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Monday, 9 August 2010

Relief 2

This was my first day of taking over the duties of organising relievers for teachers who cannot be, for whatever reason, in front to their classes,
Today we had 10 teachers out. Some to attend a Powhiri for our departing Mr Hardmaterials at P-college, to stand with him on the Marae as he "crossed over" to the dark side.

It was tricky, but as usual, the thing that made it bearable was the fantastic collegiality of our staff. They are incredibly supportive to newcomers and poor sods like me, starting on a job with no experience in that particular area.

I enjoyed meeting our relievers as well. Normally I don't speak to them, not out of any conscious act, just that I'm normally too busy to stop and spend time.
It was very rewarding, these relievers cover a huge range, from older teachers who want/need the extra money, to returning OE Kiwi teachers, who need to build up experience and references before returning to teaching full-time.

We also get some who, in all honesty, are past their sell-buy date. They mean well, but they're basically baby-sitters. Capable of keeping a class of kids under some semblance of control. Just. But as for following a lesson plan given to them by the "normal" class teacher, forget it.

I look forward to building up my knowledge of these essential components of Kiwi teaching, so I can gently remove the dead and rotting wood, and build a structure stretching into the future, of active and aware relief professionals.

Yeah, Right.


  1. We sometimes have a relief priest at church. I think he rushes through the mass. Maybe he's just a bit nervous and needs more practice.

  2. I hate setting relief that does not get done, that is why I set stuff I don't give a rats arse about, then when it is not done I don't tear my hear out or cry. I have another interesting 'teacher' in my class at present the trainee teacher - they are worse than a relief teacher, they sit there taking notes about what you are doing, all the time thinking that they can do it better.

  3. Sometimes when students ask me if I like teaching I tell them that I'm actually the caretaker and I'm just filling in. I'm not sure why this came to mind when I read your post. Something to do with feeling irrelevant and relief teachers I suppose.

  4. "I hate setting relief that does not get done"
    I know, it gets very frustrating sometime. It makes me very reluctant to go on courses or take time off, knowing that when I get back, the work which I've set up, and taken hours to prepare haqsn't been done, and all the kids have done is play on the internet while the lazy sod of a reliever has sat behind my desk and caught up on his emails.
    To be fair, many of our newer crop of relievers are not like that, and I'll keep trying to bring in relievers who can cope and will get the kids to follow our work as set.

    MoE: Don't worry, we all feel irrelevant now and then. For example, I felt really irrelevant yesterday when I found out that a young madam who swore twice at me in my class, was coming back into the same class after she had had a "restorative meeting" with Ringo. As the injured party, I had expected to be included in the restorative, but this just emphasised my feeling of irrelevance nad reinforced my preconceptions that almost all restoratives are a complete waste of f*cking time. See the link to Universal Domination at the top of this blog.


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