was aiming for, I knew I was good with younger kids and I was just starting to work with Girl Guides in an adult role, so that was it. Plus, I knew I would be able to travel with it and thats what I really wanted to do. travel and write. Whenever I would tell people that I wanted to be a writer they’d ask me what I’d do until the money came in… so teacher, world traveller, and above all writer. Yet, I remember in my third year of uni all my friends not seeming to realise that I wanted to be a writer I’d kept it so quiet. I remember most of my tutors, especially my print-making tutor not believeing that I’d be able to cope with teaching.
Well, I can’t so they were right about that one.
In Japan, most of my friends were surprised to know I was doing NanoWrimo (the one time I’ve actually completed it) because I was an ‘artist’ not a writer. An artist, when I largely chose my uni subject at the last minute and without due care and attention due to that sad melancholy that hangs around at the back of my psyche.

Teaching has never been particularly easy for me. Sure I have really good days with the older kids and occaional amazing lessons with the younger ones, but generally speaking, it’s not easy. Discipline is something I hate, much more from the giving end than I ever did the recieving, it’s not that I can’t do it, well usually it’s not that I can’t do it. But I feel like it detracts from all the amazing stuff I want to do with a class… thats the bit I love about teaching, when it’s a matter of sharing with the students all the wonderful bits of art and english and you’re learning too.

I didn’t know how to interact with these students, I never managed to communicate for all I was with them for four lessons. I thought it was something I’d figure out how to do. I think though that I’ve never really had a natural aptitude for working with lower ability groups, I need something I can bounce off and perhaps what I thought I could do just wasn’t appropriate level wise. Dancer Boy was worried I was ignoring the students when I thought I was taking ideas from them…
I hate how much I totally misjudged everything. I really thought I could get to grips with this and I was so, so wrong, again.

At the end of the day though, I was going in to a school which specialises in disabilities and I’ve never been very good with special needs in a classroom. I know that, I just allowed myself to be persuaded that I could do it because I really, really wanted a job. I keep cleaning and gardening and applying for teaching jobs and admin positions and none of it helps. I never hear back from anything I apply to in writing and whenever I’m gardening or cleaning I keep wishing I was sat down and writing. But then we’re back to why I became a teacher in the first place, writing doesn’t pay.

I was so happy that I had a job, it made a change from telling people I was just looking…and me mentally filling in the fact that I’ve been looking for over a year now. I just keep coming back to the fact I’ve not had a proper job in over a year. Everything I do, it’s all piecemeal, bits here and there and my boyfriend is holding down two jobs while he writes up… I keep wishing I was back in Japan. Partly because there I had a stable job which allowed me to write and travel and do all the things I wanted to do, partly because I just want to climb to the top of Mount Fuji and watch the sun come up. Mother-In-Law says I’m homesick for it and I really think I am.

Everything seemed to go right when I was in Yamanashi, now I’m back here every dream I’ve had, every plan I’ve made seems to rot away into nothingness or fall apart in my hands and I’m just stuck, I don’t know how to make things right anymore, I don’t even know what to try for. I’ve had people write and re-write my CV and still no one gets back to me about jobs. The twice that jobs have it’s vanished within days, as soon as they see me actually working.

I have kind of a phobia about not being able to do practical things, practical things have always been something that I found hard and I thought I’d finally found something practical that I could do, I mean teaching, but because I don’t have the right accoutrements, the discipline, the communication skills I just fail.

I know, I do know that working with a particularly challenging group at the SCOPE school was going to be hard work but for a few hours I really thought I could do something real and now thats just disolved, along with pretty much everything that I’ve tried to do over the last fifteen months.

I don’t know what to do. I just, really, really don’t know what to do and I actually can’t stop crying at this point.

So much for not wallowing.

I can’t seem to see any way out of this, it’s like I don’t know, the pashu is grabbing me until I give in, I’m supposed to be this grey little person and… I really am wallowing here.

I never wanted to be dependant on anyone, and here I am, completely dependant and feeling so trapped by everything right now and so utterly lost. I really thought I could do something, but as with everything in the last fifteen months I was wrong.

Ok. So things to look forward to;
This weekend, my cousin’s hen do. Monday, going to the cinema. 2010 going to Peru. Sometime visiting Australia.

Time to start again from my beginnings having lost the lot in the pitch and toss…and right now every minute is especially unforgiving and I’m slowing down when it comes to sixty seconds of distance. Honestly not sure what I’m doing wrong. Answers on a postcard.

10 thoughts on “Really, really miserable

  1. I want to be able to say "I know exactly how you feel" without saying "I know exactly how you feel" because nobody ever knows exactly how somebody else is feeling. But words have escaped me for the moment.

    If you ever want to chat or anything, you know where to find me.

  2. Time to rethink the teaching plans, maybe.

    Time to write until your nib melts.

    Time to plan for bursting forth in the spring.

    Business meetings are just a phonecall away!

    P.S. And don’t worry, if I ever think you’re about to slide into the world of the pashu I’ll fetch the grail from where I’ve been hiding it in that cupboard on the landing and come round and make you drink cherry coke out of it until you’ve had enough! šŸ™‚

  3. As with so many others, I’m here if you want a chat/vent/distraction/etc. Particularly now I’m shot of work for the week.

    Other than that, like so many, I doubt the grey.

    Remember, we’ve read your poetry…

  4. Sometimes you sound scarily like you are where I was a couple of years ago. To be brutally honest, I don’t think you are, by a far shot, because you have so much more in your life than I did, but it’s not a good place to be. Just don’t be so locked into old plans and ideas that you don’t seek new paths, promise?

  5. If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
    And treat those two imposters just the same…

    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn out tools…

    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"…

    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it.

    (But don’t turn into a man, unless you really want to, obviously.)

    You’re already filling the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run. The race just has another minute to go, and you won’t slow down, because you’re you.

  6. I’m sure it’s an astrological thing, but please stop writing how I’m feeling better than I can express, you’re turning me into your shadow.

    On a less selfish note, the secret to not being Pashu isn’t in what your life is about, or what you’re doing, it’s about not waking up one morning and wondering where last week went, or how come you keep making the same mistakes.

    I don’t think you could ever be that, it would be like trying to mix oil with water.

  7. Mish I’m not in work today. Give me a call if you’d like some tea, chat and constructive suggestions? I think I might be able to help you.

  8. There was one thing that stayed in my mind after reading this post… the comment about doing work and thinking about writing all the time while you do it.

    A lot of people do work they don’t like or enjoy. It’s not like I do the job I do because I love it beyond everything else, but it pays for what we eat, and it allows me to buy some of the things I want to have. And don’t say I could look for something else – I have, and I continuously do, but at this point in time, all my options are worse than my current situation. But yeah, I do think about more fun things when I do this work. People do.

  9. Don’t worry too much about the discipline issue. My year has been hellish on the discipline front, and it’s mostly to do with being a new member of staff. The whole "walk into a classroom and get immediate silence" only comes with experience and/or promotion. If you really want to teach, keep pushing until you get the job and stick out the first year and the quality of your teaching will win all but a tiny minority around.

    Have you considered setting up a business running art workshops for primary schools? (maybe doing stuff they don’t normally have resources for) That way you get to do all the fun stuff and the class teachers can deal with the classroom management.

  10. Sorry to hear the job didn’t work out.

    I agree with Jez – just because you finished the PGCE and only need a year’s experience to gain the full qualification it doesn’t mean that you *have* to do that extra year and get that qualification. Trying to fulfill false commitments if you don’t really want to will only make you stressed and unhappy – and will hold you back from advancing with what you really want to (and should) be doing.

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