In what is believed to be a world first, casual relief teacher Ms Jess Miller has been given a full day’s allocation of yard duty and then some.
Everyday P-12 School has rostered yard duty sessions before and after-school as well as the first and second halves of recess and lunch. While Ms Miller no doubt expected to be assigned a before or after-school yard duty, as well as a half of recess and lunch, she was unprepared for the timetabling onslaught coming her way. ‘Marjorie (Hall, Prep teacher) met me at the office and handed me a slip indicating I had before-school duty and the first half of recess and lunch. She also asked if I could help her out and do after-school and I said that was fine.’
What minimal time Ms Miller had to eat and take a break throughout the day would soon disappear. ‘Before-school duty was fine. After teaching the morning session, I spent the first half of recess in the yard. As the duty teacher came out to swap for the second half, one solitary drop of rain landed on her hand. She immediately called a wet-day timetable, sent all the students inside and me with them as supervisor.
I assumed their teachers, or at least a teacher, would arrive any minute to relieve me. I assumed wrong.
I walked up and down the corridor, trying to stop classrooms of students from chair surfing, googling inappropriate images and tipping out every container of resources to play with. I assumed their teachers, or at least a teacher, would arrive any minute to relieve me. I assumed wrong.’
Like all relief teachers aiming to please in the hope of securing more work, Ms Miller soldiered on and completed her assigned yard duty for the first half of lunch. A problem then arrived in the form of Physical Education teacher, Mr Stu Richards. ‘Stu told me he’d swapped yard duty with the teacher I was replacing. He’d done their yard duty earlier in the week and they were supposed to do his for the second half of that lunch. On top of that he said the principal had asked if I could cover his after-school duty. Before I could explain my situation, Stu was out of sight.’
Tired and hungry at the end of a full day’s teaching and yard duty, Ms Miller spent the next twenty minutes dashing between the lower gate and the bus shed putting out spot-fires. Upon being informed of the situation he left Ms Miller in, Mr Richards was unrepentant. ‘She fell for two of the oldest tricks in the book.’
She fell for two of the oldest tricks in the book.