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Friends come before the job

Marian Colyer tells us that she did not attend a Thursday funeral of her friend's mum because she was worried that her absence would clash with a numeracy lesson and a duty ("Thank God It's Friday", Friday magazine, April 28).

This upsets me as it reinforces the idea that, as teachers, we are supposed to put everything else after our jobs.

Like everyone else, I am irritated by colleagues whose cavalier attitude to their responsibilities means they take long periods of time off, or who fail to be where they are supposed to be.

However, I am horrified to think that, if a friend of mine were going through such an awful ordeal, I would not help her through it because I didn't want to leave my post for one day.

I hope that if something equally tragic happens to Ms Colyer, her friends have more compassion and perspective than she does.

Yes, it is a thrilling, important, varied and endlessly rewarding job - but it is just a job.

Liz Loveridge

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