Extract from the epilogue of ‘The Naughtiest Boy in the School’
I went home at the end of term feeling despondent and I got drunk. I got very drunk, and in retrospect there lay the problem.
Having spent most of my working life in the City of London insurance industry, drink had become almost a way of life for me. Whilst there is no way I would ever have mixed drink with teaching and my totally sober venture away with the School A year-sevens to the Isle of Wight is testimony to that, but I would reward myself every afternoon with a glass of wine when I got home from school, I would even avoid staying late after school if possible so I could get home to that ‘much needed’ glass. The glass would become a bottle, the lesson planning would become a haphazard affair and little if any other work would get done. It was no wonder I was starting to fall behind in things. On top of this I was suffering from gout, a condition I had suffered with on and off for years and which I fervently denied was alcohol related or induced. Every day at School B I would be walking around in acute pain (trying not to limp and look like some dilapidated old crock) which as anyone knows who suffers constant pain, makes it very hard to live life as it should be enjoyed.
I also started to feel old and that made me think old, and a lot of that was caused by stress due to the pain; stress due to the lack of attention in the planning and home activity I should have been accomplishing but wasn’t, due to the drinking; and stress due to the guilt I felt, because deep down I knew all my problems were drink related. But like any alcoholic, I didn’t want to face the truth. I also had other health concerns and issues at home to deal with but these were irrelevant to what my decision regarding teaching came to be, and even these issues eventually turned out to linked to the impact drink was having on my life.
Very Useful Hint: Despite how in need of a drink you may think you feel at the end of the teaching day, alcohol and teaching do not mix.
With only a few weeks left to complete, I quit the course.
The book is due for release in March/April and I will be something any PGCE student would love to read. I will post more details nearer the time.