This is a quick one that I wrote for my work newsletter so I thought I’d stick it on here as well:

I’m just starting in a new role as a Functional Skills teacher which means I now deal with a whole new range of English and Maths assessments. Yippee. Time flies when you’re marking a seemingly infinite stack of identikit assessment papers doesn’t it?

I sit there in my kitchen, coffee cup loaded, trusty red pen in hand, ready to fight the good fight against illegible handwriting, indecipherable marking criteria and sheer universe-like volume. Then I look up at the clock and it’s tomorrow and I’m sorely tempted to close the blinds and go and hide under my bed (maybe do a bit of rocking) rather than jump in the shower and go to work to face…well…more marking usually.

I try to navigate seemingly labyrinthine exam enrolment procedures, forms that appear to be written in an ancient Sumatran dialect and moderation sessions that become epic battles where no quarter is given, where it’s victory or death and where there’s no way, NO WAY that Daryl is a Level 1 and I don’t care what you say. Get stuffed.

It’s enough to get you down. And it would if it wasn’t for just one ray of light in the dark administrative nightmare:

My colleagues.

I’ve said it in other places but I’ll say it again here because it’s true; starting is hard. I don’t care if you’re some sort of super-tutor – when you land in a new job role it’s very easy to immediately sink without a few arms reaching in and pulling you out, brushing you off and pointing you in the right direction. The new faces I have met have done nothing but offer me support, help, advice and a friendly shoulder to sob on when I realise Ryan has only written two sentences instead of the required three.

So I’d just like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone on the ground – tutors, admin staff, exam staff, CLs, ALS staff and everyone who has been there to offer a steady hand as I’ve staggered around muttering about OCRs, Entry 2s and student ULNs (whatever they are.)

Without the help I have received, I might have made it on my own. But it would have been a very lonely journey and I probably would have got off at the wrong stop.

Cheers guys.



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