It’s been a busy and interesting two years. I feel older and wiser, though I’m not sure how much anyone else would agree about the second part!
For those who want to know, the last two years have been spent being a DOS in addition to all the other bits and bobs I usually try and fit into my life; things like family, writing, talks, and of course blogging. Writing for this site has always had a slightly odd place in my professional life. I always feel slightly guilty if I manage to write something for teflgeek and not get something I was meant to do at work done, even though we’re all meant to have personal lives and time away from work, and even though I blog on my own time…..
It’s one of the things I’ve written about before, that constant expectation that we should be doing more for our classes and our students – to not let them down. I’m not sure where that comes from exactly, I think it can sometimes be institutionalised into a school ethos; and judging by the kinds of posts that crop up on facebook (and which get satirised on TEFL Commute ) there is also a professional zeitgeist at work here. Something to explore in the future perhaps.
I don’t think being a dos fits in with blogging very well. Some people seem to manage it quite well (Sandy Millin being a prime example), but a lot of what I write about is observational in the sense that I see things going on in my environment and that provides the spark for the thought for the writing. I’m not sure you can write in that way and about the people around you, when you are in a position of relative power over them. Or maybe you can. I did think about creating an anonymous blog and starting again, but The Secret DOS got there first and does it far better than I would have.
Plus the other issue was always time. I’m sure there are schools in the world where the DOS can turn up an hour or so before the teachers come in and where the systems are so well embedded and the staff so well on board that everyone knows what they should be doing and where no-one needs reminding about anything and just does it all automatically – but I have not found one yet. I remember (possibly foolishly) saying to my then prospective boss that a good DOS should spend most of their time doing nothing, because everyone should already know to get on with it. Well dear reader, by that standard, I cannot call myself a good DOS….. 🙂
In any event, I have now changed jobs and I am back as a full time teacher; and I am quite looking forward to getting back to what I have always really enjoyed, which is thinking about, writing about and sharing ideas about teaching.
I vaguely remember when I started this blog all the way back in 2011, that one of my goals was to try and put a lot of my notes and ideas online. I still think that this would be a good thing – filtered through the years of experience and with most of the dross thrown out – so that is what I shall try to do!