I’ve a confession to make. I think I might have turned into a crap teacher. There’s every chance I have. Unless you play the piano every day, or speak a foreign language, you lose the fluency. And that’s where I am. I last worked the second week in January. In my defence, I’ve been busy. First shingles, then a stomach infection, then pneumonia. Just as I was about to go back, I had a grand finale – slipping on the ice and shattering my humerus.
I’m a lucky girl. Work were endlessly sympathetic. They don’t even want me to go back full-time when I eventually get there. They’ve offered me a phased re-entry – 5 x 2 day weeks or whatever suits me best. Like I said, very very lucky.
I called in to see them last week and I had stage fright. It’s ridiculous. They’ve had 12 years of my life up to now. Some of my class were a bit shy with me. Schoolgirl error – should have taken Haribo.
The irony is, I’ve offered to go in and help interview for a post so I’m not the one who should have the nerves – but I do. What if I’ve forgotten what to do? What if my class liked their supply teacher better? What if the parents preferred her too?
When I called in, the staff were bombarding me with information – courses they’d been on, new initiatives, medical updates. I felt completely out of the loop. I’m starting with a story and a bit of a sing with my sheep. They might be shy of me but my sheep is infinitely loveable. She sometimes forgets the words and she never remembers how to count to 10 but she tries, bless her. I’m hoping she helps me through the first few sessions.
Incidentally, if your child’s school has a policy of no cuddly comforters I’ll get cross. If I need my sheep, then a nervous 4-year-old most definitely needs a cuddly too.
By the time I get back properly I’ll have been off over 3 months. How does it feel, I wonder, to be off sick for years rather than months? There’s a lot of hype about getting people off disability benefits and back into the workplace just now. I really hope that some thought has been put into supporting people to do that. If I’m in a panic about going back to a welcoming place with people who’ll help me, what must it feel like to be pushed into an organisation hostile to your medical needs?
I’d like to think this has been thought through. I have every confidence that it hasn’t.