First day proper at work today. I have to beb honest, I was dreading it. I haven’t felt so underprepared in all my life.
Tip: if you thought you knew your profession inside and out, considered yourself an expert and had decided that you could do it no matter where you were in the world, think again.
This is the new room that I will be based in. I have to say, the departing teacher has gone to town preparing, labelling and documenting everything. It must have taken her days and days. But nothing can describe that feeling of sheer terror, knowing that you really have no idea what is going on.
It is really hard to describe. A teacher is a teacher, no matter where they are in the world, right? I guess so. But, when the systems change around you completely and you have no idea how the paperwork works, are expected to pick up a full timetable from the first day with very little induction or input, and you begin to wonder if this really was the right decision that you made.
You have no idea whether it is the done thing to say, or not say. The people around you really have the best intentions but to be honest have no clue at all what it feels like to be in a new country. I am without my husband, no home, no friends, no nothing, facing a total resettlement. Think about that for a minute. a brand new country, culture, city, way of life, new people, new job, absolutely NOTHING that is the same. No posessions, nothing. Not even my husband to support me. I came here not ever having visited the place, knowing little in reality about the job, apart from that it was a special needs school. I really cannot stress how hard this is.
So when I stepped into the first day at work, and everyone expected me to have sorted and moved into a house, have an arrival date for my husband and a car purchased already, they were in for a rude awakening. it really is not that simple at all. But then again, how would they know? They haven’t done it after all.
My holidays were spent arguing with and negotiating with estate agents, letting agents, solicitors, landlords, the AA, Novopay and immigration to name a few.
In every school I have ever worked in, I have had an induction period, where you are eased into the place, learn the systems. The school I left in England kept me off the timetable for 6 weeks so I could learn the systems. Here I was placed onto a full timetable within 4 days. Here in New Zealand there is TONS more paperwork, and MUCH less time given to do it. Teachers in the UK should thank their lucky stars to be honest.
Be prepared, this is NOT easy. I have felt like getting on a plane back to the UK more today than any other day to date. I sat in a darkened room and wept for most of my lunch break. I’m worn out with the stress, and feel completely alone.
Relocation isn’t easy. Be sure of that at least.
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