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Is anyone actually enjoying teaching MFL?

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by ard, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    Not Londo then...

    Sorry, it's just that he has been gone awhile and tends to reappear under different user names. They are usually related to Babylon 5, a programme I have never seen, although I didn't think that Bill Haydon had a Babyon 5 ring to it.

    Congratulations on the successful business venture! We often get disillusioned mfl teachers posting questions about how they can escape the mfl classrooms of the UK. Perhaps you can offer some advice.

    As for me: been teaching mfl for 20 years (ouch) whilst bringing up family for the last 14. Been posting on here for the past three months roughly. Like other posters, have found it to be strangely addictive and am currently (and unsuccessfully) seeking some kind of "patch" to help stave off the compulsion to go online.
  2. Whether the venture is successful or not I cannot really say, not in terms of big bucks at any rate but we are happy doing it this way. It could be much bigger than it is but I do not want to risk the property side of it becoming an evil corporate joke like timeshare. We go for quality rather than quantity everytime and I like to think our clients trust us for that and that we are providing a good service. Working in timeshare can really show you how not to treat people. I think I am scarred for life by timesharephobia.

    Looking at my last post maybe I should not have mentioned our niche. The point of a niche is that few others are doing the same thing. Not thinking of retiring to Portugal anytime soon are you? I came across a lovely, old stone property in January that we are having done up whilst still preserving the traditional features. It should be ready by October.

    How stupid of me. I have just put Londo Molari on yahoo and it comes up with nothing but babylon5. I thought it was a strange name but I did not think anyone could invent a name like that so it must be real.

  3. janemk

    janemk New commenter

    Well smoothnewt et al, I have been watching, bed-ridden with flu for the last 4 days, Bill Haydon and am not entirely convinced that he is not our illustrious LM. He sprang to mind after the first post, and this would be just his way of amusing himself. Bill Haydon, if you are not him, I apologize. Londo, if it's you, I'm watching.
  4. You are the second person to suspect me of being someone else. Is this the way everyone who joins this board is treated? If so then I am sorry to have intruded upon your sanctum. I think I will leave you all to indulge your collective paranoia in peace. It is like the 3rd degree in here. If I did not know better I would not be surprised if the bad behaviour in language classes some of you complain about was not a direct result of the oppressiveness I am witnessing now from some of you.
  5. mco45

    mco45 New commenter

    I hope that last post was tongue in cheek Bill Haydon because I would hate to think that any of us frightened off a new poster - especially now I have found your eels and hovercraft sketch in my Monty Python script book! And as for you smoothnewt - when you find that patch will you get one for me too?
  6. janemk

    janemk New commenter

    Oh the shy, retiring wallflower....

    Bill, whoever you are/were, anyone who starts threads insulting all the people on all these fora who come on for a rant saying they should not be teaching because they "haven't got it", goes on Prospective Student Teachers and starts a thread telling them not to go into teaching, and comes on here with a first thread of "My Hovercraft's Full of Eels" is most definitely a wind-up, looking for criticism. Heat, kitchen.

    And there are at least 6 people who have accused you in the last two days, not 2. You're not looking carefully enough. For example:

    "21 | Posted by: jayli at 06 Feb 2005 20:49

    I'm curious Bill Haydon, I see you have only been posting since the 5th of February. Did you start life of as somebody else I wonder??????? Same attitude kind of gives it away."

    Now I don't know who he/she thought you were, but I found your complete ignorance of Londo and his Twalting a little unbelievable. And if it is you, no doubt you're revelling in my little rant. But who cares. I'm off sick and in a foul mood.

    Even if you're not him, your post 103 is so obviously an invitation for a guilty/angry reaction (don't be fooled, mco!!)

    Stick his name in the search thing for "all forums" if you want to see where else he's been. I'm not averse to the odd troll - I think they liven up the boards sometimes, and god knows I myself have been accused in the past ;o) But I don't like people getting sucked in by false characters.

  7. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    The initial agressive posts and the subsequent faux-naïf enquiries after Londo aroused my suspicions, Jane. Although I must say that the username misled me - not very Londoesque. I also fell for the convincing business spiel. Oh well - we'll see.

