It’s the start of the new academic year, for the next week or so we can look forward to our social media timelines being filled with the faces of eager, excited youngsters, all bright eyed, looking forward to heading back to school and seeing their friends again. This year, mine will be one of those faces – yes a mere 38 years after starting the first time, I’m going back to school!
That is to say, I will be training to become a teacher while working as a teacher full time. Gosh, it sounds hardcore when I put it like that! I will be making the transition from ‘Work At Home Mum‘ to ‘Work Somewhere Else Mum’ and it’s fair to say I’m bricking it.
For the past ten years I have been at home and I have worked from home.
Everything I have done has been based around my family and home, even my friendships have been based around my children and their school. Throw into the mix that for the last six months we have been locked in together and I’ve seen fewer people than ever before and well, I am really not sure how I am going to successfully transition into the real world with real people, and I have a few real concerns about what real life will hold!
Obviously, the best way to deal with this is with a list!
My Back To School Worry List
Being self employed and working from home has meant for me that I create my own to do list and manage my own time – I could take on as much or as little as I chose and even have a day off just because I felt like it. Going back to school means I will be both working to someone else’s schedule, an actual timetable in fact, AND attempting to successfully manage my own time for research and essay writing. I also assume I won’t be able to sit the class in front of a Switch for a while on those days when I just need to crack on.
Procrastination is one of my very few skills. I can ALWAYS find a way of putting stuff off – I’m certainly not an ‘Eat the Frog’ kind of person. Working at home means I can grab a coffee, listen to a podcast or binge watch a box set pretty much whenever I choose. I should imagine that if I find my day getting a bit tricky, it would be frowned upon to whack a bit of American Horror Story on the whiteboard in a class of seven year olds.
It’s doesn’t happen very often but sometimes I like to Phase Two all day – Let me explain:
I work a three phase wardrobe system.
Phase One consists clothes that are socially acceptable and ‘proper’ for day to day living. These are my ‘human form’, the clothes you can’t wait to change out of.
Phase Two consists clothes that are comfortable but maybe not that pretty. Comfortable clothes that I wouldn’t be ashamed to answer the door in if absolutely required, though I’d really rather not. Usually adopted from 6pm (but occasionally all day), this is the most wonderful of all the phases.
Phase Three consists clothes that should never be witnessed by another, usually nightwear. These are the clothes that I wouldn’t leave the house in, even in the event of a fire.
I assume I am going to have to Phase One all day at school.
Given the nature of my current work I don’t actually ‘speak’ to people using my voice as everything is done by email or DM. I should imagine me trying to messenger my colleagues in the staff room isn’t going to fly – they’re going to expect some actual human words. As if that isn’t quite enough pressure, how do I decide what those words will be? What does staff room chit chat sound like? Do I need to revise Love Island and Coronation Street?
WHAT IF THEY DON’T LIKE ME? I struggle at the best of times with new people, and now I’m going to be the new kids at school. My shyness can be mistaken for aloofness – I might accidentally come across as a bit of a prick. What if they don’t like my hair or my shoes are wrong? What if they think my bag is naff and my clothes are frumpy? What if they think I’m boring or a bit odd and make up a mean nickname for me? What if the kids agree with them?
As if all this trying to pass as a normal person in normal society isn’t quite pressure enough, I’m also worried about the impact this is going to have on our little gang of four. I KNOW that very many people out there have managed to work full time jobs outside of their house and had children and that is great, but this is all new ground for me. I’ve always dropped the kids at school and been there at pick up, they get home from school and have me on hand until bedtime. What if they feel like going to after school club is me abandoning them? What if I get in from a day of listening to 30 kids talking to me and my ears won’t listen properly to my kids talking to me? What if, because I’m having to work on evenings too, they feel like I’m neglecting them and end up telling their psychiatrist all about their abandonment issues in 20 years time?
In all honesty I know I am in for a lot of hard work and new experiences and I am really looking forward to it. It’s just the first day back at school is always hard.
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