And if I was in one of my previous jobs of office chair races and rubber-band flicking, I could just sneak an extra-long lunch break or spend twenty minutes browsing exotic holiday destinations on the internet. But I can't. Instead it's an endless treadmill of education-education-education. Or rather, aggro-cheek-backchat. If it was just the education bit I'd be laughing. I love the education bit. It's what I became a teacher for.
What wears me down and out is the constant scrutiny. Everything I do involves me being watched and judged. Foucault's vision of a carceral system rings hauntingly true... and here's a snippet from font of all knowledge (and master of none) Wikipedia:
In examining the construction of the prison as the central means of criminal punishment, Foucault builds a case for the idea that prison became part of a larger “carceral system” which has become an all-encompassing sovereign institution in modern society. Prison is one part of a vast network, including schools, military institutions, hospitals, and factories, which build a panoptic society for its members. This system creates “…disciplinary careers…” (Discipline and Punish, p. 300) for those locked within its corridors.
The pupils judge me every moment of every day; if they aren't listening to my education-education-education then they are sizing up my shoes or shirt. The other staff judge my new face on how much time I do or do not spend in the staffroom, what I say, and how I join in. My department colleagues want to know how my teaching is going, and whether I'm letting the kids run riot or verbally beating them into submission. My bosses will inspect me, inspect my books, inspect my lesson plans, assess my adherence to the schemes of work, watch what time I arrive and leave... there is no respite from being judged. Which, on top of everything else - the incessant irritating behaviour, for example - is enough to drive me round the bend...