Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Letting off steam.

My day at work yesterday involved running outside to the playground, at the request of the dinner-lady, to stop two teenage lads from battering the hell out of each other. I pushed myself to the front of the crowd and stood directly inbetween the lads to separate them. I didn’t get hit but punches were thrown around me, as though they were oblivious to the physical barrier I presented. My presence was not enough to prevent the fight from continuing. I was the only member of staff on the scene and eventually, one of the lads ran off.

Immediately after this, another incident occurred with a year 7 boy. He came into the library to escape the teasings of a ‘friend’ and went straight to the back of the portable whiteboard. He sat on the floor facing the wall, refusing to move or talk to anybody. Unable to coax him out, we had to call for assistance from his mentor.

I spent breaktime and lunchtime maintaining a constant surveillance for social networking sites. These sites are banned in school due to cyber-bullying concerns, yet pupils insist on sneaking onto them. Last academic year Bebo was the trend, this year it’s Facebook. If I see Farmville just once more….!

Then, after work, there was a meeting for support staff relating to Single Status. Here, I realised that all sorts of things are going on behind the scenes which employees are not kept informed of, and an incomplete job description was sent for assessment on my behalf. I am likely to be downgraded because of this and will need to go through an appeal procedure if I want to protect my salary.

Yesterday was not a great day at work, to say the least. I seemed unable to do any valuable tasks and spent the day simply reacting to incidences and situations. I know, I know… these things happen when you work with teenagers, but still… on occasions it gets me down. I’m only human. Yesterday, I felt nothing more than a babysitter-come-security guard. There are times I love working in a school, but there’s also the flip side of the coin too. Grrrr!

You must think I’m such a Moaning Minnie, and I guess I am today. Not a very pleasant blog posting to read, sorry about that folks. Moan over.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Published at last!

It seems difficult to believe now, but there was once a time when we as a nation weren’t obsessed with the X-Factor, Jordan verses Peter or (in my case) Strictly Come Dancing. These are the daily topics of conversation between staff and pupils alike, at the school in which I work; yet before our somewhat brief Summer, such chit-chat hadn’t been murmured yet this year. Back in the days when my life was unconsumed by the latest Strictly news, I actually did the occasional spot of work. Hard to believe, I know, but I kid you not.

As proof of my once industrial nature (which I shall return to once my annual Strictly obsession has died down), I offer you the following link *** CLICK HERE *** I entered into correspondence with Debbie Raven of Cilip’s Library and Information Gazette fame, and the result was this rather splendid article (even if I do say so myself!).

I witter on about my experiences of working within a school library, and my musing on the divide between teaching and support staff. I don’t claim to be an all-knowing genius on the subject, but if you’ve got a spare 5 minutes you may enjoy casting your eyes over it. Or maybe not. Either way, all feedback would be gratefully received.

Thursday, 12 November 2009


Next week is Anti-Bullying Week and I've spent this afternoon putting together a wall display for the library. I do a wall and book display on this subject every year - it is particularly relevant whem you're based in a school environment.

I'm a recent convert to http://www.wordle.net/ (so cool!) and here's my most recent attempt.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Chartership Worries

I put my half term break to good use by finalising my chartership portfolio. My mentor has given it the thumbs up and it is now at the binders. Hopefully I’ll be able to post it off for submission by the end of the week. Finally - phew!

It’s strange, but I suddenly feel nervous about it. I’ve been plodding on with it for 18 months and now that I’ve finally got my bum into action and pulled all my evidence together, I’m full of apprehension about it. This is the first time I’ve had to be self-reflective and analyse my personal performance since my MSc dissertation years ago. That type of thing doesn’t come naturally to me at all and it has definitely given me food for thought. Fingers crossed it passes, and that I don’t have to wait too long before hearing back. Every so often, horror stories float through the chartership JISCmail list, about candidates who’ve waited 6 months for their result / certificate. Please, somebody tell me, surely it doesn’t always take that long…?!