    I mean - we've all started out as new posters at some time or other, but there was something not quite normal about Bill..

    And if you really are genuine Bill, well the paranoia's all mine.
  8. re: Post # 96. Yesss! Hurrah for people with long memories! "That Was The Week That Was". I'm sure that was it. Thank you mco. And yes, Bill (or whoever you are) it was indeed the two Ronnies and John Cleese in the sketch. Hence presumably my erroneous initial memory of its being a Monty P sketch.

    Of course, TW3 is undoubtedly too old for recordings of the programmes to be available. And I'd hate to do anything else to perpetuate the "rigid British class system" myth here anyway. They get enough indoctrination on that anyway. (On a par with the stuff we're fed about huge cheap houses, Hawaiian shirts and stupidity.).

    Still, never mind. At least I no longer have the nagging memory thing! Thank you again.

    Mattie (who seems to have a nasty talent for the thread kill, and is getting a bit of a complex about at how many times her name appears on the menu to the lugubrious accompanimnet of the Last Post....)
  9. mco45

    mco45 New commenter

    What? You mean the huge cheap houses, Hawaiian shirts and stupidity aren't true then Mattie?...There: I've killed the thread so you didn't have to!
  10. mikedavis

    mikedavis New commenter

    Have just come across this forum, greetings to all, like the sound of the TWALT thing. Unfortunately, I've just had 3 weeks off with a stress-related thing (wife found me sobbing after having punched out a defenseless light-switch) and am due back on Monday. This might not be appropriate, but has anyone found a successful and realistic way out? At 40 years of age with 13 years experience I can just see a quarter century of even worse institutiional stupidity ahead and I think there must be something better.
    Sorry to sound miserable-reading a lot of the posts here has actually been quite an entertaining experience.
  11. mikedavis

    mikedavis New commenter

    By the way Iteach French and Spanish, so I do have some sort of purpose in being here!
  12. mco45

    mco45 New commenter

    There's a lot of it about;this stress-related language teaching! Nearly smashed a fewlight bulbs myself last year and I've been at it nearly two decades. This TWALTING is quite useful as is , and I keep saying this because I am a bornagain teacher, moving out of MFL into -well, any subject involving speaking English really.
  13. mikedavis

    mikedavis New commenter

    I'm considering my options even as we speak-I'm thinking of supply for a while, though I've got ups2 so I'm worried about losing money. It would be good to be able to go in and enjoy the job, which if I'm honest has happened precious little recently.
  14. After a drive home thinking: Why I am I teaching languages? How much longer can I cope with the stress of being a Head of Spanish? Is my new Exchange trip in 2 weeks going to be a success or will I get sued by some mental parent who disagrees with my Risk Assessment? and generally, how can I stop teaching taking over my life, I found this forum in the nick of time - hurrah! I so identify with K-lo - yes, that's what it gets like sometimes. No matter how hard you work and how much you love languages it's just not enough sometimes. I teach in a school with pretty nice kids but I still find disciplining them wears you down and leaves you with no energy to be a normal human being in the evenings.

    Thanks to all of you for cheering me up and introducing me to the idea of TWALTING and escaping the secondary classroom for primary. It is true that it is a nightmare trying to get kids ready for AS and getting it into their heads that it really isn't GCSE any more and they have to learn grammar thoroughly. I love A Level teaching (and teaching grammar for that matter) but there just isn't enough time to teach AS properly for the exam. Every year I say I'll get their oral topics and bullet points sorted in plenty time and every year I end up with kids crying the staffroom the day before the oral!

