All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Getting OFSTED Out Of My System

Stress is a funny old thing.

I can't believe that it has taken me a week to get over the seven days that constituted my OFSTED hell - from the time we found out on Thursday, through to the moment I left school last Wednesday afternoon. Don't forget that teaching and preparation still went on after the visit and so, although the pressure was off me somewhat, I didn't have any time to sit on my laurels (weekend included). It was business as usual as soon as I entered the car park on Thursday morning, although, to be fair it was a non-teaching day.

Throughout the inspection period (i.e. seven days), I went into a state of enforced calm, very aware that the slightest provocation could lead to my seriously "losing it". In fact, I only ended up shouting once at the kids in school when they were playing up on the day before the inspectors turned up. For the rest of the time, I walked around the school looking severely constipated and no doubt, dosed up to the eyeballs on some illegal calming drug. I am still amazed as to how I managed to enforce this non medicated state upon my very being, but I should have known there would be consequences.

And consequences there were.

Since Wednesday evening, once the euphoria of inspection had lifted, I have been in a state of constant exhaustion. I found myself falling asleep at 7 pm two nights ago and this afternoon, I had to struggle to stay awake through to the end of the teaching day. I didn't fall asleep - the kids were working well and I do remember teaching them - but it was a close call - not helped by my going to bed last night waaaaaaay to late, as I tried to sort out a niggling (and frustratingly unsolvable) problem on my computer.

I came home this afternoon and promptly crashed into the loving warmth of my bed, hoping that Dana would take an extraordinarily long time in coming back from picking the girls up from school.

You will no doubt appreciate my sheer delight in knowing that as of tomorrow, we don't have school (or least lessons to deliver) until Tuesday. The kids have a slightly better deal in that they aren't in tomorrow, even though we have to be for an INSET (teacher training day).

I am thoroughly enjoying the luxury of spending Wednesday evening without having to sort out a single lesson for either Thursday or Friday. I know that, as of Sunday, I'll be back on the preparation trail, but right now, this is a pretty wonderful place to be in.

If that weren't marvellous enough, the icing on the cake is the fact that tomorrow night is the start of the most joyous festival in the Jewish year - Purim. I can't think of many occasions when I will have the luxury of enjoying the day to the fullest extent without having to compromise it by going into school (unless it falls on a Sunday) or having to prepare lessons for the next day's teaching.

The holiday, short as it is, could not have come at a more appreciated or welcome time (even if I do have to spend the day fasting) when I can finally taste the glorious sensation of a truly delicious Hamentaschen!

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