Sunday, 3 February 2008

Flat Out

Every Local Education Authority is blessed with advisors for each subject. I think they must pop into schools at some point and - um - advise, although I've never come across one in school. I've only ever met advisors at meetings, where they show you snazzy presentations of stuff you should be doing or that they think you should know.

With the never-ending cycles of new initiatives, every now and again some of us are sent to spend the day with the advisors so that we can all get to grips with new acronyms and admire their collections of books that never see the inside of a classroom. Last week I had one of these days: a chance for teachers from all the different schools in the area to get together and drink filtered coffee and catch up on the "who's moving where" gossip at this job-application time of year.

When you're used to working at 100 mph, as the normal schol day demands, it's quite tiring to pootle about on advisory days. Every hour is punctuated by a break of some sort, for coffee and biscuits or for a nice buffet lunch where everyone chastises themselves for having a cream cake but still scoops up platefuls of free grub that would never pass the healthy schools test.

But what made me laugh the most of this week's course was the attitude to the advisors, who showed signs of flagging towards the end of the four hours of work (six including breaks). They had spent half an hour as we worked in groups playing "guess what this acronym stands for" comparing diaries for the coming month, and then declared that everything was so hectic at the moment, and that they were worn out. I just couldn't help laughing to myself when I thought about their working days compared to mine. The most exhausting thing they'd done was to turn on their laptops.