Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Z is not power-hungry

I went off to the high school as usual to help with a music lesson and found the head of maths in the room instead, just drawing the lesson to a close. She looked slightly harassed. They are the liveliest Year 9 group; I've spent some time with them. The teacher had left a note asking me to start off the next class. Ah. Never done that before.

It took some raising of my voice - I speak loud and clear because both Kenny, our former gardener, and my mother suffered from tinnitus and couldn't always hear a quiet voice, and I've not lost the habit. However, a couple of dozen chatty teenagers drowned me out for a minute. They soon settled down, I explained what they had to do, passed out worksheets and started off the lesson. D'you know, they were angels. No trouble at all. A few clicked the clipboards a couple of times, but a look, quizzical rather than severe, was enough - they weren't really meaning to annoy, it was merely irresistible. The teacher came in after 40 minutes, very apologetic that it had been rather more than starting the lesson, but i assured her that it had been no problem at all - and it was true.

The chairman of governors wrote to me yesterday to tell me that one of the other governors whose term of appointment is up has decided to step down. Another long-term governor is intending to before long, I know. Both are excellent, very knowledgeable - both former senior teachers at the school, as it happens. I'm dismayed. I had realised (after having seriously considered standing down this autumn) that I'd have to carry on - there are constant changes afoot and it really does help to have a few people around who have known the place for some time - but I had rather wanted to relinquish the vice-chairmanship and there aren't many people who would be likely alternative candidates. I've been going into school and into lessons a good deal this past year and have enjoyed that, both in music and learning support, so I'm just hoping that the chairman will carry on for a few more years.

24 comments:

Dave said...

Z is not power-hungry, she is just a very nice person, giving back to her community.

Z said...

Oh! That took me by surprise, Dave. Thank you, though I think I do it for pleasure. It beats getting a real job.

ziggi said...

good governors are extremely hard to find, even bad ones are thin on the ground!

Good for you for sticking with it - would you like another school?!

Gordie said...

Do people address you as "Guv"?

Z said...

It took me 18 years to extricate myself from another school, Ziggi, so no thanks!

Variously as Ayatollah and Boss, Gordie. I think I'd prefer Guv, actually.

Z said...

Oh, and the pupils call me Miss, of course

Blue Witch said...

IMHO pupils should never be allowed to call teachers (or governors) 'Miss'. It is definitely not a female equivalent for 'Sir'.

If they try it to me, I always say, "I haven't been "Miss" for many years now, so please call me "Mrs BW" in future!"

It makes them think a bit before opening their mouths with the innane nonsense some of them come out with and put "Miss" on the end of in an attempt to distract from the innanity.

Z said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

I called someone madam today, as it happens. A member of my congregation was blocking the way into the greengrocers, so I stood behind her and said in my best posh voice (which she didn't therefore recognise) 'excuse me madam, you're blocking the passageway'. She was very apologetic - until she turned round and saw who it was.

Z said...

Better than "oo-er missus, shift yourself", I suppose?

Gordie said...

Never give your real name - although I suppose it may be safe when you're giving back to your community.

I'm surprised to learn Dave doesn't use his posh voice when he's preaching.

Z said...

You're right, Gordie - a bit distinctive. I wouldn't have done so if I hadn't linked to Al's site, which gives it and links to Ro's as well. I'll delete the comment and put it back without the name though.

Z said...

I don't mind, BW - it's not as if I'm their teacher and I don't expect them to remember my name - I have a name badge but I don't expect them to peer at my chest either. Those of them who know me, call me Mrs *Sage*.

Thing is, you can call a man Sir but Mrs needs a name, Madam is not used except by butlers or rather formal shop assistants, Ma'am is for the Queen or Americans, which leaves Miss if they don't know the surname. They're polite, which is the main thing.

Gordie said...

No harm done, I won't be applying for a credit card in your name. But you wouldn't believe what I found out about Les and Greta...

;-)

Z said...

What? I mean that as an exclamation not a question.

Sodding internet. Really.

Gordie said...

You see... I've got your attention now, haven't I?

Z said...

And scared me, too, dear heart.

Gordie said...

I teach people about the Internet as part of my work. What you've just experienced is my introduction to teaching people how fraud works.

I dropped a phrase into the conversation that was unlikely to occur at random; most people would infer that I had inside knowledge, and was trustworthy. In fact, I got it in about five minutes using Google.

Z said...

I feel so stalked. Nothing personal, Gordie.

Gordie said...

Nothing personal at all, Mrs Sage, and that's the rub. You see how vulnerable we all are on the Internet? By the way, I emailed Romanesco about doing some work for me, so some good may come of this.

Z said...

Ro just came through to say he'd got an email, was it anyone I knew? I'd said no, but then I read your last comment. I still said no, but in a qualified sort of way...

He'll be in touch.

Indeed, I know that we're vulnerable but I suppose that I've relaxed my guard here, as I don't think I'd attract anyone weird or untrustworthy. Good to have a reminder from someone who isn't (? heh heh) that one should still be careful, and thank you.

Dave said...

'I don't think I'd attract anyone weird'. I'm offended now.

Alan said...

I had intended to step down as a governor (and current chair) at my school at the end of this term. Having done 12 years, and with GF still not well I felt my priorities and mind are elsewhere. However I now find that three other governors have beaten to it, the remainder are all also relatively inexperienced, so it looks like I'll be staying for another year at least. The best laid plans etc.

Z said...

Weird in a dodgy way, Dave. Peculiar is good.

I know how that feels, Alan. At my previous school I was quite happy to be there when things were going well and when things were uncertain it wasn't fair to leave.