Pinky's Book Link

Friday, August 12, 2016

What to Expect as a Relief Teacher


My eyes have been opened after working as a relief teacher for the last 6 months...

These are the things I've discovered.

1. The kids will think it’s a free-for-all day. They’ll greet the relief teacher with all the exuberance of an audience at the Colosseum, cheering an impoverished, starving Christian into the arena who’s about to face an annoyed lion that’s been starved for two days. That’s the nicest the kids will be to you all day.

2. The ‘real teachers’ will always have an elaborate plan in place for the relief teacher involving a reading and spelling rotation group system that necessitates a code breaker from the CIA to decipher. This will confuse the relief teacher to the point where they will want to rip their eyes from their sockets and fall to their knees in submission.

3. There will always be parents standing at the door at the first bell when the relief teacher is struggling to mark the roll online without a code and at the same time attempting to puzzle out the rotating reading group schedule which is due to start at that precise next second.

4. The parent/parents will stare at the relief teacher as if to say, “Where did they dig her up from?” which will undermine the relief teacher’s confidence for the remainder of the day.

5. The relief teacher will then spend the rest of the day worrying that the ‘helper parents’ have reported her to administration for incompetence.

6. The real teacher will often leave a loose plan for a science or maths lesson, involving dirt/mud/water experiments that they’ve been putting off doing all term because of all the dirt/mud/water.

7. These lessons will never go well for the relief teacher as there will always be a serious accident regarding mud/water/dirt on the classroom carpet.

8. The kids will be a combination of ‘extra helpful’ assistant teacher types and utter arseholes.

9. The relief teacher will have no ability to keep naughty kids in at lunch time because they will naturally have duty when they will wander around the playground asking every adult they see, “Is this area ‘C’ or ‘A’” whilst squinting at a tea-splattered mud map and being largely ignored.

10. The relief teacher will not go into the staffroom at lunchtime because they know that nobody will want to talk to them because they are virtual strangers/pariahs and they will be afraid they might accidentally use another teacher’s cup/milk/teabag and even if they didn’t perform this faux pas they’d still have to sit at the janitor’s table because they are the untouchables.

11. The only person who is ever nice to a relief teacher is the office lady and that’s only because they hate the real teachers because they perceive that the real teachers take them for granted. (I must amend this. Most teachers are very nice but awkward introverts like Pinky always feel left out in the company of strangers.)

12. Relief teachers get called in twenty minutes before the first bell so they often arrive at school with dirty hair and crap makeup which gives them a “Caravan-Living” ambience which might be one of the reasons they are so looked down on.

13. Relief teachers get to go home when the bell rings but usually the car park doesn’t clear for forty-five minutes so they have to spend the time twiddling their thumbs and picking up tiny pieces of paper from the classroom floor so the room is spotless and the teacher might ask for them to come back again.

P.S. I have NOTHING against people who live in caravans. I think it would be a lovely lifestyle.