Yesterday I attended an important meeting as the union rep for my school. The lady who normally did it is on secondment elsewhere. Legally my employers (the local authority) have to provide opportunities for reps to get together to discuss important issues affecting teachers and ultimately the effects on the children we teach. They even threw in a free lunch!! We had someone from head office who traveled a fair distance to train us.
Teachers are leaving the profession in droves. This year the number of probationers dropping out in their first year of teaching has DOUBLED throughout Scotland. The numbers of teachers deciding to retire (very) early has shot up in the last few years. There is a local authority near mine where the average length of service of teachers working in a classroom is just 5 years. There aren't enough supply teachers to cover illness. And the Scottish Government wants to know why.
Short answer is excessive workload and a salary freeze. I won't bore you with the knowledge that teachers do not just work from 9am to 3pm every day or that our salary is 25% below what it should be as we've had no/tiny increases for a long time.
So today I called a union meeting (get me!!) and we discussed some of the issues raised. And everyone is onboard to tackle our workload issues. I think it just needed someone to say I'll do it (me) then everyone else has jumped onboard.
Maybe my PRD meeting has spurred me on a bit, maybe losing a bit of weight has increased my confidence. Who knows? But I've had this song stuck in my head since yesterday!!