    I have days when I love my job but I find myself becoming increasingly scizophrenic these days and having lots of low days. I feel like going back to being a normal teacher not a Head but the stress would still be there and I'd have less money. Does anybody else take out their frustrations with the stress of MFL teaching on friends and loved ones and then feel really bad? I don't think I'll get invited to friends' houses anymore at this rate!! I'm getting married in July but my fiance may leave me before then! He says that teaching is bad for my health. Any ideas to restore my sanity and stop me whingeing? What about leaving teaching completely? Do you know anybody's who's done it? Is it too late after 6 years in the job?
  15. I've just resigned after 9 years for the exact reasons you are describing! I have to say it feels like the big weight of 'oh god I've got so much work to do' is being lifted off my shoulders. I'm still working my notice so can't really say yet how life is on the ''other side'' but even having made the decision to go and having just got myself another job is making me demob happy. I'll probably starve and be in horrific debt but at least I wont have to sit up til midnight preparing work any more and I've reached the point where even starvation looks a more attractive prospect than another 30 years of this.
    So go for it. I believe that you only live once and I dont want to reach sixty and look back at my work-filled-lack-of-life and wish I'd done something about it. I felt the job was starting to make me ill. I was - still am - constantly exhausted and it was making me anxious. Your health is worth more than a half-decent salary. Good luck!!!!

  16. Smaily... get in touch with me at johnyoung75@hotmail.com
    and I'll tell you how I became totally happy again after going through the same torments you have just described. I've "been there".

    Lots of support round here!!!

    Write soon! ASAP!

  17. I resigned last week as an MFL HoD. I'd been in the job 2.5 years and it had gone really well. I just wasn't enjoying it. Sure there were niggles etc, but nothing major. Just enough was enough. Luckily I'm in a position to pick and choose what I now do, anything from Harvard to running a bar to SMT. Who knows?
    The freedom I now feel is tremendous. Just keeping my head down, doing the necessary and for the first time in about 18 months, actually enjoying being a teacher. Strange life innit
  18. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    There is no getting away from the fact that the job is basically ****. Literacy, numeracy, coursework, citizenship and pointless levels; along with target language and OFSTED all conspire among other things to make the job pretty horrible. As a HOD, I just ignore most of the rubbish. I teach in English when I want to, ignore the bulk of pointless bureaucracy and just enjoy my home life while trying to do the job as best I can without being too worried about it.
  19. Hi everyone!
    I've been teaching French (never got a job yet for my Italian :-( ) for 7 years.
    I have just told my school that I am giving up HOY at the end of this academic year and hope I've not made a terrible mistake!
    I love pastoral work, but after 4 years of constant stress, I've had enough. I need a life!!!!! It's a totally reactive job and the job is NEVER DONE! Plus I HATE doing assemblies, new parents' evenings, prizegivings, etc etc...the stress it causes has been unbearable to me.
    However, going back to MFL full time (I only do 0.5 at the mo, the other 0.5 for pastoral) is going to be a shock, methinks. Yep, we're having to introduce all sorts of weird 'n' wacky qualifications to try and keep our jobs basically. We opted out of compulsory MFL a year before it was legal. I have 17 in total in Y10!!!
    I really feel sad about teaching MFL now. I never came into it willingly, but I've stuck it out far longer than I expected and do enjoy teaching 6th form and "keen" ones. Not many of them, sadly. I'm gonna have a majorly Y9 heavy timetable. HELP! Have I made a mistake? Should I find another "career"? We're trying to start a family, tho. Perhaps I should just stay where I am for the mo...
  20. Kleeblatt

    Kleeblatt New commenter

    I'm a bit confused at the moment about the answer to the original poster's question. I'm an NQT and started in September. I did a PGCE teaching French and German and although my long placement was in a tough school I really enjoyed it and felt like I got a lot out of it. Up to half term I only taught French and I was feeling pretty happy. Since then I have started teaching one of my French classes German, and swapped both of my Year 9 French mid/low ability groups for top set German groups.
    I haven't taught them much yet but one of the groups in particular, when asked to do a urvey by HOD on what they thought about languages really laid into my teaching! I can see where some of the stuff is coming from but on the other hand I feel like I haven't really been given a chance. It's also quite frustrating as, being individuals, they all have different learning styles. They were also previously taught by HOD and I know her teaching style is very different to mine - I'm guessing she's more relaxed as she doesn't have the same 'NQT' type issues as me! So now basically my Y9 lessons REALLY stress me out as I'm trying to please lots of kids and worrying they won't do it next year/will complain to HOD etc!!

    On the other hand I'm loving teaching most of my other classes and I THINK kids generally enjoy the lessons too....so yeah, definitely confused but actually feel much better now I've got this off of my chest and also read through the thread and seen confusion etc elsewhere too...!!!

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