I finished the timetable last night.
We are not a huge school, only having about 900 students. We have about 60 staff, 9 faculties, about 90 different courses and 60 classrooms. We were given strict constraints to work under. Some classes had to run at the same time, some could not. Some classes had to be physically adjacent to allow for student movement, some classes had to use specialised rooms (Tech, Food and ICT), some classes had to be set up to allow for vertical and lateral movement throughout the year.
We did it. Our little group finished the main TT last week, and I've been fine-tuning it for the last 5 days. The last stage is assigning the classrooms, and in some ways, this has the potential to be the most volatile. If I get it wrong, teacher A will be trooping between 9 different classrooms for the next year, never having a home to lay his weary head, while teacher B will be happily ensconced in his/her own little kingdom for the foreseeable future.
Tempers rise, emotions flare, absolute bitchy self-centered behaviour comes to the fore. I've seen an experienced, respected teacher snarl at a junior because he now has to walk another 10 metres to a different classroom every other day as the junior has "taken his place"in his favourite room.
My other timetabling colleagues had been pre-occupied with other aspects of school life at this time of the year. Exams, marking, reports, re-arranging some minuscule (but complex) area of the timetable to satisfy some rather odd requests, golf and social events.
I kept on working, and last night, at 19:12 I finished. Every class assigned a room, every class a teacher. Everyone in the school has an assigned pace to be for every minute of every day. There will be some fine-tuning required, and I'm prepared for that, but the majority is done.
Or so I thought.
Just as I was leaving, I encountered the head of another faculty, who congratulated me/us on our results so far, and casually mentioned that she needed subjects C and D to run together on adjacent classrooms.
Nobody had told me about this. I'll get back into the re-arrangement on Monday, which is also our cultural day, when we bring all the kids and staff of Nuova Lazio High School together in a mutual sneerfest of disparaging each others home cultures.
|The day after culture day|
The Samoans will diss the Maori (but eat the Hangi), the Maori will dis the Samoans (but drink the Kava), the French will sneer at everyone, everyone else will disparage the French for being a cheese-eating bunch of surrender-monkeys.
|Ve vant your standt|
The Germans will take over at least another 3 stands, the Scots simply get drunk and eat tinned Haggis (as bloody Biosecurity won't let us take in the "real stuff") the English do nothing, but do it very well.
The Welsh complain that everyone else cheated and the Irish want to know what Church you go to. The Argentinians want to take over the Chatham Islands and declare it a new province.
The Mexicans want a siesta and some weird wrestling with El Creepo, the Netherlands wants to build some dikes against the incipient flooding, the Japanese just want to kill some whales (which makes some of our "larger" Pacific Island kids a bit nervous), Australia want to beat everyone else at whichever sport they choose (a long as there's plenty of prawns and beer) and Romania want blood, but definitely no garlic,
I think I'll hang out in my wee office and just work away.
On a happier note, Ringo gave me the accolade of "New Professional of the Week" at yesterday's staff briefing.
Apart from being pissed off by being called a "New Professional" after 13 years of teaching, it was quite nice to get the applause of my colleagues, and of course the $5 drinkies IOU, redeemable at the next after school relaxation session. He (Ringo) spoilt the effect a bit by using the word Quixotic in his description of my attributes.
|Kiwi teachers, read and learn, or at least do some "Action Research"|
This confused the Kiwi teachers.
The Brits (having been educated under a far wider and stricter regime) understood instantly (apart from the PE teachers who don't understand anything if it doesn't include a ball or sweat or blood)
I had to spend another hour explaining the meaning of the word to my Kiwi colleagues, as they trooped by my wee office.
To cap off a bloody long and hard day, at about 5:00 pm, the Principal told me that because of a drop in student numbers our finances are in a difficult state, and that I would be having a pay cut of $4000.
It just puts everything in perspective.
Sometimes I just want to go out and KILL something.
Don't get in my sights.
I'm accurate out to 800 metres.