Tagged: work

The most happening Saturday ever (allegedly).

Today has been interesting. On Monday I have a job interview for the position of Head of Computer Science and IT at my current school, which obviously is something I really want, and I think I have a decent chance. Part of the interview process is teaching a 20 minute lesson on a topic of the school’s choice. No problem. They sent me the topic. It’s all good. I’ve got a great lesson plan. All I need to do is create some resources.

So what did I do today? Well first of all I did the washing, of course. Then I tidied up. Then I played guitar for a while. Sure I SHOULD have been getting this stuff ready for my interview, but I kept finding any excuse to not do that. Still, once everything was tidied, I figured I should just crack on and do it.

So I went for a 40km bike ride.

It was an awesome day today, beautiful azure skies with wispy clouds high up. I cycled along the canal from my house to Draycote Water. I cycled around the reservoir and then took a different route home, through many small villages in Warwickshire and Northamptonshire. The warm bath I had when I got home was wonderful. So of course, now I’m feeling productive. It’s time.

So I mowed and reseeded the lawn.

For fuck’s sake Karl, why do you keep procrastinating? You HAVE to do this, your future career depends on it, why don’t you just SIT DOWN and DO SOME WORK?

Well, at about 5pm I did. My lesson resources are the dankest you ever saw. This lesson’s gonna rock.

Of course at this point I was on a roll, so I decided to mark some coursework. I queued up some epic music, courtesy of Two Steps From Hell, and got to it. Now, one of the great things about this was that I like introducing new tech to my classes. We use google classroom and the google docs suite, which the students love because they never have to worry about losing their work, or leaving it at home. But I also set up a Slack group for the class.

For those of you that aren’t aware, Slack is a productivity/chat/info sharing system which is used in many tech companies to allow employees to easily communicate with each other. I set it up so that I could get in touch with the students rapidly and they could talk to each other and share ideas, and it’s working really well.

So of course, I mention in Slack that I’m marking, and my students instantly get alerts on their phones letting them know. They can see the comments I’m leaving for them as I leave them, and I can see the corrections they make as they make them. Made the marking feel way more worthwhile.

Anyway, before I realised, it was 11pm. I’m nowhere near done on this marking, but at least I have my lesson sorted for Monday’s interview. I just hope the rest of the interview goes well. I’ll be fairly disgruntled if I don’t get the job.

On the plus side, Wolverhampton University have invited me back to teach as a visiting lecturer again in the summer, so at least I know someone values me.



I still hate myself though. What’s up with that?

Chapter two

Well that’s it then. The summer holidays are over, and it’s back to work on Monday. And let me tell you, it couldn’t come sooner.

Although I’m not complaining about having six weeks off work to enjoy the wonderful weather, it’s been a pretty strange month and a half. I haven’t done half the things I set out to do, but I’ve done a whole load of things I never planned. Which is probably the best possible outcome. 

I’ve been to Sherwood Forest. I’ve joined a band. I’ve danced around my living room to bhangra. I’ve sat in a coffee shop in tears. I’ve sat alone on a bridge and watched the stars. I’ve cleared three dancefloors. I’ve written poems. I’ve written songs. I’ve watched Battlestar Galactica in its entirety. I’ve laughed uncontrollably. I’ve cried for no reason. I’ve filled a mormon’s head with doubts about her faith. I’ve visited a neolithic long barrow. I’ve watched the sun blaze down to the horizon, scorching the western sky.

But throughout it all, my thoughts were unfocused. My brain is constantly thinking, over and over and over, a million thoughts every fraction of a second. During term time it’s fine as I have so many work related tasks to be thinking of, that it’s a good thing. It keeps me going through those long nights of marking, those nights where I know I need to pull a lesson out of my head and I have no time to make resources. But in the holidays it’s just a wash of unrelated ideas, some completely intangible, some fully formed and hideous, some idealistic and wonderful. 

And there’s only so much of that raging miasma I can stand. I start at a new school on Monday. New students, teaching a new course even. One of the things I adore about my job is that there is never the same day twice. Many people think that teaching is just a case of going through the motions, teaching the same material every year… maybe that’s true for some subjects, but for computer science, where the technology is advancing at such a rapid rate, we need to be restlessly creative. And that is what I love.

So I’m not sure what to expect. I AM sure that I need to find a way of kicking myself out of bed in the morning. I think I’m living in EST or something.

Here’s to the future.

Back in school, we are the leaders of it all…

So, first day back at work after the Easter break, and it’s been great. When I first got into teaching, a lot of people asked me why I was doing it.

“How can you deal with those teenagers?”

“I couldn’t do your job”

“How can you stay sane?”

Well to be honest I wasn’t sane in the first place, but that’s besides the point. The wages aren’t great according to many people, but they’re still higher than any wage I’ve ever been on before. The kids can be terrors, but they’re also some of the most interesting people I’ve ever worked with. More than that though, it’s the most satisfying job I’ve ever had. It has given me renewed purpose in life and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Don’t take my word for it though, Taylor Mali said it best: