Or is this just fantasy?
I’ve never been a real anything.
Well, okay, yes, I am in fact a real person.
As I have explained (ad nauseum) on this blog, I tend to flit from one activity to another, pretending to be whatever it is that takes my fancy at the time. Currently, I’m pretending I can play the banjo.
This pretend life has not only applied to my leisure activities. Every job I’ve ever held, I’ve spent the bulk of my time pretending I know what I’m doing.
And that’s because for every job I have ever held, I possessed neither the qualifications nor the experience for that particular position. They gave me the job anyway.
I know. I don’t understand it either.
But something changed recently.
At the beginning of February, I was given a fixed contract of three days a week for an eight week term in the school where I’ve been relief teaching.
I filled out the required paperwork and the bureaucratic wheels began to turn.
First, I was given an employee ID number by the Education Department. Having never held an official teaching position before, I’d never had one of these. Apparently this one will follow me all of my days. Mine to keep.
Along with the employee ID, I was given an official Education Department email address. Apparently this one will not follow me all of my days. Mine to give back at the end of my contract.
As far as the Department was concerned, I now existed as a teacher.
[It’s worth just noting here that all potential teachers in this state, even those only undertaking relief teaching, must be registered with the state Institute of Teaching before they are allowed to teach. We do have some standards.]
More was to come.
I was called to the office to collect my badge. A real name badge, not the paper and plastic one I usually wore as a relief teacher. This one even said “Teacher” on it.
Could this be? Was I becoming something real?
Two weeks ago, the photographers showed up and I had my photograph taken. My first ever official school photograph as a member of staff.
It was like the last piece of the puzzle. I was a teacher.
Being a real teacher has also meant three meetings a week and writing reports.
Pretending can have its advantages.
The term ends this week. After the following two weeks of school holidays, I’ll no longer be a ‘real’ teacher.
I feel a bit like the Blue Fairy has jumped out and said “Only Kidding!”