Diary of a jobseeker No3

January 2008
I’m now in my fourth year of teaching and it really has been a rollercoaster of a time.  Usually, children complain about going to school, but you can definitely put me in that category now.  I used to be really organised but now I feel snowed under and constantly under pressure all of the time, so much so that I spend a lot of my time working at home.  The only option is to look for other jobs, and I dread telling the head that I am thinking about leaving.  Still, I have to weigh up the pros and cons:  stay and let my job make me ill, or bite the bullet and tell the senior management team that I want to look for other jobs.

March 2008
I hand in my notice and it is possibly one of the scariest things I have ever done, even more so than the tandem bungee jump I did at university! However, as soon as I leave the head teacher’s office I feel like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders….oh the relief!

May 2008
After replying to a few adverts posted in the TES, finally an interview comes about. It is for a private school. Funnily enough, as a child I attended the school for a while so it is very strange being sat in the head teachers office, but this time not as a naughty child!  I have to teach a maths lesson and then face the dreaded interview. The lesson goes well, the interview not as well as I feel I could have answered some of the questions in a different way. As I expected, I didn’t get the post, but received very positive feedback.

June 2008
Wonderful! Another interview is lined up and this time it is for a school near where I live.  I do my usual preparation; I read the most up to date Ofsted report and carry out a web search on the school. The interview goes brilliantly, and I seem to get on well with the headteacher and deputy who interview me. I give all the right answers and hopefully I come across as very confident.  Surely enough when I get home, about an hour later the phone rings.  It is the head teacher offering me a job teaching in Year 4. But it is only a maternity cover, as they have offered the permanent job to another candidate who had more experience in Year 5. At this late stage I decide to take the job. At least I have a get out clause if I don’t like the school! 

January 2009
Looking back, my stint as a supply teacher was a very useful exercise. It helped me to develop my behaviour management skills and pick up different techniques from all the schools I visited. Also, I was really lucky to have a brilliant mentor in my first school during my NQT year.    

I have been at my new school for a term now and I absolutely love it! It has made me remember why I wanted to be a teacher! I have regained confidence and I am so much more relaxed. I hardly ever bring work home, I sleep better and I am much more of a pleasure to have around the house every evening! I can honestly say that moving on was one of the wisest decisions I have ever made.

Things seem to be going well and I feel like I have been teaching there all my life.  The staff are lovely too.  The only downside is that I have to remember that I am only covering for maternity leave. Still, for now I shall just continue to work hard.  

Sinead Williams is a Year 4 primary school teacher in Salford, Manchester, on maternity cover.

Names have been changed.

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