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Friday, 19 November 2010


We're working on creating next year's timetable for the school.  This is a complex task which requires a lot of concentration and close co-operation with my two excellent colleagues.  We tend to sit in my little office, next to the staffroom, with a little do not disturb sign on the door.

This does not stop hordes of kids wanting their password changed (for the school computer system) or their internet quota extended, or cannot find their files.  I gently tell them to naff off, I'm busy.  Can't they read the sign.  Go away.

Forgot your password?
Then the stream of teachers wanting; days off, dental/doctor/sexual therapist appointments, lost markbooks, questions on reports, attendance, printing.  I don't mind friendly "Hellos" in the morning (thanks Richard [of RBB]), but you would think that in the middle of a complex logic problem, when we're wrestling with a 4-Term, 8 class, 8 subject rotational section of the timetable, teachers could read the bloody sign and leave us alone.  If I hear one more colleague open the door, see us crouched over a table covered in paper sheets, with the computer screen glowing from overwork, and comment "Oh, you're busy then", and then proceed to regale us with a tale about a missing file somewhere in the computer system, but cannot remember the name or what type or when it was saved, then I shall commit grievous assault on their bodies.

My Gun Babe, used to commit grievous assault.
I get less complaints using this method.


  1. Good morning TSB (not the arena, the Scotsman).

  2. At East there is one lady who does the timetable, has for many years apparently and I have never heard of anyone having shared/split classes. We operate a two week timetable but we don't see our seniors every day - I don't really know what they do differently but it seems to go much smoother. Maybe instead of going out to visit other schools about netbooks you should take Ringo out to see how other schools do timetables - just a suggestion and probably not a welcome one at the present time.

  3. The sign on the door could read:
    Students: disruption will mean your internet will be disabled except for online reading tests.
    Teachers: disruption will result in a disproportionate amount of relief for you.

  4. Fflur, the factor that causes split classes is not timetabling, it's money. If we in Nuova Lazio had an extra 3 teachers, we could avoid all split classes, and ensure that specialist teachers could be kept in their speciality. But we do not have any spare cash to pay for extra teachers, and the MoE [the ministry, not the SOS teacher] only pays for the bare minimum number of teachers.
    I suspect East has more spare cash.

  5. Nicola, thanks for the idea, especially the second one. It might work. Most staff fear getting relief, but I could always make it a lot worse. I could give really innappropriate matches of teachers to classes. Give our Japanese teacher French to teach etc.

  6. I am not sure it has much extra cash but yes you may be right that it has a bit - we do have a timetabling issue this year in that we have 100 extra hours of teaching and noone to fill it, and no money to get any more teachers so it is going to mean classes of up to 32, joining some senior courses together and perhaps cutting some courses. So we don't have endless supplies of money.


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