What keeps me awake at night – Am I destined to be on the move for ever?

31st May 2015 at 19:00
Travelling man

In April, I found myself hunting for a job, yet again. Two years on from my probation year and, after a series of short-term contracts, I still have no job security.

I feel like my career is idling. I want to contribute to a school, I want to see a year group through from age 11 to 16. I want to be there in August to congratulate the pupils who walked nervously into my class the previous year and are now leaving with a good pass. I want to feel like I belong.

I knew the minute I entered teaching that it would be tough to find a job. I am grateful for the opportunities that I do have – I love interacting with the young people and getting to know them. I love getting to know my colleagues and I love contributing to a school community.

What I don’t love is putting in so much effort, only to be told “Thanks but no thanks” or “We’d love to keep you but there are no jobs”.

Time and time again, I find myself back on general supply. I am now facing another summer of no pay, another summer of hunting for jobs, travelling north and south, east and west for interviews and desperately grasping for anything that resembles steady employment.

And then, in August, I face it all again. Introducing myself. Feeling like a pupil on their first day of school. Going back over my classroom rules and establishing myself in a new school environment once again. It is getting harder and harder to face. The longer I am out of work, the more I doubt myself, and the more quitting and finding something new seems to be the only sensible option.

I struggle to remain confident and hopeful when all I seem to do is move from one short-term post to another.

Teachers should be in the classroom, not at home desperately searching the internet and praying for posts to appear.

The writer is a teacher in Scotland

To read the full story, get the 29 May edition of TES on your tablet or phone, or by downloading the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. Or pick it up at all good newsagents. 


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