Skip to main content

'I left home at 5.30am and got back at 8pm'

Kelly Millward is in the third year of her second teaching job at St James Church of England primary school, Muswell Hill, north London.

When I first started, I didn't really think too much about how I was going to get to the school. Having a job was more important. I was provided with a taxi to take me from the tube station to the school for the interview.

I had no idea how difficult the journey would be. The school was in Bermondsey, south-east London, and I lived in East Finchley, in north London.

Basically, there were no bus routes going to the school from the tube station so, every day, I ended up having to take a 20-minute walk, having already travelled for 35 minutes on the tube and walking another 10 minutes from my house to the station. It added up to be a really long journey.

I was getting up at about 5.30 every morning because, being a new teacher, I needed about an hour-and-a-half to prepare my lessons. I would try to be in school for 7.30 in the morning. If I overslept by 10 minutes, it would affect my whole journey and my whole day. The experience was a nightmare.

I also needed at least two hours to mark my work and to prepare for the next day. So there was no way I would leave before 6 o'clock in the evening.

I had no life whatsoever. I used to get home at about 7.30 to 8pm every evening and then I'd go straight to bed after eating. I'd be up again by 5.30 in the morning. I was really tired and a bit grumpy. I never felt fresh.

It was a one-form entry school and five of us left at the same time, mainly because the transport was so bad.

I like living in north London. Most of my friends live here. So for me, the option was to change schools, not move closer. The first thing I looked for in my next school was that it was within 15 minutes of my home.

Jobs tip: Before you accept a job, try out the journey. A big part of the job is getting there and getting back, so make sure you can do it without stress.

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you