Thursday, April 4, 2013

Who Knew??

You're in grade 9, and your English teacher has given you a ridiculously difficult assignment to complete.  You have to read and analyse particular features of a book, that barely makes any sense to you.

Your Mum makes you tidy and wipe over the bathroom every single morning before school, and on Saturdays you have to give it a good scrub before you're allowed to go out and have any fun at all!

It's a public holiday - woohoo no school!!!


Who knew, that every thing you think or feel as a child is BIGGER on the other end of things??

Who knew, that your English teacher dreads assignment time EVEN MORE than students, because they have to have written a task, ensured that they've managed to teach all of their students enough to complete it successfully, try and get 60 14-year-olds to read a whole book, then they have to urge and assist students - who seem to think they have better things to do - to complete the task (and beg for drafts that they're going to have to spend their whole weekend marking). Then, they have to mark the 60 or so of them, checking with other teachers and heads of department to make sure grades are in line, and then often deal with those one or two parents who always think their student should receive a higher mark than they deserve, regardless of whether they read the book or not.

Who knew, that it would take Mum a 10th of the time she spends trying to encourage you to do the 20 second 'job' she's given you to complete weekdays, and the 20 minute job she's asked you to complete on Saturdays, but she's desperately trying to teach you the values of contributing to a family and hard work.  

And who knew, that no matter how excited you are as a student to receive a 'day off', it's about 1000 times more exciting for a teacher.

  She's thinking '3 more hours, and Monday's a public holiday! - 3 more hours..

It's been so funny over the last few years, first being a teacher, then a parent, and now being a parent married to a teacher, how much harder and more exciting things are on the other end!!

When I was teaching, it felt like making my year 6 class write their essays was like pulling teeth!  It turns out, teachers do NOT enjoy giving ridiculously difficult assignments and laughing behind your back about your struggle to complete it.  If half a class fails, the teacher looks really much worse than the failing students do, and every high or low mark is super, super analysed and has to be justified in the tiniest detail to ensure that students, other teachers and parents agree with it. Criteria sheets are binding documents, and you'd better have yours spot on!!  Not only is it more stressful, it's crazy time consuming!!!  Assignment time for teachers = worse.  And don't even get me started on writing report cards!!!!

When the girls finish playing with dress ups or any other toy, they need to pack it up before meals, or any other toy is played with.  Maggie's just gotten old enough to 'not want to' pack up every now and then, and as I look at the 3 pieces of clothing she's crying about picking up and putting in the basket next to her I just can't imagine how it seems like such a big, difficult task.  Then I remember my massive, intrusive job of tidying the bathroom before school each morning, and I feel sorry for my Mum, who always 'made us' do our 'jobs'.  It's also like pulling teeth.  But worse, because it's constant!! And mine are still young, and think helping is usually the funnest thing out!!!  Eek!!

James has now been teaching for 1 term.  And it's holidays.  And before holidays it was assessment time and reports. And I gotta say, I can't imagine that James' students are more relieved than me that assessment is over and holidays are ON!!! And I hear from Mum and other Mums out there, how exciting holidays are for parents of school-aged children, because you're not tied into the daily 'school run', and (this one wasn't my Mum) - you can stay in your pyjamas ALL DAY!!! :)

All these things make me smile - I wonder what else I'm going to find 'harder on the other end' as I keep going through life? It certainly keeps me on my toes through this crazy journey!!! :)


  1. SO TRUE! :) And yet, I'm thinking that for the child we once were, it probably all seemed bigger then! What makes me smile is realising how easily we can see things from our own point of reference, and that it doesn't come naturally for most of us to really empathize with someone else or their position. I wish I could manage it better! :)

    (Oh, and I'm sure it was always a delight for the teachers to mark my assignments and write my report cards. That's my point of view anyway :)


  2. Hahaha, great post Abs. And SO TRUE!!!
    I for one thought the teachers must have loved giving those massively long assignments and sitting through 60 spectacularly engaging oral presentations. Goodness, how they must dread all of that!
    I think another example is the END of holidays. As a kid we always dreaded having the holidays end and going back to school, and of course assumed the parents felt the same. But secretly the mums can't wait to have their lovely, peaceful, normal days back :P
    Haha, and yes I remember the jobs growing up. I've heard the quote "A lazy Mum does all the work" and it really is true! So much effort to get the children to do it. lol. I have new-found respect for Mother :D xoxox

  3. Abbey, nice to read 'the other side' of a situation, as a child I would never have considered how my Teacher felt about assignments, report cards etc..I just thought they were out to make our lives miserable and loved dishing out work.

    I feel for Teachers, I know the incredible work load and responsibilities they have.

    Enjoy your pyjama days!

  4. great post and one I can relate to whole-heartedly.

  5. I was just thinking about this the other day... and I actually feel proud of myself that I have matured!!! I was such a little brat as a teenager!!!!!!! I can't even emphasize that enough...LOL