... was thankful for BTF's and Work Hubbies
I had this thought today as I was walking round the school site at lunch. I wasn't on SLT duty like I usually would be, I was walking around because my BTF (Best Teacher Friend) was on a course, and I didn't fancy the staff room and I couldn't face another lunchtime working on documents whilst dropping some variation of diet turkey meal all over my keyboard.
Walking around school, I realised that during my rapid rise to the top, I had forgotten to take a moment and enjoy being a teacher like I had at my last two schools, at this one, I had developed a heads down, work hard , and if there's anything hard to cope with, then just work harder. I always found time to develop a rapport with the kids, but aside from my BTF, of which we both started on the same day, and stuck together ever since, had I taken the time to develop the same tightness with other members of staff? I don't think so, if I'm honest. I could put it down to the fact that we are such a small school that the cliques were already formed, or even that I line manage so many in the staff room, that I believed it to be unfair to encroach on their downtime. I personally really do not feel that SLT should be in the staffroom. It's a place for staff to unwind, maybe even rant about a bad lesson without fear of reprisal, and anyway, most days I was on duty.
But if you have a BTF or a work Hubby/ Wife like I always have had, then it doesn't need to ever have that feeling of being an island. Having said all that, I leave my school in two days to start my Assistant Head of a PRU role in September, and although I'm faced with placing an advert for BTF, there is more devastation left behind. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that I'm that amazing that my BTF will have a teach life crisis, but I have been the one left behind before, it is much easier to go to a new place and start again from nothing than it is to stay in a place where someone has moved on from.
It smarts just that bit more when you're sat in your spot in the art room on your own, or you reserved staff room chairs that no teacher will sit in because they will have to move when you get there anyway remains empty or that spot under the tree on the verge that kids know they better not sit there as "Miss Raynor and Miss Cunningham will have them" is permanently free. So it got me thinking, and I came up with this list:
5 reasons why a work BFF/husband/wife are essential in any school
- You never have to eat lunch off your lap in the toilet to avoid being alone -they'll be in the cubicle next to you, standing over the top calling you a knob
- You will never be late - Yeah your running 10 mins late for staff briefing, and the heads spotted this, but BTF/H/W will make up some excuse that will not only exonerate you, but will make you look epic in the meantime e.g. dealing with a feral parent in reception
- You will never have to worry about forgetting your lunch - You are so indebted to each other because you have bought each other snacks on upteen occasions, and somehow you have synchronised your wallets so that no matter who forgets their scran, there is always food money/chocolate fund to go round
- You're cup never runnuth dry - Neither of you will dare to be the first to commit the cardinal sin of not getting the other a brew. No matter what part of the school you're in, They will automatically make your strong coffee with one and half sugars (which is actual two heaped, but you're on a diet so ...)
- You'll never have a bad day - Because, even if you do, they'll have you're back. People will not dare bitch about you when they are in the vicinity because no one wants this tag team coming to take them down. They pick you up when you're low, they'll laugh with you when you messed up a lesson, they'll tell you to man up when you're in the wrong. They tell you when a report or data drop is due and tell you when your vest top is too low. They defend you to the kids, big you up to parents and have a sneaky tipple on a residential (no teacher does that...honest). But most of all, they will answer any SOS text any time to reassure you that yes, you are in fact a knobhead, now go to sleep.
So this is to my BTF/H's over the years, VRM, Dizz, Tetters, KHumps, Ryn, Bend, Kenty, Cush, Plumbsy, Srivers, and Smellor.... Ive just realised that I gave you all annoying nicknames. Class clown strikes again!