Christina Aguilera giving the naughty/sexy secretary look is the best introduction for this post. I waited some days before writing it: I’m a teacher with a fixed-term contract and every August someone (the fate, maybe?) decides how many teaching jobs are available for people like me. Last week I made my choice – a full-time teaching job at a vocational high school quite far from home – and tomorrow I’ll go there for the first meeting with colleagues and the headmistress. Lessons start on September 12th and I’m pretty excited, even if I’m not a newbie: I started teaching in 2004, but every year it’s like starting over.
I’ve often asked myself how society sees teachers and the replies I find on newspapers and in conversations with people are always disheartening. Do people know what it means changing school every year? Leaving students to their destiny (and to another teacher) and move on? You barely have the chance to build a relationship with them, then the school year ends and you have to leave. That is the worst part of being a teacher with a fixed-term contract: students telling you “See you next year” and you sadly explaining that it’s unlikely for you to be there the following year, too.
As a film buff, I’ve watched many films about teachers and schools, but the only one that really portrays this job realistically, without covering reality under a heap of sentimentalism, is Detachment by Tony Kaye. If you want to see more about the life of people like me, watch that movie and you will learn about frustration, sadness, anger and loss of hope, probably the worst thing ever. In a country devastated by economic crisis and cuts in every possible department, school has become a political battlefield, where the Public Education minister barks and promises new jobs for younger teachers, while thousands of people like me are still waiting for an opportunity to get a permanent contract. You feel like a tiny part of a gigantic mechanism you can’t stop and you can’t change: the point is that you don’t work with machines, but with people, and you must give them something to cling to, something to believe in. Funny how you must be the motivator, when everything around you is working on crushing your own motivation, but still.
So tomorrow I’ll start this new adventure, but I won’t forget the other side of me and this blog. I won’t be able to update it regularly but I’ll do my best to keep up with posts about the third season of The Voice, starting tomorrow, and about the sixth and final season of Gossip Girl. I’ll also keep you up to date with my manicures and I’ll write about the spring 2013 collection by Marchesa. I hope you’ll read the articles I’ll write for The Harlow, too (you can see them listed in the column on the right). The upcoming school and blogging year will be hard; juggling many different things is challenging, but I know I can do it.