Monthly Archives: June 2011

a perfect summer day.



how it feels when it ends.

I fell for it again
What was it – the tenth
fifteenth time?
I’m sure it’s no crime
to spend considerable time
hoping that one day
things will be fine
or you might be mine
or we might be sublimely
submerged in the kind
of bliss
mainly reserved
for what follows the
at the end of a nine
-and-a-half out of ten
romantic comedy
I must have missed
that time that you
me and said it meant less
than the feelings confessed
by myself; I’m a mess
in a cheap floral dress
worn to impress
I didn’t mean
to cause a huge scene
in your head
it was obscene
of me
to even believe
that you’d offer reprieve
and allow me to dream
that we could be good
and life could lean
into the next scene
with children and cars
and houses and faraway
and nights spent
in hot, sweaty bars
reliving our youth
and finding out our
and our passion
had never gone far
as we rolled into bed
and you roll round my head
and I around yours.
I suppose I should learn
but I’ll keep getting
because i love
being in love
with being
in love

what i make.



People get at me all the time for the choices I have made in my life. The conversations could be scripted, they are so predictable:

Cynic: So, you’re a teacher? Easiest job in the world, hey?
Me: What now?
Cynic: Well – working nine ’til three; stickin’ a video on; all those holidays… It can’t be that hard, surely.
Me: Seriously?
Cynic: Come on. Gold plated pensions? Working with kids? Teaching them to spell? It’s not exactly rocket science.
Me: Fuck you.

It’s not people judging my career choice that gets my gander, but more so the fact that they feel they know the life and stresses of teaching well enough to comment on how we as a profession feel without even ever setting foot in a classroom. Can you say arrogant? I’m not now, nor have I ever been, say, a lawyer, but I would never in my right mind dream of trying to tell one that their job was a cinch. I’ve never cleaned toilets, but I’d think twice before telling one of the school cleaners that they’ve got it easy. I know my doctor takes home a six-figure salary; I wouldn’t ever try to tell him that he doesn’t deserve it.

What makes us such easy targets?

The truth of the matter is thus: we take home a salary, yes. But we don’t get paid for our holidays – rather, our pay is simply stretched over 12 months to ensure that none of us is left short during holiday time. Our hourly pay is less than a lawyer, a doctor, even a cleaner; for we are paid based on 1265 hours a year: six hours a day. Show me a teacher who leaves at 3.30pm every single day having done all their work, and I’ll show you a liar, and a pretty tired-looking one at that. For that teacher’s pay cheque may state that they earn £25.00 per hour, but taking into account the hundreds of papers taken home, the extra-curricular clubs; the missed lunch breaks, the staying behind to resolve bullying issues; the parents’ evenings that drag on for hours longer than necessary; the parent resolution meetings; the report writing, the data collection, the assessments; the planning and preparation, the photocopying; the trawling of the internet/library/newspapers/books for resources, the reading of set texts; the early morning breakfast clubs, the late-evening catch-up sessions; revision, revision and more revision… And it works out more like a tenner.

That’s barely above the minimum wage.

We get holidays; agreed. However, it’s not like we don’t work. I have colleagues that end holidays early so that they can run a holiday revision session. My HoD spends hours during her ‘holiday time’ creating resources so that we have an easier time of it during the term. Headmasters never stop; especially mine. He’s a man on a mission and if one thing’s for certain, he never takes a break. Not to mention that we are role models within society; one false move on Facebook/Twitter/a trip into town for drinks and we are facing disciplinary action. No drinking in the week. No drugs. No hard partying. Holidays cost double what yours do. And we have to spend them with yet. more. children

I’m not allowed to wear short skirts or ‘provocative attire’; when my hair was platinum I had to tone it down. I can’t get the tattoo I desperately want and I had to kiss goodbye to my dream of a nose piercing when I was 24.

And yet we still turn up every day at half past seven with a smile on our faces.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’m a lucky teacher who struck upon a method that works – I rarely stay past 4.30; I get all my reports done (somehow) and my classes are happy and achieving. I earn enough to keep me in shoes and well fed and I never miss out on a night out with my friends. I understand that there are far worse things that I could be doing with my life. I dedicate my life to those little oiks and I love it. I love it with every inch and fibre of my being. Which is why I turn up every morning and greet every one of them with a smile and a good wish, even if someone out there spent the evening before crushing my ambition with their ignorant comments.

I suppose I just wonder why those who do not wish to participate in my profession feel it appropriate to insinuate that we do nothing.

Which is why today’s post is headed with this amazing footage of a poem written by a passionate teacher who has just had enough.

What do we make?

We make a difference. And that’s what counts.



i am in paradise.


The view from my flat.

the view from my flat.

Life is looking up.

The sea licks hungrily at my toes
“it’s been a while”, he says
a sneer on his lip
his cold, calculating smile
drawing me in.
I want to jump in,
to feel the ecstasy of
a million winter-chilled droplets
cascade down my skin
For the sun is a cruel,
heartless prick-tease
and she has burned me once,
too many times.
The sea; the sea –
I love how he
purrs and growls and throbs.
The sun just
shouts obscenities;
she doesn’t float my boat.
Not like he.


“I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream.”
Vincent Van Gogh

Today has definitely been a better day.

don’t let the sun be the one to change you.


Sound of the Summer.