Friday, 25 May 2012

Here's to my new job!

I've just finished Week 3 of my new job (teaching assistant at a primary school) and as well as being a new job, it's an entirely new career. I'd spent the last 20 years in an office, 12 of them at the same last company and it's been a culture shock, I can tell you.

I felt a bit shell shocked to start with, but I have some really supportive colleagues who have known exactly what I've been feeling and have said all the right things. I've had some good feedback from the head among others, and I can now say that I'm starting to settle in and enjoy it. It's been a lot to get my head round. One thing I am sure of is that I don't miss my old job one bit. (Just a few friends there...)

Here's a roundup of the pros and cons:

Cons first...
1. I can't go to the toilet when I want to. I am working 1-1 and I have to check I have cover.
2. I can't sit at my desk with a cuppa. In fact I can only have a cuppa at lunchtime (1pm). Sadly not even at playtime as I'm 1-1.
3. If I don't know something, I can't just say Oh I'll google that. I have no desk, let alone a computer.
4. I talk most of the day to children. I then talk to my own child in the evening like he's a child. Well he is, but like he's a pupil. I long for the school pick up so I can talk to adults!
5. I've dropped salaries (by 2/3). (I keep saying I'm rich in other ways!)
6. We won't mention my cleaning lady. It upsets me too much. (Besides this time is when I should be doing my housework, but the blogbug got me so I had to do it!)

And the pros...
1. At 2.30, my day is over. As I can't take the kids home with me, I can't work at home! The lesson time is over. The only thing I plan to do is to watch Mr Tumble more, to learn the Makaton that I am using with my 1-1. His lessons don't require much planning, just thinking on the spot and being flexible.
2. It's stress-free compared with my previous job. There is no everlasting spiralling to do list of projects, and sub projects, and reporting ... There's just the lessons in the day.
3. I am making a difference. I'm not putting money in someone else's back pocket (there's nothing wrong in that, I'm just fed up with it), I am now trying to help other children achieve what I was lucky enough to achieve with good schools, good teachers and supportive parents.
4. I finish at 2.30 every day. There isn't the possibility that a meeting might be added to my calendar out of my hours, meaning I then spend an hour on the phone for childcare, only to find it's been moved again. It's a lot easier to run the house with an identical weekly landscape!
5. I get to ride my bike to work. It takes 10 minutes by bike or car, so I've been mostly biking it. It's refreshing in the morning, gets me in the mood, and clears my head when I take it a bit slower on the way home. And saves on fuel - at most 25 miles/week compared to 175/week previously.
6. I eat less, as I can't graze at my desk. I've been eating lunch at 1pm, and then a piece of fruit before pick up, and I have lost a few pounds from that and the cycling. (And probably less stress.)

Did I mention the holidays? I'm off to Lanzarote next week!