Well as Bugs Bunny said ‘That’s all folks!’ and another school year has ended. Sixteen years I have been a school secretary – 16 end of year school procedures I have undertaken – that’s an awful lot of children I have moved up through the school and out of it to start their new journey at the junior school. 16 new beginnings for 60 little ones starting their education with us at the infants. I have enjoyed those years and at the beginning it was an ideal career to have when my own boys were young. No child care during the long six weeks holidays!
However, now I am thinking it’s time for a change? Often I am told that the school office is the epicentre of the school. Where all problems are solved, tears are often spilled, confidences whispered, heartbreaking and heart warming news shared and my virtual swear box is continually overflowing! It is also the place where all the rubbish is dumped – physical or mental. The one stop shop that staff and parents assume everything can be made to appear or be repaired with the wave of -nope not a wand – but usually the magic of the WWW or in lesser problems the help of the telephone and our pleasant help desk advisers! There is not a magic wand or a magic fairy or even a Minna (who did all the loathsome jobs) as we used to say in Germany. In actual fact it is I (sorry just had to do the quote “It is I, Leclerc!” -you’ll either know it or not) who sorts out the chaos and tries to bring pink calmness into the raging purple madness.
If I am so important and central to the running of the school here are a few questions I have asked myself recently. How come in those sixteen years I have never been asked to watch a Christmas performance (we have at least three including rehearsals). Yet I type up the programmes, source costumes, stitch and iron on occasions and smile pleasantly as devoted parents come to watch their little darlings. The same little darlings that I have seen grow from shy little three year olds to confident, sometimes over confident, seven year olds. Same goes for sports days and the most hurtful of all the Leavers Service when our Y2 sing their hearts out as they start on the next step of their educational journey. Not asked to pop into the school disco, unless I am volunteered to help out, after I have popped to the shops on the way home to buy juice and biscuits.
I would like to feel that I have made a difference to the children and staff’s lives during those years. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am under no illusion that if I were to leave tomorrow, yes I would be missed, but not for me, myself, but for the things that I do. I often refer to my job in the sense of throwing a pebble into a lake, it would ripple for a while then become calm again. I would cause the ripple by leaving, but as soon as my vacant seat is filled the calmness would resume again. At present I find myself saying frequently after another disaster has been averted, ‘you’ll miss me when I’m gone’ with the reply being ‘but you’re not going anywhere!’ Oh dear, I wonder what they would say if they knew what I am thinking.
I need to make a big decision and the most important point of issue is – where do I go and what do I next? My first step would be to tell my employer that I wish to leave, but telling them you are leaving and do not have another job to go to – is even more difficult. Yes, I know, I have also been told that it’s easier to find another job whilst still employed. At present nothing seems to suit me or the skills that I thought I had gained over the years. It seems I might just be the typical Girl Friday who doesn’t really have any major skills. I feel if I don’t make the decision when school starts again this September, I could possibly be thinking the same thoughts by NEXT September. The years are flying by so quickly I would like to think I could do something a little bit more worthwhile with my time.
I need to think long and hard over this summer as chaos looms and there will be definitely purple madness!!
Any useful ideas or comments would be appreciated.
Keep smiling and drink iced coffee while the sun is shining!