Monday, 11 June 2012

Moaning Minnie

We have a lot to talk about.

I hate going backwards, filling you in on things that happened weeks ago that I can now barely remember, but I feel uneasy and incomplete if I miss too many things out. I worry people think I only do things that I write about on my blog, because I mostly write about napping and breaking things and I do get up to more (vaguely) more interesting things, I promise.

Well, I don't promise...

Today I am knackered, the last few weeks have been threatening to catch up with me all weekend and finally today they dropped on my head all at once, like a sandbag of misery. I had to teach the drama class on my own this morning and it was fucking terrible. I know teachers are supposed to teach classes on their own, but then again kids are supposed to listen when I tell them to stop squishing each under huge gym mattresses and they're supposed to stop running around holding chairs above their heads when I tell them to and they're supposed to keep their shoes on their feet, as opposed to taking them off so they can shimmy up the walls and then cry when someone else in the class hides their shoes in the toilet.

All of those things happened today and I was one metaphorical thread away from losing complete control of the class. I felt like I was trying to hold on to a gigantic ship that was tossing on a stormy sea and I was slowly being dragged along into the tempest, praying that the frayed rope wouldn't break, hoping that I could pull the ship back into shore...

Well I couldn't. At one point I managed to get them all to sit down and listen while I explained the exercise, and then this fucking grey-haired teacher in a suit burst in to get chairs and tables for something. Then, towards the end of the lesson, three of the kids were performing on the stage (while the other four were loudly building a fort out of gym mats in the corner and arguing over who got to go inside it) and the same teacher came back in, this time armed with twenty of his own students, to get the rest of the tables and chairs. The three kids on stage were using a table in their performance and I had to watch as two clumsy twelve year old boys invaded the stage and carried the table away and with it any semblance of a lesson I had left.

After that the P.E teacher walked in to prepare the gym for his lesson, so I gave up and told the kids to tidy everything up. Obviously they all clambered up to the top of a dangerously high pile of gym mats and proceeded to push each other off it as I alternated between yelling at them to get down and struggling to lift up the huge gym mattresses. The P.E teacher comes in early every week and it's always embarrassing when the kids are being crazy because it makes me look like a dickhead who can't teach.

(Ok, so I am a bit of a dickhead and I clearly can't teach, but I don't want anyone else to know this.)

I always expect him to start shouting at the kids but he never does, which is nice I suppose because it means he's not overriding my 'authority' (as if I have any) but today he yelled at one of them to get off the mats. The boy in question is really, really difficult- the other two women I teach the class with had a word with the school's headmistress because he kept saying that he was going to kill himself, which is kind of terrifying to hear from a ten year old. He's also really violent with the other kids, particularly this other boy who is the biggest fucking ten year old I've ever seen. One week I really struggled to physically pull them both apart and my biggest nightmare is that one day three of them will get in a fight at the same time and I won't be able to restrain them all.

Little bastards.

Anyway... P.E teacher helped me lift the heavy mats up and he asked me if I was all right, in a really caring way that made my ovaries quiver a little bit with excitement. (And my ovaries never get excited- two years of working with kids and they've gone completely underground, hiding silently in the shadows, trying not to draw attention to themselves in case I call upon them to spawn devil rat children.) Ever since I started teaching there I've been wondering if I fancy P.E teacher or not (the answer varies from week to week, depending on how well I'm coping with my Mass Boy Hysteria) and today I was so relieved that he was there that I could have thrown him on the gym mats and then- actually no, I wanted him to throw me on the gym mats. But obviously he didn't as things like that don't happen in real life. If they do it's normally called rape. Woah. Didn't mean to start talking about rape. Moving on swiftly...

I'm having doubts as to whether I'll be able to cope next year with my own class. It will be different kids I suppose. And I will definitely make sure I'm not teaching in the gym, as the kids can't stay away from the mats and the gym horses and the wooden bar things that you pull out from the wall to climb on... what are they called?

Climbing walls. Oh yeah.

After the lesson I stopped at the bakery for my weekly Monday Croissant (I need a tasty pastry treat after an hour yelling 'IT'S MY PHONE NOW! AND I'LL THROW IT IN THE BIN IN A MINUTE!') and then had a forty minute nap before my resto job. After eating the croissant, obviously.

I had a coffee after work with my Newish Friend Ruth and we were talking about how knackered we are at the moment and how in turn we're becoming really homesick and getting fed up with Paris. I've been thinking recently that is was a huge mistake to tell the au pair family that I'm staying for another year, but after my chat today with Ruth I've realised that I'm just missing everyone because I haven't been home for a while, and I'm tired out from working too much and going out too much. Also, I think all the alcohol is having a really serious effect on my mood, I'm going to try my hardest to stop drinking from now until my birthday.

Pffft. I could do with a nap now, but I have only have twenty minutes before I have to leave for my au pair job. Tonight I'm going to stay in and blog about when Jen, Amy and Kat and her sister came to stay. And THEN I will be up to date and THEN I can relax.

P.S I have now have 50 followers. Yey! Thank you everyone who follows me! My goal is to get to a 100 followers by the time I leave Paris...


  1. You have at least 51 followers, actually! I found your blog while researching being an au pair in Paris (I'm already going to be a teaching assistant) and became kind of addicted. I didn't realize you were staying in Paris next year--now I get to be one of your Stalker Readers and ask to meet for drinks when I'm there!

    More seriously, your advice/account of being an au pair has been super-helpful in vetting families and deciding if I want to au pair, so thank -you-!

    1. Hey thanks, I'm so glad you found it useful, I hope you don't hate being an au pair though and feel like I made it sound better than it actually is! Perhaps we can meet for drinks, as long as you don't want to kill me...

      Thanks for the comment!