It seems odd to follow an "upbeat" post almost immediately with one called "Feeling Low", but I do. The trip was great, but the surrounding paperwork (even when they have done the risk assessment) is mindblowing. It's the medical forms that get me - the parents don't feel the need to let you know when the child first moved to the school that they have an allergy to several different foods including peanuts - Eek! Is the child anaphylactic? Should they have an epipen?. They leave it to the medical form, but then don't fill it in completely (see note on epipen) Grrr.
Of course, the aftermath of the trip involved total brain meltdown on my part. I've spent the whole day (and half the night) beforehand trying to second guess every possible thing that could go wrong (Do we have enough pencils? What if one of my parental helpers can't come and there's no other CRB checked volunteer available? What if one of the two relatively new boys takes it into their head to wander off? etc etc). I think back of the days 10 years ago when a bus full of us rolled up to the zoo and disgorged two classes full of Y3/4 pupils. Everyone went off with their helper and I waved them off with a cheery "See you back here at 2 o'clock!" (Because of course, none of our parents could ever be a child-molester, could they?) Very different from these days where there has to be a member of school staff with the children at all times. We were too blase in the past, but it does make it very tricky when one child needs an extra loo stop...
On top of the post-trip slump, I'm worried about a whole set of family and friends who for various reasons are not well, stressed out or going through a bereavement and then to top it all, a comment this morning after a writing moderation exercise has just made me feel like a failure. I'm trying so hard to keep on top of hearing my readers and identifying maths problems and keeping up with the assessments and marking with any degree of quality and trying to give the kids a new set of targets that I feel like I'm failing my kids in regards to moving their writing on. I've told you before, dear reader, of the highs of teaching. These, then, are the lows (or at least the lows of those teachers like me whose self-esteem can be wobbly). Trying to keep up with everything at the moment is a bit like trying to rollerskate up the Gladiators' Travelator and I haven't even addressed what needs to be done for my curriculum co-ordination role. I really miss L, she could always help me see the funny side and shore up my self-confidence at times like this.
Stephen Fry recently talked about how he self-medicated his bi-polar disorder with cocaine. In this spirit, I am off to self-medicate my Friday Despondancy with a bar of Toblerone and a bottle of White Zinfandel.