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Thursday, 11 April 2013

Patricia's Had Enough

This is 'what I wrote' at Mondays (8 April 2013) gathering of Write Night. We split into pairs and discussed our work environment, then wrote for thirty minutes about a fictitious situation set in that environment where the person was dissatisfied with the job. Patricia is a fictitious person too

Surveying the empty classroom at the end of the day, when all of the children had gone home, Patricia was struck by one inescapable fact. How much she hated it. Immediately her mind went into its teacher mode, 'Hate is a very strong word Pat'. She had to admit to herself that whatever the word was, and plenty were now coming into her mind, she just didn't want to be there. At all.
There were the dreams she was having about driving a busload of children over the edge of a cliff, that was on the nights when she could sleep, when the fear of another Ofsted inspection or complaint or grievance wasn't keeping her awake.
Patricia remembered all those years she had trained and fantasised about being a teacher, the nobility of the profession and the good she was doing for people and their lives, worn away by the day to day reality of doing the job.
The classroom she had tried so hard to personalise and make into a creative learning environment with the examples of students work, past and present, some interesting quotes and art, the Blob Tree that she used so often to encourage some self awareness in her students. None of it seemed to matter. The room was cold. The paint was peeling. It smelt of the large numbers of bodies that had been there that day, most of them against their will and boy didn't they let her know it. Repeatedly. Loudly. Aggressively.
It struck her how much it felt like a prison. Ok not the typical one with a bed and a toilet, but nonetheless she felt trapped by it. Confined. Controlled. She was in urgent need of an escape plan. In that moment Patricia was seriously considering setting fire to it and burning it to the ground.  Imagining what, if anything, she would keep (answer nothing) and could picture clearly the headlines in tomorrow's paper. The scandal. The shame. But mostly the sheer joy she would feel. The release. The service she would be doing to humanity.
It was time to look for another job.


  1. I love this. So evocative. you have captured the environment perfectly. :-)

    1. Thanks Annie I enjoyed writing it and learnt about blob trees....